José Barrientos Rastrojo (Spain)


José Barrientos Rastrojo (Spain) - Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, University of Seville

Philosophical Practice in Prison: BOECIO Project or Enlarging Philosophy by means of experiential workshops with belittled people (Lecture) 

Presentation Language: English

BOECIO is the first Research Empirical Project funded by the European Union and based on more than 1,000 philosophical and experiential workshops performed in European and American countries. BOECIO is grounded on three pillars: (1) to accomplish an empirical research on the efficacy of Philosophical Practice, (2) to work on empirical workshops and (3) to work with people at risk of social exclusion (inmates). First, the empirical research is built on a sample of more than 600 inmates (from American and European prisons) and more than 1,000 philosophical workshops. Second, workshops are founded on the idea that to attend a philosophical session is similar to visit in a gym. Therefore, we need to train (ascesis) by means of several philosophical exercises. BOECIO contains 22 sessions that explain and train in those practical and theoretical routines. Third, Philosophy has despised several kinds of people for a long time, for example, women, inmates, children, indigenous and so on. We just need to read who wrote main philosophical treatises or where it is taught philosophy. The recipient of philosophy (and philosophical practice) has been a well off person: students from colleges and universities or from schools with students coming from medium-high income families (despite there are some exceptions as Excallibur project by Feary). This situation can turn PP in a field for well-off people, it can make invisible some people and, at the end of the day, it can be part of the affluent system. Therefore, a critical thinking approach or a problem-solving approach is a risk for a 'normalizer' Philosophical Practice but a PP develops with prosperous counselees could be defending the same role for Philosophical Practice. BOECIO works with inmates people and DIÓGENES is a second project who works with poor elders and kids (in America and Europe). Our proposal aims to explain how we are articulating both projects. Furthermore, it will explain that those projects are a critical stance against systematized philosophies in Capitalism.