Saturday, 1 January 2022

The Insanity Defence. And Competency to Stand Trial. Jeffrey Schaler and Richard Vatz conduct Inner Circle Seminar 279 (3 July 2022)


The Insanity Defence

And Competency To Stand Trial

Jeffrey Schaler    Richard Vatz


Inner Circle Seminar No. 279

introduced by Anthony Stadlen

Sunday 3 July 2022

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Jeffrey Schaler
Richard Vatz

Jeffrey A. Schaler is an existential psychoanalyst in private practice since 1975; former Professor of Justice, Law, and Society at American University; author of Addiction is a Choice (2000); editor of Szasz under Fire: The Psychiatric Abolitionist Faces his Critics (2004), and co-editor of Thomas S. Szasz: The Man and His Ideas (2017). He produced and owns www.szasz.comHis website is He received the Thomas S. Szasz Award in 1999 and the Thomas Szasz Award of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights in 2002. Professor Schaler conducted Inner Circle Seminar No. 132, Addiction is a Choice, on 12 October 2008, one of the best attended of all the Inner Circle Seminars so far. He co-conducted Inner Circle Seminar No. 188, Thomas Szasz: In Memoriam, on 3 March 2013; Inner Circle Seminar No. 234, Thomas Szasz: 65 Years of Writing: 1947-2012, on 12 March 2017; and Inner Circle Seminar No. 258, The Myth of Thomas Szasz, on 14 June 2020.

Richard Vatz is tenured full Professor of Rhetoric and Communication at Towson University wherein he has served for 45 years. He received the Thomas S. Szasz Award in 1993. He received many awards from Towson University. He is co-author of Thomas Szasz: Primary Values and Major Contentions (1983), co-editor of Thomas S. Szasz: The Man and His Ideas (2017), and author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion: the Agenda-Spin Model (new edition, 2019)He has published hundreds of articles, reviews and blogs. Professor Vatz co-conducted Inner Circle Seminar No. 258, The Myth of Thomas Szasz, on 14 June 2020.
This will be an online seminar, using Zoom.

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £140, others £175, some bursaries; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 7809 433250

For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

Heidegger’s Early ‘Worlds’ and ‘Being-in-the-World’. Inner Circle Seminar 276 (8 May 2022)

Heideggers Early ‘Worlds
and Being-in-the-World

Early Freiburg Lectures (1919-25)
The ‘self-world’ and other ‘worlds’
Why did Heidegger propose and then give up his three-‘worlds’ theory?
A revaluation 100 years on

Anthony Stadlen
Inner Circle Seminar No. 276
Sunday 8 May 2022
10 a.m to 5 p.m.

Martin Heidegger

Martin Heidegger

Martin Heidegger
at the well by his hut above Todtnauberg

In the 1940s, the psychiatrist Ludwig Binswanger described many idiosyncratic ‘worlds’ of his patients, such as ‘Ellen West’. The ‘swamp world’, the ‘tomb world’, and the ‘aetherial world’ seem to have been good phenomenological descriptions of Ellen’s actual experience. Binswanger also, only for a short time, tentatively proposed a relatively constant interrelated triad of ‘worlds’ supposedly of more general application, though explicitly not meant to be exhaustive: ‘Umwelt’ (‘around-world’), ‘Mitwelt’ (‘with-world’), ‘Eigenwelt’ (‘own world’).
Half a century on, the existential therapist Emmy van Deurzen added a fourth: the ‘Überwelt’ (‘over-world’).
These four ‘worlds’, or dimensions’, have been taught in training institutes, and regarded as an important part of existential therapy, at least in London, for more than thirty years. Trainee therapists say they have found them helpful. But do they really make sense? Is the therapist who uses them to classify a clients experience a better therapist? Do they not entail an arbitrary fragmentation? How is it that, for example, personal relationships are assigned in one book to the Eigenwelt’ and in another book by the same author to the Mitwelt’? How could such relationships be restricted to one or other such partial world’ or dimensionrather than by their very nature embodying an implicit shared search for wholeness that always already precedes and transcends such fragmentation into worlds?
As it happens, a hundred years ago, in the early 1920s, decades before Binswanger and van Deurzen proposed their three- and four-world schemes, Martin Heidegger had already, in a number of lecture courses, proposed a triad like Binswanger’s, also with Umwelt’ (‘around-world’) and Mitwelt’ (‘with-world’), but with ‘Selbstwelt’ (‘self-world’) rather than ‘Eigenwelt’ (‘own world’).
But Heidegger, only a few years later, denounced his own triad of worlds’ as misconceived.
This was in 1925, even before he had published Being and Time (1927). It was decades before first Binswanger and then van Deurzen proposed their sets of worlds. Neither of them could have been expected to mention Heideggers earlier proposal and retraction in lectures of his three-world’ scheme, only published towards the end of the twentieth century.
Today we shall explore Heidegger’s reasons for this early turn in his thinking.
Heidegger, like Sigmund Freud, used such colloquial, unobjectionable, rough- and-ready terms as the ‘work-world’, the ‘classical world’, the ‘dream-world’, the ‘wish-world’. Heidegger’s threefold world-scheme was meant to be more systematic. However, in his 1925 summer term Marburg University lecture course, Prolegomena zur Geschichte des Zeitbegriffs (GA20, S. 333) [History of the Concept of Time: Prolegomena (1992, p. 242)], Heidegger renounced his own threefold system of ‘Umwelt’, ‘Mitwelt’, and ‘Selbstwelt’ as ‘grundfalsch’ (‘fundamentally false’).
He went on to write in Sein und Zeit (1927, S. 118) [Being and Time (1962, p. 155)]: ‘The world of Dasein is Mitwelt.’
So he retains Mitwelt’, but not as a component of a triadic system. Our Mitwelt, as he now conceives it, is not merely one ‘world’, or one ‘dimension’, among others, of being human. Being-in-the-world-with-others is what being human is.
Furthermore, the early ‘existential’ and ‘phenomenological’ psychiatrists and psychologists, especially the Wengen Circle (Ludwig Binswanger, Viktor Emil von Gebsattel, Eugène Minkowski, Erwin Straus), wrote about ‘the world of the compulsive’, ‘the world of the, schizophrenic’, and so on: the ‘worlds’ of those whom psychiatrists traditionally classified as ‘degenerate’, not like ‘us’. Even these ‘existential’ therapists who today discard psychiatric diagnoses often claim that they are helping the client explore ‘their world’. Again, this may be helpful if it is a stage on the way to acknowledgement, by therapist and client, of what Heidegger called our ‘being-in-the-world’ [‘in-der-Welt-sein’]: the one world we all share. But this is often unclear.
It was already Freud’s revolutionary innovation to regard his ‘hysterical’ patients, such as ‘Frau Cäcilie M.’, not as ‘degenerate,’ as did many of his contemporaries, but as sharing with the rest of us the one world in which we live and move and have our being.
In this respect, were not Freud and Heidegger more advanced than some existential therapists today?
Some of Heidegger’s own writings, as well as certain daseinsanalytic texts by Medard Boss and Gion Condrau, argued, before van Deurzen proposed it, against the idea of anything like an ‘Überwelt’, which suggests a quasi-schizoid split-off world of ‘meaning’ and spirituality’ rather than our one, shared world, always already illumined by meaning and spirit.
In any case, if Überwelt, why not also Unterwelt’ (underworld), as documented from ancient mythology, through Dante, to Freud and Jung? Would it be part of the Eigenwelt’, or of the newly defined Überwelt’, or would it be a fifth Welt in its own right?
And does Heideggers later vision of the Geviert’ (Fourfold’) of earth, sky, mortals and gods, itself questionable, really justify or confirm, as van Deurzen hints, his long-abandoned three-worlds scheme and its augmentation with an Überwelt’?
We shall explore these questions today. We shall try in particular to clarify the logic by which Heidegger came to renounce his own three-worlds theory.
Your contribution to the discussion will be warmly welcomed.

This will be an online seminar, using Zoom.

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £140, others £175, some bursaries; payable in advance; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 7809 433250

For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

Kierkegaard 16 October 1843 and beyond. Texts and contexts. Daniel Conway, Marilyn Piety, et al. conduct Inner Circle Seminars 274, 275, 277, 278, 281, 282 (13 March, 3 April, 29 May, 19 June, 11 September, 2 October 2022)



16 October 1843 and beyond

Fear and Trembling
Upbuilding Discourses
Philosophical Fragments
The Concept of Anxiety

Texts and contexts

Daniel Conway, Marilyn Piety, et al.
Inner Circle Seminars Nos. 274, 275, 277, 278, 281, 282
introduced by Anthony Stadlen
13 March, 3 April, 29 May,
19 June, 11 September, 2 October 2022

Søren Kierkegaard and the three books he published on 16 October 1843

Repetition by Constantin Constantius

Fear and Trembling by Johannes de silentio

 Three Upbuilding Discourses by Søren Kierkegaard

Abraham, Isaac, and the angel
(by Rembrandt)
Everyone now seems to be talking about ‘mental health’. But is this the best way of understanding what people are experiencing in this pandemic crisis? Are these not existential, ethical, spiritual, religious problems? But what does ‘existential’ mean? And do not many existential therapists object to the ‘religious’, whatever that means? But do not some existential therapists find religious experience, their own or others’, of fundamental importance? Should not all existential therapists at least understand what their religious clients, or clients who say they have had some religious experience, are talking about?
Existential therapists, whether or not they are aware of this, are implicitly identifying the already existing English word ‘existential’ with the Danish word existentiel’ apparently subsequently coined by Søren Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855). His pseudonym Johannes Climacus introduced it in Concluding Unscientific Postscript to the Philosophical Crumbs (1846), described in its subtitle as An Existential Contributionand containing discussion, for instance, of ‘existential pathos’, to convey thinking with all one’s being, as an ‘existing’ thinker: as opposed to constructing a ‘system’ which, as his pseudonym Anti-Climacus wrote in The Sickness Unto Death (1849), would be like building a house in which one does not live.
Ludwig Feuerbach used the word ‘existence’ in a similar sense, but he wanted to secularise religious thinking, whereas Kierkegaard affirmed authentic religion as irreducible to social ethics (Sædelighed’ in Danish, Sittlichkeit’ in German).
Martin Heidegger translated Kierkegaards ‘existentiel’ into German as existenziell’ but restricted it to what he called the onticfor the ontological he used existenzial’, a word rare in German, though Edmund Husserl had used it in Philosophy as Rigorous Science (1910-11), and Kierkegaard had even on occasion used, perhaps coined, a Danish word existential’, meaning for him the same as existentiel’, in his private writings. He is alternatively alleged to have adopted the word(s) after he learned from a conversation with, or about, the Norwegian poet and critic Johann Sebastian Cammermeyer Welhaven that he used the Norwegian existensiell’ in this way. The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge had used existential as an English word and meditated on the nature of existence’ in The Friend as early as 1809, before Kierkegaard was born. The philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling influenced ColeridgeKierkegaard, and Heidegger, and was said by Johann Karl Friedrich Rosenkranz to have termed his own later philosophy, orally, Existenzialphilosophie’; but it is by no means clear that Coleridge's use of existential’ or Kierkegaards use of existentiel' or existential' were themselves directly suggested by, or derived from, SchellingNone of these usages, of course, should be confused with, or reduced to, the bare existential quantifier (there exists an x such that...) in subsequent logic and mathematics.  
Kierkegaard insisted that, whether pseudonymous (‘with the left hand’) or in his own name (‘with the right hand’), his writing was always religious, though he denounced institutionalised religion (such as Danish 19th-century ‘Christendom’) as a perversion of authentic, existential religion. Much writing by ‘existential’ therapists censors (and implicitly censures) Kierkegaard’s always-religious writing at the outset, claiming to find its ‘relevant’, secular-‘existential’ meaning. Ludwig Binswanger secularises The Sickness Unto Death in this way in his ‘The Case of Ellen West. But this is just what Kierkegaard was attacking as a betrayal.
Nowhere is this more explicit than in Fear and Trembling: A Dialectical Lyric by Johannes de silentio, published in Copenhagen on 16 October 1843, together with two other books, Repetition: An Essay in Experimental Psychology by Constantin Constantinus and Three Upbuilding Discourses by Søren Kierkegaard. Our seminars on this extraordinary event in publishing history, its context, and its implications, started on 14 October 2018, celebrating these three books’ hundred and seventy-fifth anniversary.
The author of all three books was Kierkegaard, as he acknowledged in ‘A First and Last Declaration’, the further postscript that he, in his own name, added to Concluding Unscientific Postscript.
We are exploring this astonishing creative incandescence and its aftermath in a subseries of the Inner Circle Seminars, Kierkegaard: 16 October 1843 and beyond’. Our close reading of Fear and Trembling will continue in 2022 with the sixth and seventh seminars on this text, conducted by Professor Daniel Conway and other world authorities. Four more seminars in 2022 will discuss other works by Kierkegaard and his pseudonyms.
Fear and Trembling focusses with terrible intensity on the dialectical tension between Abraham’s love and awe for God and his love for his son Isaac. It is a ‘dialectical lyric’ on the Akedah, the account (Genesis, 22:1-19) of Abraham’s ‘binding’ of Isaac in preparation for a sacrifice prevented only by an angel’s last-minute intervention. The meaning of the Akedah has been debated for millennia by Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and (more recently) atheist thinkers. It is chanted from the Torah scroll in synagogues at the New Year, with great textual precision, though everyone is free to propose his or her own interpretation. In Christianity it is held to prefigure the crucifixion of Jesus. The Qur’an does not name Ibrahim’s son in this narrative, and Islamic scholars have debated whether it was Ishmael or Isaac; today it is held to have been Ishmael; animal sacrifices on Eid al-Adha commemorate Ibrahim’s sacrifice of a ram instead of Ishmael. The Akedah has been the basis of many great works of art, music, drama, and poetry.
Other seminars, conducted by world authorities, including George PattisonMarilyn PietyC. Stephen EvansJerome (Yehuda) Gellman and Mariam al-Attar, have focussed in turn on: the problem of Kierkegaard’s pseudonyms; the two other works (Three Upbuilding Discourses and Repetition) published with Fear and Trembling on 16 October 1843; the interpretations of the Akedah in Kierkegaard and the Hasidic masters; and whether or not some form of ‘divine command theory’ is advocated by Kierkegaard, his pseudonyms, or any or all of the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. (In a dialogue of Plato’s, Euthyphro is confused when Socrates asks him whether the gods love the good because it is good or whether the good is good because the gods love it. Many philosophers have thought that Socrates’s question presents a severe problem for divine command theory, but recently other philosophers have argued that there are forms of this theory not vulnerable to the problem Socrates raises for Euthyphro.)
Kierkegaard insisted in ‘A First and Last Declaration’:
... if it should occur to anyone to want to quote a particular passage from the books, it is my wish, my prayer, that he will do me the kindness of citing the respective pseudonymous author’s name, not mine.
Johannes de silentioJohannes Climacus, and the other pseudonyms are like characters in a drama written by Kierkegaard. He called it ‘indirect communication’, a dialectic of perspectives which invites the reader to work out his or her own point of view. Much commentary on Fear and Trembling and the other pseudonymous works ignores Kierkegaard’s urgent request to respect their pseudonymous nature.
Our exceptional constellation of speakers and seminars on the foundational existential thinker Kierkegaard and the religious and philosophical context in which he wrote is helping existential therapists to reach a deeper understanding of both him and his context.
Here is our sequence of six seminars in 2022:
1. Inner Circle Seminar No. 274
Sunday 13 March 2022
[To be announced.]
2. Inner Circle Seminar No. 275
Sunday 3 April 2022
Professor Daniel Conway will conduct our fifth seminar on the text of Fear and Trembling. He will focus on Problema 3: Was it ethically defensible for Abraham to conceal his undertaking from Sarah, from Eliezer, and from Isaac?
3. Inner Circle Seminar No. 277
Sunday 29 May 2022
[To be announced.]
4. Inner Circle Seminar No. 278
Sunday 19 June 2022
[To be announced.]
5. Inner Circle Seminar No. 281
Sunday 11 September 2022
2 p.m. to 5 p.m.    6 p.m. to 9 p.m.    London time (BST)
Professor Marilyn Gaye Piety will discuss Kierkegaards pseudonym Johannes Climacuss book Philosophical Crumbs (1844), which she has translated into English.
6. Inner Circle Seminar No. 282
Sunday 2 October 2022
[To be announced.]
Evaluations of Kierkegaard differ wildly.
For exam’.ple, Ludwig Wittgenstein, himself a profound thinker of the 20th century, said Kierkegaard was ‘by far the most profound thinker of the last [19th] century’, ‘too deep for me But Ernesto Spinelli, an existential therapist, in 2017 denounced Kierkegaard’s ‘dangerous folly’ in allegedly admiring Abraham’s ‘self-evident lunacy’. This is in line with a long history of clinical-psychiatric thinking: for example, Dr Abraham Myerson in 1945 diagnosed Kierkegaard as ‘a psychiatric case’, and his writing as ‘a schizoid and certainly utterly incomprehensible presentation by a mind which is quite deviate’.
Are these demystifying insights? Or is the existential tradition here degenerating into abject uncomprehending psychiatric reductionism?
Those who have acknowledged indebtedness to, or have struggled with, Søren Kierkegaard include Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, Edvard Munch, Miguel de Unamano, Rainer Maria Rilke, Martin Buber, Theodor Haecker, Ludwig Binswanger, Ferdinand Ebner, Igor Stravinsky, Viktor Emil von Gebsattel, Karl JaspersFranz Kafka, Rudolf Bultmann, György Lukács, Niels Bohr, Karl BarthPaul Tillich, Charles Williams, Franz Rosenzweig, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin HeideggerDietrich von Hildebrand, Emil Brunner, Edith Stein, Mikhail Bakhtin, Jorge Luis Borges, Jean-Paul Sartre, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Hannah ArendtEmmanuel LevinasAbraham Joshua Heschel, W. H. Auden, Maurice BlanchotSimone de Beauvoir, Rollo MayR. S. Thomas, Albert Camus, Emil Fackenheim, Iris Murdoch, Thomas Szasz, Alice von Hildebrand, Aaron Esterson, Paul Feyerabend, Frantz FanonR. D. Laing, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jacques DerridaDavid CooperJohn Updike, David Lodge, Henrik Stangerup, and many others. 
Kierkegaard’s idea of authentic religion differed from everybody else’s. He had contempt for the Danish Church: for ‘Christendom’, as he called it. For him, religion was radically existential, individual. But his vision of the individual was the antithesis of an encapsulated, isolated, unsocial, worldless, reified ‘self’. Rather, as Anti-Climacus put it in The Sickness Unto Death, the ‘self’ is a ‘relation’ which ‘relates itself to its own self’; it is ‘that in the relation that the relation relates itself to its own self’, while ‘resting in the [divine] power that established it’; and, as Kierkegaard insisted in his own name in Works of Love (1847), this ‘self’ is only truly itself in loving God andinextricably, the other: the other-as-‘neighbour, whether spouse, child, family member, friend, neighbour, stranger.
One of Heidegger’s most important early courses of lectures was on The Phenomenology of Religious Life (1920-21). Heidegger wrote in Being and Time (1927) that, of all Kierkegaard’s writings, his ‘upbuilding’ (i.e., explicitly religious) works had the most philosophical significance.
Kierkegaard’s work is a fundamental investigation of the existential phenomenology of individual, non-institutionalised, religious experience, as well as the religious implications of all experience, indispensable for unprejudiced understanding of both ‘religious’ and ‘non-religious’ clients.
Above all, perhaps, as Professor John Lippitt, who has guiding our reading of Fear of Trembling in three remarkable seminars, has pointed out in his book Humour and Irony in Kierkegaard’s Thought and elsewhereSøren Kierkegaard can be very funny. His readers take the risk of being compelled to laugh out loud. As his pseudonym Johannes Climacus wrote in Concluding Unscientific Postscript:
... an existing humorist is the closest approximation to one who is religious ...
These seminars, on the text and context of Fear and Trembling, have enabled existential therapists, Daseinsanalysts and others, to reflect more deeply on the foundations of their discipline. Invited speakers often attend their colleagues Inner Circle Seminars, in addition to those they themselves conduct.
Professor C. Stephen Evans,  who conducted a superb seminar on Divine Command Theory and Fear and Trembling, described the seminars as ‘a real intellectual feast.
Professor Marilyn PietyProfessor of Philosophy, Drexel University, Philadephia, USA, who conducted a marvellous seminar on Kierkegaards Repetition on 28 February 2021, wrote: 
I can’t thank you enough for inviting me to be a part of the seminar series. It was one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had. It was a wonderful group of people and an excellent discussion.

And a seminar participant wrote afterwards: What a remarkable opportunity to sit with some of the greatest Kierkegaard scholars in the world.  

These will be online seminars, using Zoom. All are on Sundays, but the times for some of them will differ (see above) from the usual 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time or British Summer Time, to accommodate invited speakers from distant lands.

Individual Kierkegaard seminars: psychotherapy trainees £140, others £175
Six Kierkegaard seminars 13 March 2022 to 30 October 2022: psychotherapy trainees £630 (= £105 per seminar), others £786 (= £131 per seminar) - a reduction of 25% - payment may be spread over six months
Some bursaries; payable in advance by bank transfer or PayPal; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled 
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra Avenue, London N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 7809 433250   E-mail:
For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.

Love in Dark Places: You shall love your crooked neighbour / With your crooked heart (Auden). Derek Jeffreys conducts Inner Circle Seminar 273 (13 February 2022)

Love in Dark Places

Working with prisoners who will never be released
Seifert’s critique of Hildebrand’s phenomenology of Heart 

‘You shall love your crooked neighbour
With your crooked heart.’
(W. H. Auden)

Derek Jeffreys
Inner Circle Seminar No. 273
introduced by
Anthony Stadlen

Sunday 13 February 2022
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  London time

Derek S. Jeffreys

In this seminar Professor Derek S. Jeffreys will discuss his project of loving, as his neighbours, his fellow human beings, prisoners who will never be released, whose crimes he regards as utterly evil. This is no sentimental notion of ‘love’, but a clearsighted radical attempt to love perpetrators of radical evil, without denying or colluding with the evil they have done. Professor Jeffreys will explain how both the phenomenological philosophy of the Heart of Dietrich von Hildebrand, a favourite pupil of Edmund Husserl and close friend of Max Scheler, and the critical refinement of it by Hildebrands colleague and friend Joseph Seifert have helped him in this project.

Derek Jeffreys and Anthony Stadlen will also discuss the flattening of ethical sensibility by many psychiatrists, psychotherapists and psychologists, whose ‘non-judgemental’ psychologism and denial of personal moral responsibility erodes the perception of good and evil, entails sentimental collusion, and precludes authentic love. Your contribution to the discussion will be warmly welcomed.

Professor Jeffreys will structure the day as follows:

Session 1. (1 p.m. to 2.20 p.m.)
The credit of love: Freedom and gift in the human person
Session 2. (2.40 p.m. to 4 p.m.)
Life imprisonment: An American anomaly
Session 3. (5 p.m. to 6.20 p.m.)
Should we banish the wicked forever? Revisiting life imprisonment.
Session 4. (6.40 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
General discussion of love, ethics and imprisonment.

Derek S. Jeffreys is Professor of Humanities and Religion at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. He teaches courses on love, Thomas Aquinas, ethics, ethics and punishment, evil, Dante, Buddhism, and other topics. For more than a decade he has been involved in jail and prison education, giving volunteer religion and philosophy lectures to inmates in Wisconsin’s jails and prisons. His research focusses on personalism and violence, with a particular emphasis on punishment and incarceration. He is author of Defending Human Dignity: John Paul II and Political Realism (2004), Spirituality and the Ethics of Torture (2009), Spirituality in Dark Places: The Ethics of Solitary Confinement (2013), and Americas Jails: The Search for Human Dignity in an Age of Mass Incarceration (2018). He is currently working on issues relating to love and mental illness in penal institutions.

See also:

This will be an online seminar, using Zoom.

Cost: Psychotherapy trainees £140, others £175, some bursaries; payable in advance by bank transfer or PayPal; no refunds or transfers unless seminar cancelled
Apply to: Anthony Stadlen, ‘Oakleigh’, 2A Alexandra AvenueLondon N22 7XE
Tel: +44 (0) 7809 433250    E-mail:
For further information on seminars, visit:

The Inner Circle Seminars were founded by Anthony Stadlen in 1996 as an ethical, existential, phenomenological search for truth in psychotherapy. They have been kindly described by Thomas Szasz as ‘Institute for Advanced Studies in the Moral Foundations of Human Decency and Helpfulness’. But they are independent of all institutes, schools and universities.