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President’s Welcome 2020


It is an immense privilege to greet you as 2019-21 President of The Philadelphia Society.  

Why Philadelphia? Why a Society? The reason is simple. What happened in Philadelphia in 1787 represents the culmination of so many of the truths, habits, and institutional insights that unfolded through time, going back to the ancients, proceeding through the medieval and early-modern period, before achieving unique expression in the closing decades of the eighteenth century. These ideas and institutions proved to be core to America’s understanding of itself and have gone on to influence the West from which they sprung.

The American experiment in ordered liberty had many facets and those who strive to show its enduring significance to America and the world do not agree, and never have agreed, about everything. Living traditions do not, by definition, stagnate. Moreover, their significance for contemporary developments needs to be constantly rethought and reapplied. The Philadelphia Society exists, however, because there are people who believe that America and the West more generally can continue to grow and flourish by discussing and debating the various ideas and traditions that nourished the American Founding and the West’s unique civilizational achievement.

Our next two meetings will seek to explore some of the questions that animate our members as they seek to think about how to maintain and develop the ideas expressed in the different philosophical, cultural, and economic traditions of thought in the context of a rapidly changing political environment. The upcoming Fall Meeting, Populism, Markets, and Political Economy, which will be held October 18-19, 2019 at the Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia, will examine and debate some of the arguments about political economy on “the right” today.  This will be followed by our 2020 Spring Meeting, Conservatism, the Judiciary, and the Law, March 27-29, 2020, at the Ritz Carlton St. Louis, St. Louis. Missouri. This will involve serious discussion of the ways that traditionalists, conservatives, classical liberals and libertarians understand the role of law in societies that seek to reconcile freedom with order.

I am proud to be following in the footsteps of past presidents such as profound minds like Ellis Sandoz and Forrest McDonald, institution builders like Ed Feulner and Roger Ream, as well as tireless stalwarts in the cause of ordered liberty like Leonard P. Liggio and Henry Regnery. I am also honored to be leading an exceptional talented and enthusiastic Board of Trustees.

We are at the service of our members and we are always interested in their thoughts about the workings of The Philadelphia Society and its programs. To those who would like to know more about The Philadelphia Society and the ways in which it seeks to preserve and shape the traditions that it upholds and debates, please do not hesitate to contact myself or any of the Trustees. Our ultimate goal is truth, and that is an object to which all people of good will can contribute.


Samuel Gregg
President, 2019-2020

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