Dear friend of GPS,
As 2018 draws to a close, I want to share highlights from the year as well as some of the initiatives Gotham Philosophical Society has planned for 2019,and to ask for your generous support to help us achieve them.
The past year saw GPS launch a well-received event series, “A Lawyer, a Poet, and a Philosopher walk into a bar…” that invited audiences to engage in a multi-perspective investigation into concepts such as truth, love, misery, and money.
Our Philosophy Series at the Cornelia Street Café, established in 2015, continued this year, with talks by Nick Pappas and Jody Azzouni. Sadly, they will be our last at that venerable venue. It was recently announced that the Café will be closing after 40 years of providing a welcoming space for artists, poets, and philosophers. We thank owner Robin Hirsch for his enthusiastic support.
Our Young Philosophers of New York program continued to grow with after school workshops offered in Washington Heights and in Carroll Gardens in the PS 58 Carroll Kids program.
Our final event of the calendar year was the powerful Rethinking Pregnancy: Two Philosophical Perspectives, with Suki Finn and Jennifer Scuro. We are grateful to the CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences for their sponsorship.
Our relationship with the CUNY Academy was made possible by one of our founding Board Members, Stefan Baumrin. Stefan was my dissertation advisor and my friend, and I am deeply saddened to share the news of his passing in September. His wisdom and encouragement will be forever missed. To honor his memory, GPS and the Academy will co-host Mapping the Moral Realm: The Philosophy of Stefan Bernard Baumrin, on Monday, April 29, 2019, at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Looking ahead to our other plans for 2019, we are excited to introduce the inaugural issue of our online magazine, Phi on New York, which we intend as a forum for philosophers to contribute essays, opinion pieces, and white papers that bring the clarity and depth of philosophical analysis to matters that concern all New Yorkers. Educational reform, criminal justice, financial epistemology, political ecology, and participatory democracy are just a sampling of the issues central to the quality of life in the city that we aim to cover.
As part of our goal to elevate the city’s discourse and to bring various communities together in understanding, we are creating New York Know Thyself: a series of outreach events designed to give voice to the needs and concerns of overlooked groups. We will begin with one of New York City’s most invisible constituencies, military veterans. Information on this event will be forthcoming.
The stated aim of the Gotham Philosophical Society is to create a New York that is concerned with the flourishing of all its citizens, and to have our children prepared to lead this new city into the future. Realizing our vision requires that we equip our young New Yorkers with the tools to think not only critically and creatively, but normatively. That is why we want to bring our Young Philosophers program to as many New York City public school students as possible, especially the least advantaged among them. Most school curricula and educational initiatives are informed by the goals of helping students become academically successful and subsequently employable. As important as these are, our Think to Thrive curriculum aims to have them become much more: intellectually versatile, emotionally resilient, socially sympathetic, and civically engaged.
This is why we need you. While there are many worthy causes you might contribute to, I ask that you help us fulfill our mission to use philosophy to enable our city and our children to flourish.
I wish you joy and happiness in this holiday season, and that you enjoy a healthy and fruitful year ahead.
Joseph S. Biehl
Executive Director and Founder