« All Events

International Conference on Therapeutic Philosophy in Global Perspectives

January 13, 2025 @ 8:00 am - January 17, 2025 @ 5:00 pm

General Concept :

The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (1889-1951) famously observed that “there is not a single philosophical method, though there are indeed methods, different therapies, as it were. (Philosophical Investigations, 133d).” According to him, philosophical problems are misconceptions or misperceptions which can potentially be dissolved through a philosophically guided therapy. Beyond Wittgenstein,  the conceptions of ‘philosophy as therapy’ or ‘philosophical therapy’ present an understanding of philosophy which can unproblematically be said to go back to Socrates himself, to have been broadly shared with varying emphasis among most ancient authors, and to have continued to reappear in new forms till this day, perpetuated through the writings of such famous philosophers as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900), for example, not to mention the scholars of Psychology who continuously found inspiration in philosophy, beginning with Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) himself . The idea of philosophical therapy, as an interpretive approach to literature and a practical course of self-transformation, connects a wide range of traditions (‘Western’ and Global) through a holistic hermeneutic preoccupied with the interdependence of theoretical investigation and practical therapeutics.

Though most ancient, this ‘therapeutic’ tradition has either been altogether ignored or more or less directly rejected by the mainstream Anglophone philosophical tradition, which generally finds the project ‘unpromising’ or understands it as a ‘comparison’ or ‘analogy’ that should not be carried too far. The Manipal Centre for Therapeutic Philosophy (MCTP) disagrees with this interpretation and seeks to promote the therapeutic paradigm of philosophy beyond the European continental borders in which it is usually confined. Along with the notion of ‘philosophy as therapy,’ the representations of ‘philosophy as a way of life,’ a ‘spiritual exercise,’ or as a ‘technology of the self,’ borrowed from the French classicist Pierre Hadot (1922-2010) and the French philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984), recently found their way into the academic study of Indian and world philosophy. At the MCTP, our aim is to enrich these initial forays with a non-exclusive but prevalent involvement with the philosophical traditions of India which have long embraced philosophical practice as part and parcels of their various transformative projects. Our theoretical focus revolves around the idea that philosophy is not merely an abstract professional discipline but a practical source of inspiration for transforming life for the better. We recognize that the therapeutic project of philosophy transcends the parochial EastWest frontiers and seek to promote this awareness globally with the present international conference.

The first International Conference on Therapeutic Philosophy in Global Perspectives, organized in cooperation with the Institut für Philosophie of the University of Hildesheim and the Munich School of Philosophy is meant to mark the inauguration of the MCTP and to become a biennial event for international scholars and practitioners of philosophy to meet, reflect on, and practice their discipline in a combined heuristic, theoretical, and hands-on manner. Presenters are invited to discuss or practice their chosen philosophical approach within a therapeutic perspective. The more diverse, the merrier is the gathering. Participants can choose to either lead a practical workshop on a philosophical theme, propose a discussion panel on a philosophical topic of therapeutic relevance, or engage theoretically with a related philosophical thematic. We suggest four broad areas in which attendees can intervene, yet the list is meant to be heuristic and not exclusive. Following the conference meeting, presenters will be invited to submit their papers or a philosophical reflection on their contribution at the conference for publication in an edited peer-reviewed volume.

Call for papers:

Interested candidates are invited to submit a tentative title and 250-500 words abstract detailing their communication (panel, lecture, or workshop).

The allotted time for each presentation will depend on the nature of the contribution. However, the general idea of the conference is to allow enough time for the contributors to interact with the participants, hence a one hour block, including discussion, will generally be allocated to selected candidates.

Practical workshops may be allowed to take up to one and half hour, to allow enough time for the performance and subsequent reflection. Selected sessions will be reserved for PhD candidates, for a maximum of 20 minutes per presentation, including the discussion period.

The subject of presentations may be selected from the four main categories below.

 Metaphilosophical Approaches to Philosophical Therapy
–        Philosophy as a Way of Life
–        The Philosophical Treatment and its Techniques
–        The Philosophical Ideal of Health: Positive and Negative
–        The Diseases Addressed by Philosophical Therapy
–        Philosophical Therapy in the Work of Different Philosophers
–        Philosophical Therapy as an Interdisciplinary Project
–        The Significance of Philosophy in Psychology and Vice Versa
–        The Role of Knowledge in Well-Being
 Philosophical Therapy and Culture
–        A Critique of the Therapeutic Obsession
–        Self-Help and Wellbeing Culture Critique from a Philosophical Perspective
–        Therapeutic Decoding and Criticizing of the Philosophical in Popular Culture
–        Inwardness, the Consequences of its Demise, and its Means of Cultivation
–        Aesthetics and Therapy
–        The Notion of Cure, Healing, and Therapy from a Philosophical Perspective
–        Self-Cultivation in Contrast to Self-Optimization
–        Multicultural Dimensions of the Therapeutic
Philosophical Therapy in Theory
–        Philosophical Counseling: Theory
–        Trauma and its Philosophical Approach
–        Mind and Body Relation in Philosophy
–        World-Affirming vs World-Negating Therapies
–        Theorizing Spiritual Exercises and The Care of the Self
–        Questioning the Physician-Patient and/or Guru-Disciple Relationship
–        Therapeutic Philosophy in Academic Context
Philosophical Therapy in Practice
–        Philosophical Counseling: Practice (i.e. Public One on One, or Group Sessions)
–        Philosophical Group Workshop (for Children, Adult Public, Private Sector)
–        Practical Philosophical Approach to Trauma
–        Hands-on Spiritual Exercise and Care of the Self
–        Philosophical Café Sessions: Dialogical Circles
–        Deep Questioning (i.e. J. Krishnamurti, etc.)
–        Peripatetic Practice (Philosophical Walks, Hikes, Excursions)


Cultural Boon:

Contributors will be invited to participate in daily cultural outings unveiling the philosophical and religious diversity of the region, alongside its beaches, with an optional morning     yoga session setting the ‘practical’ tone of the conference.


Different housing options can be considered within or outside campus, depending on individual budgets (ranging from 1000 to 6000 Indian Rupees a night for a single room).


For submission, registration, and information: tpgp2025@gmail.com

Confererce Organisers:

• Prof. Dr. Karl-Stéphan Bouthillette
Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Department of Philosophy, Main Coordinator of the Manipal Centre for Therapeutic Philosophy
• Prof. Dr. Shwetha T. S.
Associate Professor & Head, Department of Clinical Psychology, MCHP, MAHE
 • Prof. Dr. Rolf Elberfeld
University of Hildesheim, Institut für Philosophie, Head of DFG Project: Philosophizing in a globalized World. Historical and Systematic Perspectives
 •Dr. Krisha Kops:
 Munich School of Philosophy, Research Associate


About the Manipal Centre for Therapeutic Philosophy (MCTP)

A groundbreaking institution, the Manipal Centre for Therapeutic Philosophy (MCTP) is dedicated to exploring therapeutic philosophies from a global perspective, with a particular emphasis on the transformative principles of Indian philosophy. It aims to foster a deeper understanding of the human experience and promote holistic well-being through the integration of philosophical concepts into therapeutic practices. The theoretical focus of the MCTP revolves around the idea that philosophy is not just an abstract professional discipline but a practical source of inspiration for transforming life for the better. The centre aims to explore how philosophical practice can be therapeutically integrated into everyday routine, to guide individuals in their self-reflection, personal growth, and general well-being, in the private sphere and in society. In order to train the next generation of engaged thinkers able to act as mediators between the abstract discipline of professional philosophy and the concrete existential problems of the general public, the centre engages students in the hermeneutics of Indian and world philosophical literature, trains them in ‘one to one’ philosophical consultation on real world problems, and involves them in designing philosophical workshops catering for the conceptual and analytical needs of the general public and the private sector.


January 13, 2025 @ 8:00 am
January 17, 2025 @ 5:00 pm
Event Tags:
, , , , ,


Deaprtment of Philosophy, Manipal University
+91 74117 47070


Manipal Academy of Higher Education
Tiger Circle Road, Madhav Nagar
Manipal, Karnataka 576104 India
+ Google Map
+91 74117 47070