50 Questions for Mastering the Art of Philosophical Midwifery:

By Pierre Grimes, Ph. D.

The following questions are challenges to both the philosophical community and the wider intellectual community and can be considered as central to a mode of philosophical counseling called philosophical midwifery.

  • 1. Does a study of Philosophical Midwifery provide sufficient evidence and argument that it is a mode or kind of philosophical counseling?
  • 2. What reasoning supports the claim that Philosophical Midwifery is an adaptation of Socratic midwifery?
  • 3. Has Philosophical Midwifery outlined the set of questions that are utilized in their explorations with sufficient precision to be adapted to meet the unique conditions of each of their subjects?
  • 4. Has Philosophical Midwifery identified a new kind of human problem that surface when subjects pursue their most personally meaningful and spiritual goals?
  • 5. Has the identification of this new kind of human problem justified being labeled a pathologos, that is, a false belief about the nature of the self and reality?
  • 6. Has Philosophical Midwifery set out the members of the class of beliefs with sufficient precision to justify including the pathologos as one of its members of that class?
  • 7a. Is the method of philosophical midwifery a non-interpretative method for exploring and resolving a class of human problems?
  • 7b. Is the method called philosophical midwifery entirely free of all psychological procedures and free of all psychological language and interpretations, so that it can be claimed to be a non-interpretative rational philosophical method?
  • 8a. Is there a psychological validation study of this method that can demonstrate the claim that the indicated method of philosophical midwifery is in fact being employed and can achieve its specified outcome?
  • 8b. Was that validation method accurately described as following scientific principles and supported by accepted psychological measures and procedures?
  • 8c. Did the validation report use two PM explorations that included careful analysis that identified supporting themes of the pathologos?
  • 9. Is there evidence that philosophical midwifery is a purely rational approach which reaches significant levels of human behavior that are causative of a kind of human problems not previously recognized by the social sciences?
  • 10. Is there a method of counseling, philosophical midwifery, which proceeds to find the roots of human problems in learned beliefs and not in emotional traumatic causes?
  • 11. Is there a philosophy that claims that the root of man’s problems are beliefs that are not recognized and so are unsuspected causes that otherwise escape notice?
  • 12. Does philosophical midwifery require an insight into “relations are constant, terms may vary” for its study of the pathologos, dreams and daydreams?
  • 13. Is Philosophical Midwifery consistent with Plato’s claim in his Republic that is through dreams that one can reach a knowledge of oneself, of one’s past, present, and future?
  • 14. Is there evidence that this approach to human problems can assist those seeking more profound states of mind and can even uncover unsuspected profound states of enlightenment?
  • 15. Is philosophical midwifery a departure from the direction and tradition of European philosophy which returns it to the classic Platonic vision of philosophy?
  • 16. Is it likely that the practice of philosophical midwifery will be received more favorably by those who appreciate that it presupposes exploring more deeply into the Platonic tradition than those not familiar with the Platonic tradition?
  • 17. Does this model, method, and practice of philosophical midwifery signify and demonstrate the need to label this approach the philosophical study of the soul or mind?
  • 18. Is this model and method entirely consistent with the scientific method?
  • 19. Does philosophical midwifery meet Thomas Kahn’s conditions for being a new paradigm?
  • 20. And, does it include a mathematical model called Clifford’s parallels that can represent the dynamics of a class of human problems?
  • 21. Can the dynamics of the human problems called pathologos problems be represented in terms of hyperspace models?
  • 22. Are the essential ideas of philosophical midwifery capable be being presented in terms consistent with an algorithmic formulation?
  • 23. Has the idea of the pathologos as a “psychic parasite” met the conditions of Poundstone’s attributes of Life?
  • 24. Has the question that Roger Penrose raises, of whether or not understanding can be said to play a significant role in entities that function algorithmically and without understanding actual meaning of the individual symbols, be discussed and answered in terms of the pathologos?
  • 25. Has Edward Lorenz’ discovery that behind natural events that exhibit randomness there is a rational structure masquerading as randomness coincide with include the findings of Philosophical Midwifery’s study of the pathologos?
  • 26. Does the idea of the pathologos fit Chaos Theory of “the Aftrractor” and “phase transition?
  • 27. Does the pattern and function of the pathologos meet the condition of Mandlebrot’s self similarity since “symmetry across the scale implies recursion, pattern inside pattern?”
  • 28. Can Philosophical Midwifery’s exploration of the pathologos be identified as belonging to the phenomena studied in Chaos Theory since, as Ivan Peterson’s Newton’s Clock-Chaos in the Solar System, has demonstrated that what had been regarded as irrational and erratic behavior could be understood as the result of simple rules operating on a deeper level of dynamic systems?
  • 29. Can the maladaptive features of the pathologos can be understood as another Complex Adaptive System, as M. Gell-Mann has stated it, “the common reason why maladaptive features arise from a process of adaptation is that time scales are mismatched?
  • 30. Is the idea of the pathologos consistent with Bruce Lipton’s The Biology of Belief?
  • 31. If the complex pathologos problems are presented in algorithmic terms can they be simulated or described such that they are machine-independent; for if so it “suggest that it captures a really existing quality of the system, and not merely a function of the way we choose to describe it”, as Paul Davies has put it?
  • 32. Is philosophical midwifery consistent with and does it offer a possible solution to the problem Huston Smith identifies in his “Beyond the Post Modern Mind” in going beyond the Western Mind Set, as he calls it?
  • 33. Does this model, method, and practice spring entirely from American shores and deserve to be labeled a new direction in philosophy, and can the author can be said to be the founder of the philosophical counseling movement?
  • 34. Have papers been read and demonstrations of this model, method, and practice been given at national and international conferences for peer review?
  • 35. Is there sufficient evidence in the form of DVD’s, CD’s, and books to conclude that this model and method of philosophical midwifery can be learned and is being practiced successfully?
  • 36. Is there a web based program currently being offered to teach this method called the Academy of Platonic Studies?
  • 37. Is there a model of reasoning based upon the way people function that can be identified as a new way of reasoning in philosophical counseling?
  • 38. Since pathologos problems are transmitted through each generation, is the nature of each problem is a particular variation of an idea that has its roots in each tradition or culture?
  • 39a. Is there sufficient basis for advancing the thesis that the transmission of the pathologos has a bonding effect of the family, clan, or tradition?
  • 39b. Does the transmission of the pathologos reveal that vice is a product of the appearance of virtue?
  • 40. Is the transmission of the pathologos based upon the imitation of what appears to the personification of goodness, or virtue, by those who pass on the pathologos?
  • 41. Is the controlling dynamic at the root of all manifestations of the pathologos the idea of likeness?
  • 42. Are the fundamental ideas of likeness, imitation, and goodness the root cause of all pathologos problems?
  • 43. Are the ethical implications of the practice of PMW contingent upon the thesis that “the appearance of virtue is the cause of vice”?
  • 44. Does the evidence set forth from numerous PMW explorations give support for the exploration of the Proclus’ idea of providence found in his Commentary of Plato’s Parmenides as “a goodness that proceeds prior to the intelligence”?
  • 45. Are there discussions today that are using the ideas of Philosophical Midwifery to challenge what are perceived as negative cultural beliefs of a nation?
  • 46. Can the claim be supported that the principles of philosophical midwifery are in evidence in the drama of Achilles in Homer’s Iliad?
  • 47. Is there evidence that those in the Platonic tradition had perceived that Plato had been employing a philosophical midwifery in his dialogue, the Parmenides?
  • 48. Are there available DVDs of the entire 5 day Esalen Institute workshops of Philosophical Midwifery that demonstrate the method and procedures of philosophical midwifery with some 20 subjects?
  • 49. Do the Esalen workshop DVDs show evidence of major breakthroughs and fundamental insights into subjects problems and that opened them up to more profound mindful experiences?
  • 50a. Does Pierre Grimes work, “Is it All Relative” follow along the lines of Plato’s Theatetus?
  • 50b. Is there also exploration of the principles of analogy, with examples from Plato and their implications for the study of the New Testament?

The answers to these questions can be found in:

  • Philosophical Midwifery: a new Paradigm for Understanding Human Problems
  • Five Dialogues by Pierre Grimes
  • Philosophical Perspective “articles” of Pierre Grimes
  • Is it all Relative by Pierre Grimes
  • Thomas Taylor’s translation of Proclus ‘ Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides, from Prometheus Press.

Leave a Reply