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Regarding a “practical metaphilosophy,” we can distinguish “doing philosophy,” the practice of philosophical inquiry, from “having a philosophy,” a “weltanschauung” (worldview) that one navigates life with. One needs to do philosophy to have a philosophy that is not borrowed, and most people navigate life in an unexamined way, which is to say, they have borrowed philosophies.
You can do “practical philosophy” and inquire about what is personally salient, as described in the previous entry or do “theoretical philosophy,” an inquiry about abstract truth claims. In the paper, The Recovery of Practical Philosophy, philosopher Stephen Toulmin describes the elements of both philosophies. Practical philosophy is biased toward the oral and is concerned with the particular, local, and timely. In contrast, theoretical philosophy is biased toward the written and is concerned with the universal, general, and timeless. Both types of inquiries are needed to find our way today.
While inquiries in practical philosophy start with the personal, they must be able to weave into the theoretical domain, as that is where weltanschauungs are considered. When encountering stuckness while finding our way, sometimes our weltanschauungs must be remodeled. A weltanschauung is one's "map of reality," essential for existential wayfinding. If one's map does not correspond with reality, one will be misguided in finding their way.
Regardless of how practical the concerns are, all philosophical inquiry honors the theoretical eventually. In academic philosophy, a theoretical discipline, the main subfields include metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and politics—any remodeling of a weltanschauung will contain an inquiry into at least one of these subfields.
A philosophical guide must be transparent with their philosophy and willing to investigate their presuppositions during the inquiry. If a mutual state of "aporia," a deep unknowingness, does not occur, then genuine philosophical inquiry does not either, and a guru-student relationship will form instead.
I have not converted anyone to Stoicism during the two years of my practice. The reason could be due to the lack of merits of the Stoic philosophy, but I suspect it is because I remain unconvinced that people should cohere on the same weltanschauung. Instead, it is wiser for a weltanschauung to meet people where they are and be bespoke to their circumstances, capacities, and calling.
Weltanschauung remodeling is a delicate thing, and frequently a "refactoring" will be needed instead: changing premises while maintaining functionality with one's daily responsibilities. A rapid change in premises can be too disorienting, inhibiting a person from functioning well with personal and professional responsibilities, leading to more harm than good.
Regardless of the risks, the ability to rapidly remodel will be needed, as we have entered the age of accelerated change with a sense that the singularity - the explosion of technological growth that results in permanent and unpredictable changes to humanity - is around the corner. These changes will be disorienting for many, with things getting weird, leading to questions about what it means to be human.
To navigate the ensuing disorientation, we will need to do philosophy and be flexible with the philosophies we have.
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