What We Do
We have set up the following initiatives in lockdown
Our volunteers have made a series of videos introducing different philosophical topics: Virtual Reality, Time, Immortality, Money and Normality. Each is introduced in ways that make the puzzle on which they focus accessible and interesting to those without a philosophical background; for each topic there is a first video and a follow-up. These are available directly from us, either by electronic download or by DVD; please email us if you would like to receive them.
We are recording short stories which have philosophical impact. Each story lasts about 10 minutes; and they are accompanied by question sheets. They can be sent out either by electronic download or by CD. Please contact us if you would like to receive them.
A (growing) list of movies that illustrate philosophical problems, with a few focussed questions for each movie. Available from us or for download from the Prison Learning Alliance In-Cell Activity Hub, here.
These are single pages, each introducing a philosophical puzzle in ways to catch attention, and designed to be delivered singly, for example in in cell learning packs. They are available directly from us, or for download from the Prison Learning Alliance In-Cell Activity Hub, here. We are very grateful to the Prison Learning Alliance and the Prisoners’ Education trust for their support.
We Also Set Up Courses
Individual stand-alone courses over 10 weeks, one session a week. These courses are especially appropriate to prisons where the population is relatively stable. They are run by young and able philosophers, who devise the courses themselves, advised and monitored by us: normally each course is run by two or three people. These courses can be adapted to the population of particular prisons: for example, focussing on some problems in feminist philosophy for women’s prisons; or focussing on questions of identity and meaning for sex offenders.
Short courses over three weeks, one session a week. These courses are suitable especially for prisons with high mobility but can also serve as introductions to philosophy where a long course is planned subsequently. They focus on a particular problem (such as personal identity) with the aim of sparking an interest in this kind of work. They may work as a particular project (resulting, for example, in the collective development of an argument and counter-arguments) or more generally as an introduction to philosophical thinking.
Philosophy Clubs. These are single sessions, run on a regular basis – monthly or bi-monthly –on a particular topic, suitable as introductions in prisons which are considering the possibility of inviting a longer course; or as continuity in prisons where a course has already been run, and possibly to bridge the gap between one course and the next. Again, these are normally run by young and able philosophers, who devise the sessions themselves, advised and monitored by us; but occasionally they may involve senior philosophers to address some particular topic.