Robert Audi, Chair of the the new APA Development Committee has sent out an email to APA members asking them to donate. As I have written on this blog before, I believe in development as a means for promoting philosophy. I hope that the development committee reaches out to groups and philosophy supporters other than its members as sources of development funding. I have included the full letter below the fold for those who are not current members of the APA who might want to donate. Comments are open for development suggestions.
I am writing you about opportunities and needs of the profession of philosophy and the APA. As you know, the APA sponsors three international meetings a year, supports teaching and research in philosophy, awards prizes and lectureships, and now has an excellent journal freely given to all members. The APA is expanding its work in support of the profession, but there is much that it cannot do for the profession without the help of members and friends. This is a crucial time for the profession, a time when our professional association needs more resources to address issues such as overreliance on and exploitation of adjunct faculty, and public perceptions of philosophy and the humanities as impractical or unnecessary. The need is urgent.
The APA is asking your help in the first sustained effort it has ever undertaken to enlist the support of the profession in expanding its opportunities and meeting its needs. You probably know of the many APA committees, which focus on teaching, research, career opportunities, defense of professional rights, and much more. You likely also know of such activities as services for philosophy departments and students, summer institutes, and publications in support of teaching and research, now including the Journal of the APA. And you are probably aware of the many grants, prizes, and travel assistance funds the APA provides. We are asking your help and donations in support of these and many other projects.
Donations to the general fund are always welcome and can be used where the need is greatest, and donations can also be directed to Teaching Fund, the Fund for Diversity and Inclusiveness, and the Berry Fund for Public Philosophy. We also need donations for programs we hope to launch with your help: fellowships, curricular development (including teaching at the pre-college level), lectures, prizes, conferences, research support, media training, summer seminars for students, new publications, and more.
Visit the APA’s website to learn more about the programs your donation will support:
I want to conclude by telling you why I myself am supporting the APA and donating to it. I see philosophy as having a unique and essential role in education, in strengthening democracy, and in advancing human knowledge. We have distinctive ways of approaching reasoning, definition, explanation, and theory building. We frame and appraise moral positions in ways no other discipline does. We examine worldviews in a unique and systematic way. As teachers, we require critical writing and practice in formulating and solving intellectual problems. We teach the appraisal of arguments, introduce standards of evidence important in any field whatever, and heighten students’ capacity to articulate their own views. There is no realm of human existence we do not explore, no difficult question we are afraid to face, no serious idea we will not consider. Philosophy is essential for the education of citizens, uniquely rewarding for anyone who cares about ideas, and a distinctive contributor to the growth of knowledge.
The APA serves philosophy as no one else does or can, and it needs our support now.
John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame
Chair, APA Development Committee
For the Development Committee: Robert Audi (Chair), Ann Cudd, Stephen Darwall, Richard Foley, Karen Hanson, Kenneth Taylor, and (ex officio) Cheshire Calhoun and Amy Ferrer