The Ethics of Practicing Philosophy


Call for papers - respond by January 31, 2021 

Following the panel on the Professional Responsibility of a Philosophy Practitioner at ICPP 2020 (recording here; summary take-aways here) and a number of follow-up discussions both throughout the conference and after, the participants of the panel have decided that this underexplored topic merits a proper industry-wide brainstorming, and one good way to initiate a serious structured deliberation on the topic would be to issue a call for papers for an anthology on the ethics of practicing philosophy, with a hope to secure a publisher (some ideas are already on the table) to turn it into a book.

This call for papers is an invitation for any interested practitioner of philosophy to submit a short abstract and a bio (in English, please) which could then be included into the book proposal. This invitation is not limited to the ICPP 2020 participants or recipients of this mailing list, but should be forwarded to any other professionals, including those practicing philosophy as philosophical counsellors, corporate philosophers, philosophy for children facilitators etc.

While we intend to put together a proper logical structure for the intended anthology after we receive your inputs, here are some questions you may consider (this is of course not an exhaustive list):

  • Is it possible to envisage a unified professional ethics for such a diverse field as the practice of philosophy? Is it desirable?
  • What are the valuable ends of philosophy as a practice? (Truth? Wellbeing? Something else?) What is to be done if there is more than one and they may sometimes contradict each other?
  • What does a practitioner of philosophy owe their client, if anything?
  • What does a practitioner of philosophy owe their colleagues, if anything?
  • What are the professional virtues of a practitioner of philosophy?
  • What can practitioners of philosophy learn from other professions, ethics-wise?
  • What are the similarities and differences between the professional ethics of practicing philosophy and psychological counselling?
  • Should the practitioner of philosophy working with individual adults, groups of adults, adults in corporate context, children etc. have different concepts of professional ethics?
  • What is the desirable balance of power/ agency between a practitioner of philosophy and a client? What would be the ethical implications?
  • How should cultural differences be incorporated into professional ethics of practicing philosophy?

Please, submit your proposals (in English) by January 31, 2021 here: 

Those who do not wish to submit a full paper still have an opportunity to submit their short commentary through the below form (in English or Russian). The key insights will later be summarised into an additional chapter, with due credits.

If you would like to also comment publicly, please, use the Facebook-powered function "Add a comment" at the very bottom of this page. We welcome you to use this function as a forum and respond to other public comments if you would like to.

The project is dedicated to the memory of Leon de Haas, one of the original panel participants and an enthusiastic supporter of the follow-up idea. As many of you know, Leon passed away days after the conference ...

With regards,

Alexandra Konoplyanik (project coordinator)

Lydia Amir

Ora Gruengard

Pia Houni

Aleksandar Fatic

and Sergey Borisov