Day 125: Philosophy in prison

When Damon Horowitz tried to teach Tony, an inmate in San Quentin, about ethics his new student was unimpressed. What, he asked, could a college philosophy lecturer teach a convicted murderer about right and wrong. In this TED talk, Horowitz paints the beauty of watching an inmate learn about philosophy.
Horowitz begins by asking the difference between right and wrong. What makes something wrong? If we disagree on it, which of us is wrong?
The project of philosophy begins in wonder; what Kant calls, ‘admiration and awe at the starry sky above and the moral law within.’
Tony learnt about his Descartes, his Nietzsche, his Plato and his Socrates. He begins to question Horowitz until they speak as two men ready to do philosophy rather than as felon and teacher.
Philosophy holds that thoughtlessness is the enemy. Socrates, a man who died in prison, described the need for an examined life. When he died his philosophy was intact.


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