SOPHIA Wins Prize for Excellence, Innovation

By Gail Hairston

The Society of Philosophers in America (SOPHIA), a national nonprofit organization headed by Eric Thomas Weber of the University of Kentucky’s philosophy department, has been awarded the 2017 Prize for Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy Programs. The American Philosophical Association (APA) and the Philosophy Documentation Center (PDC) jointly sponsor the award.

This prize for excellence recognizes philosophy departments, research centers, institutes, societies, publishers and other organizations that risk undertaking new initiatives in philosophy, and do so with excellence and success.

“(The prize) honors the success of these programs so they may inspire and influence others to follow their lead,” said Amy Ferrer, executive director of APA. “(SOPHIA) is truly indicative of the innovation, excellence and inspiration that we seek in an award winner.”

SOPHIA is an educational nonprofit membership and chapter organization dedicated to building communities of philosophical conversation. SOPHIA is made up of people from academy and beyond, people who are interested in deep, meaningful dialogue, and who aim to enrich public discourse and civility.

To support SOPHIA and benefit UK, the PDC will provide campus-wide electronic access to a bundle of philosophy resources for a full year, bringing a tangible benefit to both UK faculty and students. The intention is to strengthen the larger community’s interest in and support for SOPHIA. The prize carries a total value of over $3,000.

SOPHIA produces a WRFL radio show and podcast called "Philosophy Bakes Bread," “food for thought about life and leadership.” The most recently released episode in the podcast, “Quality Philosophy for Everyone” with Cole Nasrallah, a philosophy teacher at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, is available at

One can connect with "Philosophy Bakes Bread" on Facebook at @PhilosophyBakesBread and on Twitter at @PhilosophyBB, by emailing, or by calling and recording a voicemail played on WRFL at 859-257-1849.

“It means a lot for the American Philosophical Association to recognize and celebrate all that SOPHIA members and leaders are doing,” Weber said. “It shows that leaders in the profession care about lively, public philosophical engagement, which is absolutely vital to the future of professional philosophy.”

The award will be presented at the 2018 Eastern Division meeting in Savannah, Georgia.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue


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