Every day during September we will post up an idea for you to vote on. The most popular ideas will become the things that the inaugural Organizing Committee of the Critical Physiotherapy Network focuses on in 2015. So please make sure you cast your vote at the bottom of each post.
Alain de Botton certainly has his critics. His books sell in the millions and offer the kinds of homespun wisdom usually frowned upon by serious academics. I love his work though and have found books like Status Anxiety, How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Consolations of Philosophy to offer all the insight of a really good teacher – making things clear without ever decending becoming patronizing – mixed in with the clarity of thought that comes from a deep engagement with the ideas.
De Botton has turned his brand of wisdom into a whole industry now with The School of Life, and one of the things I’ve really enjoyed are the weekly posts that come from the team of people who now work with the SoL, explaining how they think philosopher’s ideas are applicable to our daily life. (If you want to read some of these, go to the link for the School of Life above, and scroll down to the sections titled ‘The Great Philosophers’ – they’re excellent!)
Steve Wheeler does a similar thing with his brilliant learning with e’s blogspot. (Again, scroll down the page looking for posts that begin ‘This is number … in my series on learning theories. He’s currently up to #27 and still going strong). Wheeler does a brilliant job of taking the kernel of a philosopher’s idea and applying it to daily life. And if your preference is for the ways literature and great writers apply their craft to life’s bigger question, you could do worse than read Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings.
One of the main reasons physiotherapists don’t really engage in philosophical inquiry is that they don’t understand it. It’s written – as we well know – in obscure language that conceals as much as it reveals; it seems to deal in abstractions; and it seems to be more about thinking than actually doing. These are serious misunderstandings though, but who is going to disavow physiotherapists of this kind of mistake if we don’t? Who is better placed than people in our Network to help connect physiotherapy with the kinds of philosophy that could blow the doors off the profession? If not us, then who?
Post update: please note that voting closed on 7 October 2014 (results are available here), but please feel free to post your comments in the space below.