FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DES SOCIETES DE PHILOSOPHIE
December 2, 2009
Honorable D. Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation
llinskaya Street 23
Moscow 103132, Russian Federation
Honorable President Medvedev:
A little more than two weeks ago, I spoke at the inaugural Session of the UNESCO World Philosophy Day in Moscow, along with distinguished representatives of your government. A congratulatory letter from you was also read at that session. In the following days, we met at the Institute of Philosophy on Volkhonka Street, the central theme of the meetings being "philosophy in the dialogue of cultures". It was, in the opinion of all the participants, a very, very successful meeting.
Only after leaving Russia did I learn that there is a serious threat to the continuation of the Institute at its current, historic location of eighty years' duration. In my brief remarks in Moscow I had recalled my first visit to the institute, in 1985, when I was leading a delegation of philosophers visiting Russia from the United States, Europe, and Africa, It was then that I began to become acquainted in more detail with the extremely distinguished history of the Institute, to which I have returned on several occasions since then.
The institute is of especially great importance to philosophers, of course - and philosophy in Russia, as I also mentioned in my remarks, has included a vast range of ideas and areas of thought, such as, for example, the philosophy of law and the philosophy of science as well as many other traditional intellectual concerns. But your institute of Philosophy, in light of its history, represents more than just philosophy, in all of its breadth: The Institute has been a beacon of Russian culture as such, as was reflected in the theme of the World Philosophy Day.
So I urge you please to do what is within your powers to prevent the closing of this historic site in the center of Moscow. A general statement by the Steering Committee of the international Federation of Philosophical Societies (FISP - Federation Internationale des Societes de Philosophie) has already been written, with my name at the top of the list of signatures as President, But I thought that it was important in addition for me to send you this personal appeal.
Sincerely and respectfully,
William Leon McBride, President of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies