The Philosophical Consultant's Job

Carolyn Ray

Carolyn Ray Ph.D., is a philosophical consultant specializing in ethical and logical analysis for individuals and businesses.

Areas of special interest include business issues (public relations, advertizing, functional product design, workplace desing/analysis, employee/employer relations and conflicts); personal morality issues (education, procreation, child/guardian conflicts, abortion, contraception, sexual relationships, friendships, career paths, relationship dissolution).

Philosophy is the most ancient of disciplines. The findings and current beliefs of philosophers influence all areas of human life, from science to family life to recreation. But most people are not aware of this influence, taking for granted large bodies of philosophical belief about right and wrong, good and bad, true and false. Problems arise when a person's own philosophical beliefs and their application to everyday decision-making are not well-understood. A philosophical consultant's job is to help the client come to a more conscious, deliberate understanding of his or her own system of beliefs to enable more knowledgeable, efficient, and peaceful navigation through all of life's challenges. In some cases, it becomes clear to the client that some belief changes are required; the philosopher is there to help with this more abstract process, by providing empirical data and discussing the reasoning for and against the change.

Consulting takes one or more of several forms. Some writing is usually involved, at least on the philosopher's part; if he or she is so inclined, the client may be provided with writing assignments, which can then be closely analyzed in consultation.

Dr. Ray is owner, editor, and programmer of The Enlightenment Website, a public community service provided free of charge to internet users. Enlightenment is home of a growing collection of philosophical and philosophically-aware written works, including several of Dr. Ray's academic as well as consultation-oriented discussions. For examples of the kinds of issues that have inspired clients to seek professional philosophical consulting, and the analysis of those issues, please see Carolyn Ray's author page. Her most popular essay, "The Shame of Not Wanting Children" explores the enormous pressure and condemnation faced by people who are considering remaining childless. The essay analyzes various strategies, most in the form of direct quotations, designed to convince others to have children despite their lack of interest, financial means, or psychological preparedenss.

Personal Issue Resolution

The type of personal issues that typically drive people to seek professional philosophical analysis include career choices or indecision, educational decisions, interpersonal disputes, questions about family planning, and other complex personal decisions. Please visit the web sites for specific examples.

Technical Consulting

Dr. Ray is also available for consultation on projects requiring advanced technical knowledge of philosophy and its implications for other disciplines. She has provided technical consultation in the professional work of physicists, mathematicians, business consultants, astrophysicists, linguists, attorneys, psychologists, architects, nurses, teachers, musicians, optometrists, medical doctors, visual artists, poets, novelists, screen writers, computer programmers, high-level project managers, business owners, contractors, landscapers, environmental activists, and undergraduate and graduate students in various fields, as well as to other philosophers.

Corporate Consulting

Peace of Mind provides consulting at the management and personnel level as well as company-wide assistance to employees. Examples of common issues that fall under the province of logical and ethical analysis include dispute resolution at and between all levels of personnel; out-of-court intercorporate dispute adjudication; the creation of livable employee rules that make the workplace better rather than inspiring rebellion; advertising and public relations campaigns that reflect the corporation's activities without contradicting the true nature of profitable enterprise; on-site analysis of probably causes of low productivity or high employee turnover. Peace of Mind consults privately with corporate personnel as well as with third-party consultants. Please contact Dr. Ray to discuss the range of options for corporations.

Information for Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Related Health Care Therapists: Philosophical Consulting in Conjunction with Psychological Treatment

A philosophical consultant can work with health care professionals to provide clients with a more integrated approach to their lives. Emotional difficulties not only cause but can be compounded by difficult decisions in the face of overwhelming masses of information and confusing choice possibilities. Because a health care patient is frequently unaware of his or her own philosophical convictions, or may have contradictory or false convictions, the psychological treatment and healing process is often not enough to facilitate decision-making and clear thinking about important issues. Strength of conviction is, in itself, a circumstance that contributes to a sense of self-efficacy and self-esteem. Philosophical problems are not psychological problems; they can arise even for people in the best of health. Therefore, health care patients can benefit from philosophical consultation. In some cases, the process of psychological mending can be facilitated when treatment is augmented by philosophical analysis. Recuperating patients can benefit from simultaneous or subsequent consultation.

Special Assistance

You may qualify for sliding scale fee adjustment if you are a student or are experiencing serious financial difficulties. Please write to carolyn AT supersaturated DOT com for consideration.

Carolyn Ray has been providing consultation to individuals, couples, and groups since 1986. Her private practice, Peace of Mind, is located in La Jolla, CA. She is available by appointment in person as well as by phone and via the internet. Please email carolyn AT supersaturated DOT com to make an appointment.