Petition Closed

to undersign an open letter to the APA asking them to produce a code of conduct and a statement of professional ethics for the academic discipline of philosophy


A Petition to the APA through its Board of Officers

As teachers, mentors and colleagues, we, professional philosophers, take our tasks of teaching, research, and service to the profession very seriously. We want to create a supportive environment where fellow faculty members and students feel safe and where their concerns are heard and addressed.

In light of recent events at more than one university, we the undersigned hereby petition the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association to produce, by one means or another, a code of conduct and a statement of professional ethics for the academic discipline of philosophy. We particularly urge past presidents of each division of the APA to sign this petition.

Eleonore Stump, Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy Saint Louis University, 3800 Lindell Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63108

Helen De Cruz, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Oxford, Philosophy Faculty, Woodstock Road OX26GG Oxford, UK


Update: We received a reply by Amy Ferrer, executive director of the APA. She fully supports our petition and the call for a code of ethics, and has asked to place the following message: 

The APA is always open to suggestions and recommendations from our members. The members of the board of officers, like so many others in the profession, are deeply troubled by incidents of harassment and other misconduct that have recently come to light. We want members to know that we take professional ethics very seriously.

We also want to take this opportunity to share some of the history of the board’s decisions on how to approach a professional code of ethics.

In 1994, a committee charged to consider the adoption of a code of ethics for the association "recommended that the APA not create its own code of ethics, but rather refer members to the guidelines of the AAUP.”

Based on that recommendation, the APA board of officers approved the practice of referring those who seek a code of ethics for the profession of philosophy to the American Association of University Professors' Statement on Professional Ethics. This AAUP statement can be found at the following link:

As appropriate, the board has supplemented this code with further statements, such as our statement on nondiscrimination and statement on sexual harassment. APA statements and policies are available on our website:

In the interest of ensuring that our current policies continue to serve the needs of the profession, from time to time the board may revisit past decisions and consider whether they still suit the best interest of our members. As such, the board will again take up the issue, including the possibility of developing our own independent code of ethics for the profession, at one of its upcoming 2014 meetings.

This petition was delivered to:
  • The American Philosophical Association, through its Board of Officers

    Eleonore Stump and Helen De Cruz started this petition with a single signature, and now has 672 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.