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helping people change their lives for the better




Welcome to the Website of the Freedom Philosophy Society.


We are a charitable (not for profit) incorporated organisation of volunteers. 


We deliver innovative philosophy courses into New Zealand’s prisons.


Our courses draw out gems of wisdom from ancient and modern philosophers from East and West, and distil them into short, highly practical courses, that can benefit anyone.

We encourage you to take a few moments to journey through our website to find out more.


Check out our Courses.

You may also be interested in learning more About Us.

Consider joining as a Member or helping us to secure Funding.

We look forward to hearing from you.


About us

The freedom philosophy society

The Freedom Philosophy Society is a ‘not-for-profit’ volunteer organisation.  We run an innovative programme of tailor-made practical philosophy courses inside prisons for prisoners to help them to improve their lives and rehabilitate into society.  The courses draw on internationally recognised philosophy materials modified to suit the prison environment. With application and practice, students can begin to develop and use inner wisdom to guide them towards a true and more meaningful life. 

how the society was formed, and future directions

The programme began in early 2018 with just two tutors running courses at a pilot prison, Remutaka, near Wellington, initially based on practical philosophy courses delivered to the general public. 

However, since the beginning, the courses have been continually refined and adapted to meet the unique environment and the needs of prisoners. Our courses are suitable for people of all genders and backgrounds. 

Despite the challenging prison environment, participation and attendance levels are very high with most attendees completing the courses and achieving graduation.  The individual feedback from students has been excellent throughout.  Over 95% of programme participants rate our courses very highly and would recommend them to others.  (See Student Feedback)


The Freedom Philosophy programmes became very popular in the pilot site, with about 70 students attending on a regular basis. We are now making our programmes available to other prisons around the country.  That is central to our vision: to provide and deliver effective Freedom Philosophy programmes throughout prisons in New Zealand. Our aim is to support the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners back into society to live more meaningful lives. 

To help us do that we need to find more resources, more willing volunteers, and more funding.

Rightly defined, Philosophy is simply the love of wisdom.

would you like to join?

With the growing popularity of our courses, Freedom Philosophy has a constant need for more and more Tutors and Assistants.  We can provide the necessary training for those interested in actively volunteering within the prisons. Some people who prefer not to do any volunteering work inside the prisons are very welcome to show their support by helping with administration or logistics, or simply by joining the Society. 

(See also Tutors and Assistants)

Support and funding

We also have a growing need for funding.  While the Department of Corrections do help with the provision of some course books and printing of course materials and some travel allowances, we incur significant ongoing travel and administrative costs that run well in excess of the allowances that are currently received.  Even as a non-profit Society, we therefore need other additional and ongoing funding sources to remain solvent and viable.  If you might be in a position to offer assistance as a Sponsor or Fundraiser, then please

contact us here

For more information contact us at -

useful links

Dr Paul Wood                                      -

The 10 Behaviours                               -


Hugh Van Cuylenburg                         -

Professor Rob Colter                           -


Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga                -


Department of Corrections                 -


The Crito Project UK                            -

The School of Practical Philosophy     -

To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.
-lao tzu-

student feedback

The feedback about Philosophy has been amazing and the men speak so highly of the
programme encouraging other men in the unit to do it! (Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga)

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