“This harm is ontological”

In my own statement for the Senate subcommittee, I made a philosophical argument against solitary confinement, drawing on my research in phenomenology.  Phenomenology is a philosophical method for uncovering the structure of lived experience by describing what it is like from a first person perspective.  Rather than attempting to prove a set of objective facts, phenomenology tracks the way that a meaningful experience of the world emerges for someone in the total situation of their Being-in-the-world.  It’s not that facts are unimportant, but rather that they are not meaningful in themselves; they become meaningful when they are experienced by someone in relation to a wider context or horizon.  What happens when that horizon shrinks to the space of a 6-by-9 cell?

Read More | “The Living Death of Solitary Confinement” | Lisa Guenther | ?NY Times | ?Ryan Krahn