Monday, May 2, 2011

The Art of Helping. Step 3 and 4

Step 3: This is the seccret in the entire Art og Helping

This is the key which opens locked doors. A person trying to help another person may feel completely helpless if this key is not found. When the key is found, the feeling might be experienced as if one has been in a deep forest and at last comes out into what the German Philosopher Martin Heidegger calls in his book Being and Time (1926) for a clearing (German: Lichtung). Even though there are those who discover the ket, the key remains a secert asn is not accessible through direct theoretical knowledge.

Step 4: What the secret is

The secret is having the ability of finding the other person and beginning there. What is this secret? The secert lies in the fact that knowing is not the same as doing. Learing the theoretical aspects of helping others is an important foundation, but being able to realize this knowledge involves a form of insight that is practical, a practical form of knowledge. All theory relating to practical knowledge must be indirect. This can be illustrated by how a child learns to ride a bicycle. The child does not learn to ride a bicycle by reading a book or be told by others how bicycling is done. Reading a book about how to ride a bicycle or being told about it, will only help indirectly. How the child learns to ride a bicycle is a secret and can only be learned by doing it. Aristotles divided in his book Nicomachean Ethics (Book VI, Chapter 2-6) knowledge into five categories: episteme (scientific knowledge); techne (art); phronesis (practical knowledge); sofia (philosophical wisdom); and nous (intuition).  Practical knowledge is different from other forms of knowledge. Aristotles writes that practical knowledge, which Kierkegaard has called the secret in the Art of Helping, the following:

Thus in general the man who is capable of deliberating has practical knowledge...Practical knowledge, then, must be a reasoned and true state of capacity to act with regard to human goods...knowledge, combined with comprehension...Practical concerned with humans and things about which it is possible to deliberate; for we say this is above all the work of the man of practical knowledge, to deliberate well...The man who is with the qualification of deliberating, is the man who is capable of aiming in accordance with calculation at the best for man of things attainable by action...This is why some who do not know, but who have experience, are more practical than those whow know...Practical knowledge is concerned with action...Practical knowledge is not knowledge...It is opposed, then, to comprehension; for comprehension is of the definitions, for which no reason can be given, which can be given, while practical knowledge is concerned with the ulitmate particular, which is the object not of knowledge but of preception (Nicomachean Ethics, p.1800-1802).

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