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     *Issue No. 2* (C) Copyright Sophon Center *July 1998*

Dear ISPPI member and others interested in the practice of philosophy,

With this second issue of Trump we are well on our way to establish a communication path which all philosophical practitioners may use to contribute to making philosophical practice and counseling into a growing movement.

The lecture series of Feb.-March was successful and a new series of lectures is planned for Oct.-November. Together with this Bulletin you receive information on the Fourth International Conference on Philosophical Practice. We hope to see you there as well. In this Issue you find information on some hot issues in the world of philosophical counseling. Philosophical Counseling has recently received also in Israel a renewed media attention with articles in Ha' Aretz , The International Herald Tribune (Israel Edition) and Zomet HaSharon. The contribution of Prof. Levine on her work with children is much appreciated.
As editor of Trump I welcome your contributions. Please send in your practice activities so that they can be published together with ISPPI  activities. Also if you have questions or like to share your views about philosophical practice and counseling related issues, please send in a short comment (about 400 words or shorter) in English or Hebrew, and always typescript.

The editor, Shlomit Schuster





"The present board of the Dutch Union for Philosophical Practice, the
VFP, does not support efforts to realize health-insurance payment for
philosophical practitioners. The VFP does not support efforts by
colleague-philosophers to either monopolize the field of philosophical
counseling or make the work of the philosopher look like that of a
(mental) health professional".




The following code is a translation of the Dutch Code of Ethics which Dr. Karin Murris
of the British Society for Consultant Practitioners translated. The British SCP and the American APCA are considering to adopt this code of ethics and it is something that the ISPPI is going to consider as well.

A. Preamble
The Society for Consultant Philosophers (hereinafter known as 'SCP') has
developed and established this code of practice as the result of the wish
and the need to give the profession of 'consultant philosopher' a clearer
identity. This represents a step towards further social recognition and
establishment of a professional profile. The intention is to develop
further quality and training criteria in the next few years.
The need for this code stems from the fact that a 'consultant philosopher'
offers a professional expertise that puts the client in an unequal
position. This is the primary reason for the need for a code of practice -
to offer protection to the to a certain extent dependent client.
The terms used in the remainder of this document are defined as follows:
'philosopher' and 'consultant (philosopher)': someone who has at least a
master's degree in philosophy in addition to further training, and who
holds a practice within which s/he receives people who pay for his/her
expertise, and who thereby become the philosopher's 'clients'.
'Consultation': a conversation between the philosopher and the client which
takes place during an appointment and for which the client pays a fee.
B. Aim
The code gives clients, potential clients and those who refer them to a
consultant philosopher access to the rules the philosopher will adhere to.
If necessary, the client and those referring him/her can use the code to
remind the philosopher of those rules. The consultant is required to make
the code available to the client. The code is also intended to achieve a
greater degree of professional homogeneity.
C. Complaints
The consultant philosopher has declared that he or she will adhere to the
code of practice, and this can provide a reason, or additional reason, to
consult this particular philosopher, and can be a reason for other
specialists to refer a client to a philosopher. If clients or those
referring them believe that the consultant is not adhering to the code, they
can report this to the SCP's management committee, which will deal with the
complaint under Article 7 below.
D. Content
The code contains rules of practice which the philosopher must adhere to.
The philosopher declares this to the SCP by signing the code as part of the
application procedure for being on the National Register of Consultant
Philosophers (hereinafter known as 'NRCP'). The NRCP is a list published by
the SCP of consultants who are signatories to the code and are full
1. Assumptions
The client can be a private person or the representative of an organization
or professional body. The code deals with relationships where the client
pays a fee for the provision of a service which amounts to a consultation.
2. Aims
The consultant can maintain a broad spectrum of aims, but must respect the
wishes of the client, and use these as the basis for a consultation.. The
wishes of the consultant will be either put aside or must be clearly
explained to the client and explicitly agreed upon.
3. Methods
The consultant can, in principle, maintain a broad spectrum of methods.
The consultant must realize that every methorepresents a means of dealing
with the client and so contributes towards defining the relationship.
Therefore, the consultant must ensure that the methods used, and the
resultant definition of the relationship, is not in breach of other
articles of the code, and expresses respect for the client, contributes to
the dialogical form of the relationship, and avoids any abuse of power or
4. Confidentiality
The consultant may contact only other interested parties such as
specialists who referred the client, members of the client's family or
household, etc., but only with the client's express permission. Thereby,
the client's stated wishes are always respected.
5. Expertise
The consultant will regularly attempt to reassess his/her level of
expertise, and supplement it and update it through further study and
6. Care
a. The consultant will enter a consultancy relationship only if the client
has explicitly expressed a wish to do so, and if the consultant is
satisfied that the client is reasonably well informed about the content and
form of such a relationship.
Such an agreement between both parties is always implicit within a
b. The consultant will always respect the client's privacy and the
confidentiality of each consultation.
This means that no information specific to the client must ever leave the
practice in a recognizable form, nor be available to third parties in any
form without the express permission of the client.
c. The consultant will respect the client's ethical and religious views.
The philosopher's reconstructive, constructive and deconstructive
capacities in this respect will be applied only with the agreement of both
d. The consultant is at all times prepared to justify to the client the way
in which the consultation is conducted by the consultant.
This means that the philosopher is prepared to justify his/her methods, and
also that the 'agreement' between both parties can be revised at the
initiative of either party.
e. the consultant is motivated to regularly evaluate the progress made
during the consultation, and its philosophical character; and, taking
account of the terms of article 6 b., to reflect on this with colleagues,
either verbally or in writing.
The consultant regards the profession as one which benefits from exchanges
of information and ideas. This also results in a form of quality control.
f. The consultant makes it clear where his/her limits of expertise lie, and
at what point referral to a consultant from a different profession would be
considered. The consultant is careful not to overstep these limits (see
also articles 4 and 6b).
7. Complaints Procedures
The client who is of the opinion that the consultant has breached any terms
of this code can complain to the SCP's management committee. The management
committee will appoint two members to hear both parties (client and
consultant), and to advise the society about appropriate measures. The
decision will be taken by the society's full management committee, which
has the following measures at its disposal:
· a warning;
· suspension of being on the NRCP pending further training or supervision;
· expulsion from the NRCP, and publication of the expulsion in the
society's newsletter;
· expulsion from the SCP, and publication of the expulsion in the
society's newsletter.
The defendant can appeal to the society's Annual General Meeting (AGM);
both management committee and defendant appoint a member to prepare their
case for the AGM. No action is taken pending the outcome of the appeal.
8. Liability
The SCP is in no way liable for any damages claimed by clients as the
result of a consultation with an SCP member. The consultant alone is
responsible for his/her work, and carries full liability for any action for



Professor Shellie Levine recently joined the ISPPI membership list and contributes the following article about her work.

The Child-As-Nave-Philosopher: Philosophical Counseling With Children

Shellie Levine, Ph.D.

    Both Greek and Judeo -Christian thought point toward "wondering"
as the activity of the philosopher, with the product of wondering being
the discovery of knowledge. Having been trained in philosophical
psychology as well as clinical psychology, my counseling work with
children and adolescents has resulted in a multiplicity of cases, which
crystallize the child's ability to "do philosophy." Yet mainstream
pychological theory and practice has adopted a set of paradigms that
preclude the recognition of these abilities. The foremost paradigm in the
United States has been the Piagetian paradigm. I offer a critique of this
paradigm and a suggested alternative, which highlights those cognitive
capacities of children which provide the foundation for their abilities to
engage in philosophical cognition. Studying these abilities points toward
the efficacy of philosophical counseling with children.
Piagetian Presuppositions
1. Egocentricity: Piagetian theory has long claimed that children are
"egocentric," a term which designates the inability to adopt the
emotional, cognitive or spatio-temporal perspective of another (Piaget,
1966). The theory I suggest-that children are nave philosophers-is
supported by current research which confirms that children are exquisitely
able to comprehend the emotions and cognitive intentionality of other
persons (Bruner, 1990; Levine, 1997; Nelson, 1996). Thus, by two years of
age children have been shown to respond to the nurturing figure's despair
by offering comfort. They are also able to verbally communicate
narratives about activities which take account of the other's state of
belief; with the result being that children are able to fabricate an
account with the goal of deceiving others. Despite this research,
mainstream psychology has maintained that children are indeed egocentric.
The result of this premise is that children are unable to perform
philosophical inquiry--a process that has as one necessary prerequisite
the ability to comprehend a multiplicity of points of view simultaneously.
The theory I propose acknowledges that the ability to adopt
multiple perspectives is often actualized by philosophers and that indeed
the child does have this ability. Yet more importantly, we must recognize
that children are exquisitely able to suspend the dichotomies inherent in
the subject-object relationship and enter into a cognitive and emotional
state in which this dichotomy is suspended. Children are supremely
capable of actualizing the phenomenological epoche. As discussed by
Husserl, during the transcendental-phenomenological reduction the
philosopher does not experience a schism between the knower and the known.
The importance of this ability as actualized by the child is significant
in terms of the child's ability to engage in philosophical inquiry.
2. Violation of Aristotelian Logic: Piagetian Theory has been grounded on
the premise that children's cognition is not organized according to the
rules of Aristotelian logic. The primary rule often violated is the law of
identity: an entity must be identical to itself and to no other entity.
A=A. The fact that children's cognition often violates Aristotelian logic
is accepted by this author. However, the use of this fact by current
Piagetian theory in order to "explain" this fact has resulted in the
maintenance of Piaget's view that children's cognition is "inferior" and
"in need of correction" (Piaget, 1976). As researchers have noted,
linguistic terms and concepts are pervaded by the strictures of
Aristotelian logic (Korzybski, 1958; Langer, 1967; Levine, 1984; 1998).
the theory of child-as-nave-philosopher recognizes that children are
supremely capable of communicating through words and concepts, which are
not those of the "common-sense" human being. As Schutz (1973) discussed,
these common-sense concepts are those which are socially accepted and
schematic, eliding the value of the uniqueness of each situation. The
child's use of concepts which are not accepted by the "They," i.e., the
social community can be understood as the eof the ability to
cognize creatively (Levine, 1984; 1997). This skill is crucial for the
human being who seeks philosophical meaning concerning the self and world.
Space limitations prevent the unfolding of the many cognitive and
emotional capacities which ground the child's experience. I offer the
suggestions noted above in order to promote discussion between
philosophical counselors who may develop paradigms of child development
and therapy which acknowledges and utilizes these skills.
In summary form we may understand the philosopher as someone who
questions in order to understand reality. The mode-of-being of the child
is precisely that which allows for this inquiry. As I have noted elsewhere
(Levine, 1984, 1997), the child's cognitive structures may be shown to be
isomorphic to that of the adult philosopher and to be the foundation for
the creative exfoliation of the meaning of self and world.


Bruner, J. (1990). Acts of Meaning. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Korzybski, A. (1958) Science and Sanity: An Introduction to
Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics. CT: International
Non-Aristotelian Library.

Langer, S. (1967). Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling. Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins Press.

Levine, S. (1984). The Child-As-Philosopher: A Critique of the
Presuppositions of Piagetian Theory and an Alternative Approach to
Children's Cognitive Capacities. Thinking: Journal of Philosophy For
Children, V(1), 1-9.

Levine, S. (1997). Clinical Implications of Presuppositions for
Understanding Discrimination. In Proceedings for the Conference on
International Perspectives on Crime, Drugs, and Public Order, 37-43. NY:
John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Nelson, K. (1996). Language in Cognitive Development. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.

Piaget, J. (1966). The Child's Conception of Physical Causality. NJ:
Littlefield Adams.