Dissolve the APA?

I thought readers may want to know that the question as to why the APA ought to continue to exist has been raised; sure, many American philosophers have privately pondered this, but the question is posed and defended in a serious way by a philosopher tasked with exploring ways to keep the APA afloat.  Our readers are welcome to comment here, but I recommend reading the original post and the responses at the source.

I should note my own bias: Although I’ve been a dues-paying member for fifteen years, I’ve long considered the end of the APA as a good (that is, likely, perhaps even desirable) possibility.

5 thoughts on “Dissolve the APA?

  1. I’m largely positive about the CPA and largely negative about the APA. That’s partly due to the meetings. The annual meeting of the CPA is held on university campuses and we give talks in classrooms where there is inexpensive on campus accommodation in a relaxed environment. The APA is in over priced hotels where we give talks in ballrooms without the right sort of equipment. I think the CPA benefits from its association with the larger Humanities and Social Sciences Federation. Those of us with interdisciplinary interests can attend talks in different fields. But I’m not sure this model would work for the US given its size. There are too many academics, too many universities. Frankly, I’m not sure what the answer is.

  2. I very much agree with redeyedtreefrog about the massive superiority of CPA meetings. They also have a good journal, and it has always been a mystery to me that the APA doesn’t. (But if there’s a shortfall now, the time for that sort of thing to be a serious source of income is, I think, already past.)

    I think it’s notable that so many people consider it a live option. Part of the problem, I think, is that the APA is such an extraordinarily limited organization already. Some of the reason for this may be historical — the reason the APA has its weird regional structure is that it was originally little more than an alliance between two distinct professional organizations, the Eastern Philosophical Association and the Western Philosophical Association. And I also suspect that getting philosophers behind any more robust national organization would be a massive exercise in herding cats — no offense to the Sunday Cat. But, whatever the reason, it has always been a weak national organization, doing very little as a national organization.

  3. I think the APA meetings are great. I agree with everything Liz Harman says here (except what she says about her education — I’m pretty sure Liz was born knowing how to give a talk).

    I’ve never been to a CPA meeting, but I’ve been to the Australian and British ones. I wouldn’t say I really prefer either style — each has some better aspects and some worse — but I think it would be a big shame if the APA meetings disappeared.

  4. I have had the great fortune of never having to attend an APA meeting. For me, it was the meat-market aspect of it that I considered abhorrent as well as the fact that it meant missing part of the Holidays with family. The CPA is a conference with no hiring component to it. I hope it remains like this because it is so much more humane to have junior philosophers mingle to talk philosophy rather than pose as potential hires.

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