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History of the APA
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A few lines of the handwritten minutes of an APA meeting on November 2, 1901

The American Philosophical Association was founded in 1900 to promote the exchange of ideas among philosophers, to encourage creative and scholarly activity in philosophy, to facilitate the professional work and teaching of philosophers, and to represent philosophy as a discipline.

Having grown from a few hundred members to over 9,000, the American Philosophical Association is one of the largest philosophical societies in the world and the only philosophical society in the United States not devoted to a particular field, school, or philosophical approach.

The APA's three divisions, the Central, Eastern, and Pacific, founded in 1900, 1901, and 1924, respectively, conduct annual meetings at which philosophers present research and exchange ideas. Since 1927, the American Philosophical Association has functioned under a constitution providing for a national board of officers.

The APA's partner organizations include the American Association of University Professors, the American Council of Learned Societies, the International Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Humanities Alliance.

Since 1975, the national office of the American Philosophical Association has been located at the University of Delaware—an arrangement made possible through the generosity of the University of Delaware.

For additional background, such as information regarding the founders of the APA and how the APA grew via the merging of various regional philosophical associations, please refer to the following sources:

"The First Twenty-Five Years of the American Philosophical Association," N. Gardiner
The Philosophical Review
Vol. 35, no. 2 (March 1926): 145-158
Published by: Duke University Press on behalf of Philosophical Review

James Campbell, A Thoughtful Profession: The Early Years of The American Philosophical Association(Chicago: Open Court, 2006) — This book was written with the support of the APA.

Proceedings of the First Annual Meeting of the Western Philosophical Association, held at Lincoln, Nebraska, January, 1901
The Philosophical Review
Vol. 10, no. 2 (March 1901): 162-173
Published by: Duke University Press on behalf of Philosophical Review

Proceedings of the Second Annual Meeting of the Western Philosophical Association, held at Chicago, in Joint Session with the American Psychological Association, on December 31, 1901, and January 1, 1902
The Philosophical Review
Vol. 11, no. 2 (March 1902): 152-168
Published by: Duke University Press on behalf of Philosophical Review

Proceedings of the Second Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Columbian University, Washington, D.C., December 30 and 31, 1902
The Philosophical Review
Vol. 12, no. 2 (March 1903): 163-182
Published by: Duke University Press on behalf of Philosophical Review

Proceedings of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association: The Annual Meeting, Swarthmore College, December 29 and 30, 1924
The Philosophical Review
Vol. 34, no. 2 (March 1925): 165-184
Published by: Duke University Press on behalf of Philosophical Review

Note: If you have difficulty accessing JSTOR online, please check the library at your local university or your local public library.

A list of APA presidents and lectures is also available.

Even more information can be found in various issues of the Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association.

The APA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, EID 51-0392247.

 

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The American Philosophical Association
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Phone: 302.831.1112 | Fax: 302.831.8690
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