Workshop of Philosophical Counseling by Peter Harteloh at the International Summer Seminar of Philosophical Practice 16.07.2010, organized by the International Institute of Philosophical Practice at La Chapelle (France) from the 12.07. - 18.07.2010.
The quality of the question
The art of questioning seems to imply some questions are better than others. A question has a quality. This workshop on finding the best question to continue a philosophical consultation, is intended to reflect on the criteria of a good question. What makes a question a good question? We should look for criteria for that. The video shows an example. Time was too limited to get at criteria for qualifying a question. However, they show. We might say in philosophical consultation we aim at questions with a performative nature. In psychology, descriptive questions seem to be of greater importance. The content of the question is determined by a theory. In philosophical practice we ask questions in order to deepen thinking. The counselee is no product of a method but thinking in a free space. Performative speech is important here. Form becomes content just like in Socratic dialogues. A performative question should refrain form content, be short and precise, elicit a reaction, and withhold from suggestions. It is not just an open question. It has to suits the process of thinking.
The best question in philosophical counselling is a performative question