Public, Society Benefit

American Public Philosophy Institute Inc

  • Irving, TX
  • www.appii.org

Mission Statement

The American Public Philosophy Institute, located at the University of Dallas, is an interdisciplinary group of scholars from various universities, supported by local businessmen, that promotes a natural law public philosophy rooted in the principles of the American Founding, pursuing freedom and prosperity, grounded on the moral integrity of the culture and on the institutions (e.g., families and churches) which bear the primary responsibility for the inculcation of civic virtue.
The scope of our activities is varied, including programs at the University of Dallas, programs in the Dallas area, and national conferences.

Main Programs

  1. University of Dallas Lectures
  2. Colloquium on Contemporary Social Science on Marriage and Catholic Social Thought

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Service Areas

Self-reported

National

There are three dimensions of APPI activities, both local and national.
First, the APPI sponsors activities (lectures, colloquia, seminars) at the University of Dallas, for students, faculty, and the general public. In March 2014, W. Bradford Wilcox gave the first annual Scherer Lecture on "Love and Marriage," as well as a second lecture on "Wandering Toward the Altar." In October, 2015, the APPI will co-sponsor a lecture by Peter Augustine Lawler, on "In November 2015, there will be a "Conversation on Economic Inequality" with William Galston (Brookings Institution), Michael Greve (George Mason Law School), and Ross Douthat (New York Times). In March 2016 Alfred Freddoso (University of Notre Dame) will give the second annual Scherer Lecture on "The Vindication of St. Thomas."
Second, the APPI is in the process of organizing a lecture series)in the Dallas area, for the general public.
Third, the APPI sponsors national conferences, both scholarly and open to the public. In the past conference topics have been held in Washington DC and at Princeton and Marquette Universities, and have included: Contemporary Liberalism; Natural Law and Liberalism; The Family, Civil Society, and the State; Homosexuality and American Public Life; Reining in Judicial Imperialism; The Naked Public Square Reconsidered; the Philosophical Foundations of Human Dignity; and The Concept of Social Justice.
Moreover, the APPI has sponsored a series of panels over the years as a Related Group at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.

ruling year

1990

President since 2014

Self-reported

Dr. Christopher Wolfe

Keywords

Self-reported

American Public Philosophy, natural law, American Founding principles

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Also Known As

--

EIN

22-3037480

 Number

4340527215

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Political Science (V24)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (R05)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Historically, the APPI has sponsored lectures and scholarly and public conferences.
The conferences (as well as annual panels at scholarly conferences) have also helped to foster an academic community among those who are oriented toward natural law principles, which is an important effect in view of the fact that such principles are not well-represented in contemporary academia.
Moreover, the conferences have reached a much wider audience through publications based on them, on a wide variety of issues. Some of these are focused especially on scholarly themes such as our books on Liberalism at the Crossroads (1994; 2d ed. 2003), Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality (1996), Natural Law and Public Reason (2000), and The Naked Public Square Reconsidered (2009). Others are devoted to a discussion of important contemporary public issues, such as our books on The Family, Civil Society, and the State (1998), Homosexuality and American Public Life (1999), Same-Sex Matters (2000), and That Eminent Tribunal: Judicial Supremacy and the Constitution (2004).

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

University of Dallas Lectures

W. Bradford Wilcox, University of Virginia and Director, National Marriage Project, gave two lectures in March, 2015: "Wandering Toward the Altar" and "Love and Marriage"

Category

Public, Society Benefit

Population(s) Served

Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

5,000

Program 2

Colloquium on Contemporary Social Science on Marriage and Catholic Social Thought

Brought together 12 faculty members, 4 graduate students, 2 undergraduates, and the guest speaker, W. Bradford Wilcox to discuss a series of readings on contemporary social science on marriage and Catholic social thought

Category

Public, Society Benefit

Population(s) Served

Adults

Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use

Budget

$1,600.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    1) We aim to provide students (graduate and undergraduate) and faculty -- especially at the University of Dallas -- with thoughtful examinations of important intellectual and public issues, drawing especially on the political principles of the American Founding and the natural law tradition.
    2) We aim to contribute to reflection on important issues of public philosophy for businessmen, professionals, and others in the Dallas area.
    3) We aim to contribute to the national discussion of American public philosophy, both among scholars and among the general public.
    4) In the future we hope to sponsor summer seminars or workshops that will expand the reach of our discussions of important political and social principles and issues to a broader audience of scholars and students.
    In sum, the APPI aims to help to shape American culture by encouraging people to reflect on fundamental issues, equipping them to participate in contemporary debates about American public philosophy.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    1) We aim to help students especially by our campus lecture series and by accompanying colloquia, in which a select group of faculty and students study issues in greater depth. In the future we hope to expand our audience by offering summer seminars or workshops.
    2) We aim to contribute to reflection on important issues by businessmen, professionals, and others, by a lecture series in the Dallas area open to the general public. Our hope is that a high-quality, ongoing series of lectures can also contribute to the formation of an informal community of leaders who understand the current state of American life better and are therefore enabled to promote the common good more effectively.
    3) We contribute to the national discussion of public philosophy especially by conferences that take up important contemporary issues (scholarly and public) and can have widespread dissemination through our publications.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The APPI is blessed with an extensive network of outstanding scholars, from various disciplines and throughout the country, which provides it with the expertise to offer programs that insightfully apply traditional American and natural law principles to contemporary American problems. It also has ties with academics who represent more contemporary forms of liberal thought, which enables it to foster debate and discussion with them.
    The University of Dallas offers an unusually coherent and comprehensive framework of liberal education, which encourages and helps both faculty and students in their reflection on contemporary issues.
    The APPI also has the incipient support of a cadre of local Dallas businessmen who are interested in important political, social, and ethical questions, and want both to participate in and to support the APPI's efforts to study and discuss them.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    The major signs of progress will be the deeper understanding of the principles of the American Founding and the natural law tradition among those who attend our events, and their efforts to bring these principles to bear on scholarship and public life.
    The APPI will be making a valuable social contribution if
    1) it helps to form students who pursue and achieve positions involving public responsibilities (in government, business, civic organizations and think-tanks),
    2) it helps academics to understand, defend, and apply the basic principles of the American Founding and the natural law tradition in their scholarship and teaching,
    3) encourages businessmen, professionals, and other leaders to reflect on key political and social issues and to undertake efforts to promote the common good, locally and nationally.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    We have succeeded in establishing a reputation for sponsoring high-quality lectures, conferences, and publications, from a perspective otherwise not well-represented in contemporary American intellectual life: a public philosophy guided by the principles of the American Founding and the natural law tradition.
    The scope of our reach has been limited so far, in various ways, and we hope to expand that reach.
    1) Before 2014, the APPI was free-standing, without roots in a particular academic institution. The APPI retains its own independent existence, but its move to the University of Dallas provides both a supportive home and an intelligent and receptive audience of faculty and students.
    2) Most of our earlier activities (lectures, conferences) were done at a time when the internet did not play as significant a role in contemporary life, and so earlier activities were largely available in person or through publications. The APPI is now in the process of bringing its activities to our website, so that they will be accessible to many more people.
    3) Most of our earlier academic activities were scholarly conferences (with publications flowing from them). We hope to expand these academic activities to include summer workshops that will enable us to reach more young scholars, graduate students, and upper-level undergraduate students, to help them to develop greater expertise in principles of the American Founding and the natural law tradition.
    4) Earlier APPI activities were exclusively academic, and, while academic activities will continue to be our most important activities, we plan to reach out to local leaders and to the general public more than we have in the past.
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

There are three dimensions of APPI activities, both local and national.
First, the APPI sponsors activities (lectures, colloquia, seminars) at the University of Dallas, for students, faculty, and the general public. In March 2014, W. Bradford Wilcox gave the first annual Scherer Lecture on "Love and Marriage," as well as a second lecture on "Wandering Toward the Altar." In October, 2015, the APPI will co-sponsor a lecture by Peter Augustine Lawler, on "In November 2015, there will be a "Conversation on Economic Inequality" with William Galston (Brookings Institution), Michael Greve (George Mason Law School), and Ross Douthat (New York Times). In March 2016 Alfred Freddoso (University of Notre Dame) will give the second annual Scherer Lecture on "The Vindication of St. Thomas."
Second, the APPI is in the process of organizing a lecture series)in the Dallas area, for the general public.
Third, the APPI sponsors national conferences, both scholarly and open to the public. In the past conference topics have been held in Washington DC and at Princeton and Marquette Universities, and have included: Contemporary Liberalism; Natural Law and Liberalism; The Family, Civil Society, and the State; Homosexuality and American Public Life; Reining in Judicial Imperialism; The Naked Public Square Reconsidered; the Philosophical Foundations of Human Dignity; and The Concept of Social Justice.
Moreover, the APPI has sponsored a series of panels over the years as a Related Group at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association.

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Financials

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

American Public Philosophy Institute Inc

Leadership

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2010 and 2009
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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President

Dr. Christopher Wolfe

BIO

Christopher Wolfe is a professor of politics at the University of Dallas and President of the American Public Philosophy Institute. He is also the former co-director of the Thomas International Center in Raleigh-Durham NC and emeritus professor of political science at Marquette University.
Dr. Wolfe’s main area of research and teaching for two decades was Constitutional Law and American Political Thought, and he is the author of various books, the best known of which is The Rise of Modern Judicial Review, which the late Judge Robert Bork, in a 2006 Wall Street Journal contribution, listed as one of the five best books on the Constitution.
Dr. Wolfe subsequently shifted his work back to political philosophy, and especially the area of natural law and liberal political theory. His book Natural Law Liberalism was published by Cambridge University Press in 2006.
In 1989, Dr. Wolfe founded the American Public Philosophy Institute, a group of scholars from various disciplines that seeks to bring natural law theory to bear on contemporary scholarly and public discussions. The APPI sponsors conferences, lectures, panels at professional meetings, and publications.
From 2005 to 2014, Dr. Wolfe served as co-director of the Thomas International Center, an educational institute that encourages students, and others, to think about life’s great questions: where we come from, where we are going, and how to live life well.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Christopher Wolfe

University of Dallas

Term: Dec 2014 - Sept 2015

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

No

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

No

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

No

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

No

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?