Symposium on Romano Book at Philadelphia Library

The Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium, which comprises all the philosophy departments in the Philadelphia area, will devote its annual “Public Affairs” session to a symposium on America the Philosophical, the 672-page book by Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Carlin Romano. The event will take place in the Main Auditorium of the Free Library of Philadelphia on Nov. 16 from 1 to 4:30 p.m.

The book examines and reports on America as a philosophical culture, arguing that the traditional cliche of the United States as an anti-intellectual culture is mistaken. The New York Times Book Review, in a front-page review — the first front-page Times review devoted to a Philadelphia author’s book in more than a decade — described America the Philosophical as “ambitious….convincing….an encyclopedic survey of the life of the mind in the United States.”

The three speakers will be Anita Allen, the Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania and Penn’s new Vice-Provost for Faculty; Cheryl Mizak, Professor of Philosophy and former Provost at the University of Toronto; and Peter Catapano, Editor at The New York Times of “The Stone,” the paper’s popular series of philosophy pieces. Romano will moderate the session and reply to presentations before opening the symposium to a wider discussion with the audience.

Anita Allen, who serves on President Obama’s Presidential Commission for Bioethics, is the author of Why Privacy Isn’t Everything, Uneasy Access, The New Ethics, and many other books. Cheryl Misak, one of the world’s top scholars of American philosophy and currently Visiting Professor at New York University, is the author of The American Pragmatists and editor of The Oxford Handbook of American Philosophy. Peter Catapano, who works with moderator Simon Critchley of The New School in organizing “The Stone,” has turned “The Stone” into the most widely read philosophy site in mass media, with articles regularly drawing hundreds of comments.

The event is co-sponsored by GPPC and Ursinus College under a grant bestowed by the GPPC.