A Short History of ARPA

Submitted by Steven Burns

The Atlantic Region Philosophers Association (ARPA) was started in the 1950's by George Grant. There is a report on its founding meeting in Dialogue. The original association didn't last long, and when David Braybrooke re-conceived of an Atlantic philosophical association in 1969, he did so without knowing of the earlier incarnation. 

ARPA has provided philosophers in the Atlantic region with a means of communication, of sharing information about programs, visiting speakers, graduate studies opportunities, encouraging exchanges of various sorts, and so on. Annual conferences have provided the means for such professional exchange and enrichment.

The structure of the organization is best described as floating, informal, re-structured at each time of meeting. The principal officer of the organization changes from year to year, the organization is not incorporated, and has neither an executive structure nor a constitution. We like to think of ourselves as a regional sub-set of the Canadian Philosophical Association, and sometimes call ourselves the Atlantic Philosophical Association, or the real APA.