Philosophical Consulting and Problem Solving

  • eudaimonia
  • Posted in Linkedin
    Dimitris Mavromatis

Ancient Greek Philosophers of the Athenian school as Plato, Aristotle, Socrates with their philosophical knowledge included their logic, ethics, values, constant search of truth and knowledge, had deal a lot with decision making in particularly difficult situations.

Basically their philosophy examines all questions often we set to ourselves. What is the meaning of life, what is right, what is happiness, what is wrong, what must be our limits?

All of us have a functional system of principles, we meditate, we are looking for sources and using the philosophy it has always provided tools for our daily life. Don’t forget that philosophy was a way of life not only study but application as well.

The problem solving process in business mainly includes, according to the most methodologies, the following key stages:

1. Identify the problem

2. Find the causes, split into smaller, look for the roots

3. Set the objective of resolving

4. Find multiple solutions

5. Take the decision of the best solution from implementation point of view, resources, costs, time.

6. Apply the solution into an execution plan

7. Evaluate and be aware to have a repositioning of the problem in case of undesirable results.

During the process we use tools like mapping, brain storming, fish diagrams, matrixes, cost benefit analysis, whys, Pareto Law. The process is mainly teamwork.

The personal problem solving process based on philosophy follows almost same stages.

The implementation needs the help of a professional consultant and it’s personal. The consultant uses philosophical theories, the technique is called philosophical consulting, term widely used in America. There is a clear separation from Psychiatry and Psychology.

Philosophical Consultancy is a relatively new movement in philosophy which applies philosophical thinking and debating to the resolution of a person’s problem (Wikipedia).

Philosophical Consultancy is more an art than science and developed a unique way for each person employed in solving personal problems.

Problems such as relations with the other sex, death of a beloved person, dismissal from work, handling sexual relations, divorce, professional ethical controversies, disagreements between logic and emotion needed effort to found handling and giving ways we can continue our lives.

The application of philosophy means that we investigate our inner world. We can benefit from the guidance of philosophers we can find a theory that coordinates with us and adopt it.

According to Lou Marinoff, philosophical theories used to solve personal problems.

The phases of problem solving technique according to Marinoff s  book “Plato, not Prozac” analyzed as a Peace model Serenity and guides by the concepts PROBLEM,EMOTION,ANALYSIS,CONTEMPLATION,EQUILIBRIUM.

In the problem identification phase becomes obvious to refine parameters and observation of phenomena, examination the situation in depth.

In the next phase we recognize the emotions that cause the problem. When we find something beyond the ordinary except the possible reflex reaction we have emotional response. There is a direct appropriate expression of emotion.

In the Analysis phase begins the resolution process essentially counting options, creating alternatives in correspondence if you have experienced and solve something like this before.

In Meditation phase we try to look as a third person the problem spherically, we integrate all information and the adoption of predisposition of the whole situation.

Finally in the Equilibrium phase we start undertake to implement actions and activities that make us to feel better.

So in summary, we start with problem identification, recording emotion, do the analysis evaluation of solutions and options, proceed with reflection of the situation as a whole, we take into account philosophical ideals, systems and methods for handling the situation as a whole, and in the end the balance to take appropriate and reasoned actions.

Throughout the process works the intellect and emotions part, having as model the theories of philosophers. So even in “rational troubleshooting” the Ancient Greek Philosophers have shown us the way.

We simply don’t have the sufficiently taught and we have not understood them. Let’s try again….