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.
In January of 2015, SOPHIA began a strategic planning effort to help build a new vision for the organization and to plan for its future. We were guided with the help of Dr. Annie Davis Weber, Manager of Strategic Planning at the University of Mississippi, and her graduate students in a course on Strategic Planning and Assessment in the University of Mississippi's School of Education. Dr. A. Weber and her class drafted a strategic plan that has already helped SOPHIA leadership to begin reshaping our aims and methods for achieving them. Soon, the trustees will finalize the strategic plan and update our Web presence and opportunities for participation in SOPHIA. Stay tuned.
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.
Trustees Lachs, Houchard, and Weber will be giving a presentation on SOPHIA and its future at the Public Philosophy Network conference in San Francisco, CA. The conference will run from June 11-13, 2015. Weber and Houchard will present "Starting a SOPHIA Chapter in Your Hometown," an update on SOPHIA's 2015 strategic planning initiative and plans for the organization's future. We will post further details here soon. For now, we can share with you our one-page invitation to join SOPHIA.
Visit the "Events" page to learn about SOPHIA's 2009 through 2014 activities.
Past Events Recently Held and Related Awards
We organized the following panel for the 2014 Eastern Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association (Program), which was held in Philadelphia, PA.
TUESDAY AFTERNOON (12/30), 1:30–4:30 P.M.
GXIII-2. The Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA)
Topic: Philosophy in Demand - In Business, Policy, Journalism, and Life
Chair: John Lachs (Vanderbilt University)
1) Judith Green (Fordham University) “On Community Planning and Consulting”
2) Shane Courtland (University of Minnesota Duluth) “On Ethics and Public Policy”
3) Eric Thomas Weber (University of Mississippi) “On Philosophy and Journalism”
4) Andrea Christelle Houcard (Northern Arizona University) “On Philosophy for Fun”
"If Steinbeck Was a Farmer" featured David "Mas" Masumoto, renowned organic farmer and author. This event was organized by the Kegley Institue for Ethics at California State University at Bakersfield. It took place on Wednesday, January 29th of 2014 and was free and open to the public. For more information you can see the flyer for the event here.
"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”
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.