Teaching Philosophy in Prison

Next month, I will teach a class for inmates in the DC jail as part of the JCI Prison Scholars Program. I’ll most definitely plan to write about the class. Here is the syllabus for the course.

Key Themes in Social and Political Thought
JCI Prison Scholars Program, May – July 2018

In this course, we will explore key themes in social and political thought by reading and critically analyzing philosophical texts that have shaped our world and that inform our ideas of justice, truth and social change. The course will combine lecture with group discussion to arrive at a shared understanding of the key themes under consideration.

Photo provided by JCI Scholars Program (http://www.prisonscholarsprogram.com)

Week 1: May 24 – 31
Reason, Justice and the Ideal Society
Readings: Plato’s Republic: “The Allegory of the Cave,” Chapter 6: “The Noble Lie” and the “Ship of Fools.”

Week 2: June 7
Tragedy and the Limits of Truth in Society
Readings: Plato’s The Trial and Death of Socrates and Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex (excerpts)

Week 3: June 14
The Social Contract: Hobbes and Rousseau
Readings: Hobbes, Leviathan (excerpts) and Rousseau, The Social Contract (excerpts)

Week 4 and 5: June 21 – 28
Reason and Revolution in Modern Society
Readings: Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 (excerpts), Theses on Feuerbach and Foucault, Madness and Civilization (excerpts)

Week 6: July 5
Concluding Remarks and Presentations

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