Introducing Civil American

A digital, peer-reviewed journal run by The Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA).

The logo for 'Civil American,' SOPHIA's online peer-reviewed publication.

The Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA) announces the opening of Civil American, our latest venue for public philosophical engagement, released as a peer-reviewed digital journal on our Web site. Each piece will be released individually, much like a newspaper column, interspersed with SOPHIA’s various other posts. Civil American is a place for SOPHIA members and friends to submit short essays, between 700 and 3,000 words (though shorter and longer will be considered), on topics of importance for living and policy-making, as individuals and communities.

Given our 2015 strategic planning initiative, the mission of the Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA) is “to use the tools of philosophical inquiry to improve people’s lives and enrich the profession of philosophy through conversation and community building.” In pursuit of that mission, two of our four strategic goals are “to use technology effectively” and to “to engage with the profession on public philosophy and digital humanities.”

To these ends, we open up SOPHIA’s online space as a forum for publicly engaged philosophy, to talk about issues and problems that matter to people both in and beyond the academy. Our emphasis is on accessibility of style and importance of subject matter. Following trends of digital publishing, we will consider the pieces released here to be in a volume gathered by year. All pieces released in 2016 will be considered part of Volume 1.

Cover of an issue of Scientific American.Civil American was envisioned as a general-audience targeted scholarly publication by SOPHIA Trustees Dr. John Shook and Dr. Eric Thomas Weber, who see a need for a philosophical equivalent to the great publication, Scientific American. The United States have an immensely rich intellectual tradition, yet much discourse in the public sphere tends to be sensationalist, rather than civil and philosophical.

We welcome proposals for panels of submissions from groups interested in writing on topics in common. Gathered pieces may also be invited to join together in further advancement of their projects for growth in The Public Philosophy Journal‘s developmental and open peer-review process. Shorter projects can begin here and, if desired, be lengthened and deepened through such collaborations.

Photo of Dr. Shane Courtland.More information about Civil American is forthcoming now that we have selected the new editor for the journal, Dr. Shane Courtland. If you have any questions or proposals for submission to Civil American, you can email the Editor here.

Published Pieces (most recent on top):

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