SOPHIA has sponsored regional events with the goal of engaging both professional scholars and Americans outside of academia, offering philosophical insights where philosophers can be of service, and generating ideas for scholars to consider from their wider communities.
The Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA) is a non-profit organization with two primary aims. The first is to promote education in the philosophical ideas, practices and traditions of America and of other world cultures. The second is to sponsor conferences, debates, and symposia and otherwise to provide a forum for the exchange of philosophical ideas among scholars of America and other countries and cultures, all for the purpose of educating philosophers and teachers of philosophy from diverse cultural and philosophical traditions and furthering international philosophical communication.
Some exciting changes are coming for SOPHIA. If you are interested in learning more about SOPHIA than is listed on this Web site, contact Executive Director Dr. Eric Thomas Weber of the University of Mississippi.
"Should Everyone Go to College" a Symposium at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
On November 1st of 2013, SOPHIA is hosting a symposium titled "Should Everyone Go to College," on the first floor of Bryant Hall from 3pm to 6pm. The idea for this symposium grew out of the debate arising from the 2012 Presidential campaigns. President Obama called for all Americans to complete one year of post-secondary education. Governor Romney expressed concerns about such a call and explained that his plans focused on the avoidance of debt and job creation.
In our 2013 symposium in Oxford, MS, participants will discuss the many questions that philosophers can help to tease out of a debate about whether all Americans should go to college. For more information about the symposium, visit our site for the event here.
For the December 2013 meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, held in Baltimore Maryland, SOPHIA organized the following panel.
Title: “The Value of a College Degree and of a Philosophy Major”
Speakers and titles of papers:
1) Mark Tschaepe, “Abduction, Reconstruction, and an Inconspicuous Bildungsbürgertum”
2) Andrea Houchard, “On Philosophy’s Intrinsic and Practical Value”
3) Donnie Moreland, “Racial Cognitive Dissonance and Pragmatic Philosophy”
4) Eric Thomas Weber, “The Democratic Importance of the Choice about College and Philosophy”
Visit the "Events" page to learn about SOPHIA's 2009 through 2012 activities.
Past Events Recently Held and Related Awards
We organized a panel for the December 2012 meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, which was held in Atlanta, GA:
FRIDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 28th
GVI - 8. Society of Philosophers in America,
7:30 - 10:30 p.m.
Title: “Philosophy’s Guidance for Civility: Four Cases Needing Intellectual Leadership.”
Chair: Kenneth Stikkers of Southern Illinois University Carbondale
1. Bertha Manninen of Arizona State University
“What America Would Look Life If It Were Abortion-Free: Civility and Abortion Debates”
2. Andrew Light of George Mason University
“Is Climate Change a Wedge Issue?”
3. Jacquelyn Kegley of California State University Bakersfield
“Pink Smoke Over the Vatican: Philosophers, Civility, Religion and Public Policy Issues.”
4. Erin McKenna of Pacific Lutheran University
“Vegetarians and Cattle Ranchers, PETA and the AKC: Can they be Allies?”
In February of 2012, we sponsored our first symposium for the year, which was held at Pacific Lutheran University. It was titled "Food Symposium"
and featured keynote speaker Dr. Paul Thompson of Michigan State University.
The event was a big success thanks to Dr. Erin McKenna of Pacific Lutheran University, who organized the event. You can open and read the brochure for the event here.
From March 30 through April 1, 2012, New York University hosted its 2012 Bioethics Conference on "The Moral Brain," for which the Society of Philosophers in America was a co-sponsor. Videos of the event are available on the conference's Web page here. The program for the event is online and notes SOPHIA's support. As SOPHIA's principal representative for the event, Dr. John Robert Shook of the Center for Inquiry and of the State University of New York at Buffalo organized SOPHIA's collaboration.
In December of 2011, we hosted a panel titled “Defending Philosophy in the Academy” at the Eastern Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association.
Title: “Defending Philosophy in the Academy”
Chair: John Lachs of Vanderbilt University
1. Kenneth Stikkers of Southern Illinois University Carbondale
“Defending Philosophy, Defending Humanity”
2. George Lucas of the U.S. Naval Academy
“Philosophy, Military Forces, and National Security: the Philosophical Education of
Warriors in a Democracy”
3. Bertha Manninen of Arizona State University
“Glenn Beck vs. WK Clifford: Philosophy and the Ethics of Belief”
4. Tuomas Manninen of Arizona State University
"Philosophy and Science - (Not so) Strange Bedfellows: Stories from a Science and Religion Class"
5. SOPHIA business meeting and description of 2012 events
Our recent symposium was in Washington, D.C. and took place on June 10th, 2011. The symposium was titled
"Neuroscience and Pragmatism: Productive Prospects."
It was hosted at The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, 901 N. Stuart Street, Suite 200,
Arlington, VA 22203. The organizer for the event was Dr. John Robert Shook. Click on the bolded title link here above or click here to visit the program's page. You can also click here or click on the photo on the right to see the full video of the event.
On February 25 and 26 of 2011, we hosted our first symposium for the year in Oxford, MS. The symposium was titled "Disability, Civic Responsibility, and Community Frienship." Click here or on this title to visit the Web site for this event for more information.
Also, we are happy to announce that the Mississippi Humanities Council awarded SOPHIA a $5,000 grant to support our first symposium that took place in 2011, titled "Disability, Civic Responsibility, and Community Friendship," which was held in Oxford, MS. Also, the American Philosophical Association awarded SOPHIA $4,000 to support our two events in 2011. More information on these developments will be posted soon on the "Events" page and on the "Grants" page.
Photos and Video
We typically have photos taken of each of the events we organize. Here are just a few of the pages with photos that you can visit from here. We also link to photo pages from the specific Web pages on this site that promote the particular events we organize and support.
Plus, we have video as well as a published conference report for the "Neuroscience and Pragmatism" symposium we sponsored in Washington, D.C. in June of 2011.
Photos are now available of our 2011 symposium on "Disability, Civic Responsibility, and Community Friendship." Click here to see the photos from the event.
Click here to watch the full video of our 2011 "Neuroscience and Pragmatism" symposium.
Click here to see photos and to learn about the SOPHIA Symposium that took place at the University of Oregon in October of 2009, titled "Responding Ethically to Climate Change in the Willamette Valley."
Click here for photos of the SOPHIA Symposium on "Ethics at the End of Life," held in 2009 in Oxford, MS.