With Russian Colleagues by William Gay

Gay, William (Univ. of North Carolina – Charlotte). “With Russian Colleagues At the World Congress.” CPP Newsletter Vol. 23, Nos. 1-2 (Spring-Fall 2003).

For over twenty-five years members of Concerned Philosophers for Peace have worked closely with Russian colleagues. One form of cooperation has been holding joint sessions by CPP and the Russian Philosophical Society (RPS) at the World Congress of Philosophy. At the XXth World Congress of Philosophy, held in Boston in 1998, three joint sessions were held. Most recently, at the XXIst World Congress of Philosophy, held in Istanbul in August 2003, we again held three joint sessions.

The theme of the XXIst World Congress of Philosophy was “Philosophy Facing World Problems.” The joint sessions conducted by CPP and RPS were on the general theme of “Philosophy and Globalization Problems.” These sessions were organized by Alexander Chumakov, the First Vice President of the Russian Philosophical Society, and by me, on behalf of CPP. Two of our sessions were held on August 13, and the third was held on August 15. The sessions were on the following topics: “Philosophical Problems of Individuals and Nations in the Global System, “Philosophical Problems of Security in the Global System,” and “Philosophical Problems of Sustainability in the Global System.” Members of CPP who gave presentations were John Bryant, Deb Peterson, Gail Presbey, Dan Smith, and myself. At our sessions, translation from English to Russian and from Russian to English was provided by Nikolai Biryukov of Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO-University) and Alexander Buzgalin of Lomonosov Moscow State University.

In addition, a special meeting was held on August 13 to release the Global Studies Encyclopedia in its English and Russian editions. This encyclopedia, with 430 articles by 278 authors from 28 countries, was also the result of cooperation between CPP and RPS. At the special meeting for the release of the encyclopedia, comments were given by V.S Stiopin, President of the Russian Philosophical Society, by Chumakov, and by me, and translation was provided by Anastasia Mitrofanova of the Institute for Contemporary International Studies (in Moscow) and Associate Editor of the encyclopedia. The encyclopedia has two Russian and two American sponsors: the Russian Philosophical Society, the Russian Ecological Academy, Concerned Philosophers For Peace, and the Paideia Project of Boston University. [I.I.Mazour, A.N. Chumakov, and W.C. Gay, Editors, Global Studies Encyclopedia (Moscow: Raduga, 2003), 592 pp. ISBN 5-05-005719-1 for the English edition and ISBN 5-05-005661-6 for the Russian edition.] For more information on the encyclopedia, go to: <http://www.globalistika.ru/karta.htm&gt; and click on English version.

A very valuable aspect of our meetings was the opportunity to establish direct personal contacts, especially after each of our joint sessions. Another very enjoyable opportunity resulted when RPS invited CPP members and others to attend a gala reception aboard the “Philosophical Ship” (the “Maria Ermolva” that brought many of the Russians to Istanbul) to celebrate our cooperation. The Russians were glad to hear CPP members expressing criticism of recent U.S. military actions, and we appreciated their applauding our criticisms which was a welcome alternative to the response we often receive at home.

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