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April 5: Philanthropy and Public Action

A Conversation on Philanthropy featuring Steven D. Ealy (Senior Fellow, Liberty Fund, Inc.), Dwight Burlingame (Associate Executive Director, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University), John Clark (Senior Fellow, Sagamore Institute for Policy Research), and Christine Henderson (Senior Fellow, Liberty Fund, Inc.)

When: Tuesday, April 5 10:00 AM — noon

Where: Sagamore Institute Third Floor Meeting Room, 340 W. Michigan St. Indianapolis

Sponsored by the Sagamore Institute and the Project for New Philanthropy Studies at DonorsTrust

In this first in a series of programs that will examine questions about the role of philanthropy in a free society, the panel will discuss a recent paper by Dr. Steven Ealy, senior fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc. on "The Necessity of Overcoming the Prejudice of Political Philosophy as a Condition for Philanthropy." This paper explores why a search for political (rather than voluntary) solutions to social problems has become the default approach in America. Ealy examines the political philosophy of Leo Strauss, the political journalism of George Will, and the writings of Michael Polanyi and Michael Oakeshott in search of a robust foundation for conceiving of philanthropic action and institutions as vital elements of modern life and sources of authority in their own spheres. Ealy's essay appeared in Conversations on Philanthropy: Conceptual Foundations (DonorsTrust, 2004), where it is accompanied by comments from other scholars.

Steve's paper is a very thoughtful and thought-provoking effort to construct a conservative conceptual framework that can make sense of civil society. I may suggest that rather than the political philosophy of Leo Strauss we should look at the political philosophy of Hannah Arendt; instead of the political journalism of George Will we should use the political journalism of Garry Wills; instead of Michael Polanyi we should look at his brother Karl; and instead of Michael Oakeshott we should look at Michael Walzer's "Spheres of Justice." Or something like that.

This will be fun. It's free and open to the public, and free copies of Conversations on Philanthropy: Conceptual Foundations will be given to all who attend this event.

Please RSVP to Pat A. Hasselblad at 317-472-2050, ext. 303 or pat@sipr.org.

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