"Where we are tempted to speak of 'different senses' of a word which is clearly not equivocal, we may infer that we are in fact pretty much in the dark about the character of the concept which it represents."

— G.E.M Anscombe, Intention

What is the difference between philosophical practice and applied philosophy?

Philosophical practice is the practice of engaging in argument, critical reasoning and conceptual analysis about one's own thought. Applied philosophy is the different enterprise of applying philosophical theories to problems of various sorts. Suppose, for example, a person is troubled about how to act well by their aging parents — how to navigate the conflict between respect for dignity and concern for safety. A philosophical practitioner would address the issue by investigating that person's thoughts about the concepts and principles that give the problem its shape. A proponent of applied philosophy would address this issue by discussing what some theory — an Aristotelian, or an Existentialist, or a Kantian, or a Buddhist theory perhaps — would say about the issue. For the former, the question is, "What do you think about the nature of dignity? And why?" For the latter, it is, "How would a utilitarian (for example) solve this problem?" Applied philosophy does not investigate whether the theories it applies are true or false, muddled or clear, coherent or otherwise. Its results, therefore, are of uncertain philosophical interest; their claims to truth rest largely on the authority of the theory. In philosophical practice, by contrast, one important goal is to avoid arguments from authority entirely