This “hub” for public philosophy in the Greater Phoenix area came about as the need for a resource for organizing the various public philosophy events across the Valley became apparent. We desire to collaborate across colleges, coordinate our efforts, and cooperate in engaging in public philosophical dialogue. We seek to continue the learning experience outside the confines of the walls of the academy.
The goal of public philosophy is to make the practice of philosophy more accessible and more relevant to the broadly educated public. We hope to inspire young and old alike in the shared pursuit of wisdom and in a love for the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.
Public philosophy is inspired by Socrates’ engagement in dialogue in the agora, the shared public space of the city-state. It is the pursuit of the common good, our shared life together. Currently, we are a group of local professors seeking to bring the discussions usually reserved for the classroom into a broader context. We hope that others will join us in an ever-broadening and deepening discussion.
The arena for discussions has been college and university public lecture forums, book discussion groups, and campus clubs. We hope that others will expand the public context, perhaps meeting at coffee shops and houses of worship.
Public discourse is shared dialogue and assumes reason, the laws of thought and that some things are clear to reason, the basic things are clear to reason. It assumes integrity in a commitment to reason and to living with the implications of our beliefs. It requires that we address more basic questions prior to less basic questions. All who are interested in engaging in discussion with the hope of gaining knowledge, understanding, and hopefully wisdom, are encouraged to join us.
There will be different approaches to public philosophy, some practicing Retrieval Philosophy, some Renewal Philosophy, some practicing apologetics for particular commitments, and still others approaching the discussion from the Great Books.
The times cry out for us to think through difficult topics – questions of science and religion, faith and reason, and the place of particularist commitments in a secular culture – most of which have been abandoned by academic philosophy.
Public philosophy can happen at any time and in nearly any location when citizens of the Republic engage in civil discourse about our most fundamental philosophical commitments.
If you desire to coordinate with our public philosophy efforts, please contact us and join the discussion. Email us at publicphilosphyphoenix at gmail.com