The philosophical practice assumes that many of the predicaments affecting people are not due to mental distress, but rather to a misinterpretation of structures underlying reality.
Compared to psychoanalysis, philosophy faces the epochal change of western society, which turned from a society based on rules (Freud) into a society based on efficiency (Ehrenberg). The outcome is a lifestyle displacement, from a rectilinear trend predictable and safe to a cyclic system, uncertain, less predictable often perceived as threatening.
Active philosophy provides rational tools and depth in thinking. It is useful in making decisions, adapting to sudden changes, cultivating culture, freeing ourselves from over-structures that weigh down on us, and do not allow us to move mentally.
According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide. More than 300 million people are now living with depression, an increase of more than 18% between 2005 and 2015. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school, and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.
What is the difference between psychology and philosophy?
Psychology is about the way we know the object. Philosophy, instead, is about the object of knowledge. Psychology is about feelings and emotions. Such mental states are the way we grasp the object. But they are not the object of knowledge. Psychology tends to believe that reality is a psychic act, and does not make a distinction between thoughts, feelings, emotions, and immutable essences, like laws of mathematics and logic, or structures of social reality.
Philosophy is, instead, about the weightless and invisible structures underlying reality. Quite often we inìdentify our thoughts to ourselves, or rather believe that reality, the object that appears is what we think and feel upon it. All this leads us to analyze our thoughts and emotions only, without freeing us from prejudices and grasping phenomena in the way they really appear. Philosophy is about “seeing” (idein).
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