Jon Borowicz (USA)

21/03/2020

Jon Borowicz (USA) - PhD, Professor of Philosophy at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. He established a practice, Therien, in Cedarburg, Wisconsin in the Late '90s. Since roughly 2010, he has concentrated his work in philosophical practice in his courses in professional ethics at the Milwaukee School of Engineering that work evolving from neo-Socratic Dialogue.

Philosophical Practice as a Re-imagined Cynicism (Lecture)

Presentation Language: English

Socrates and Diogenes can be understood as having shared the principle aim of provoking thinking, and particularly in Diogenes' case, of subverting the thoughtless possession of conventional beliefs and values. But in whom? With the advantage of distance on Socrates' example, Diogenes' audience can be understood not to have been his immediate observers, whom he mainly shocked and disgusted, but those who heard or read of his antics. The chreia was a succinct philosophical form developed by the followers of Socrates initially to record what he said and did. Diogenes would have been well-acquainted with the chreia. Here is an example: When Diogenes was at a dinner party, the diners called him, "You dog," and threw bones to him, as this is what people do to dogs. He in turn, as he left, pissed on the diners from behind, to show that this too went with being a dog. Diogenes understood that what shocked in its immediate experience could be thought-provoking in its retelling and that in doing so he could reach a far larger audience. Contemporary practical philosophers are in the position of Diogenes' followers who captured his performances in chreiae. Academic philosophers are in a position to disturb their students in the realization that they are thoughtless. Universities are in a position to employ practical philosophers to facilitate an ethical discourse based on the chreia to provoke thinking and cultivate moral judgment. The author's experience using an asynchronous collaboration platform to this end will be described and demonstrated.