Hailed by philosopher Sidney Hook as “a landmark in the history of American philosophy,” the International Philosophy Year in 1967-68 brought 70 of the world’s most distinguishedphilosophers to the College at Brockport for a series of fourteen conferences devoted to different areas of philosophical inquiry. The presenters included such luminariesas Gilbert Ryle, Max Black, P. F. Strawson, W. V. O. Quine, Hilary Putnam, Sidney Hook, Senator George McGovern, Associate Justice Tom C. Clark, and Jeanne Hersch, just to name a few.
Under the leadership of Dr. Howard Kiefer (project director) and Dr. Joseph Gilbert (assistant project director) and with support from the US Department of State, UNESCO, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a number of private foundations and corporations, the event was a spectacular success, and shortly thereafter the conference papers were published in a four volume set, Contemporary Philosophic Thought. Then, on April 11, 1969, SUNY Chancellor Samuel B. Gould established the Center for Philosophic Exchange with the express purpose of continuing the program of IPY.
Housed in the Department of Philosophy at the College at Brockport, the Center fulfills its purpose each year by bringing to the Brockport campus three or four highly distinguished philosophers to present a lecture, accessible to nonphilosophers and open to the public. Guests of the Center have included such notable philosophers as A. J. Ayer, Alasdair MacIntyre, Philippa Foot, Peter Singer, William Alston, R. M. Hare, Susan Wolf, Roderick Chisholm, Jaegwon Kim, Lynne Rudder Baker, Peter van Inwagen, and Bas van Fraassen. Each lecture is then published as an article in Philosophic Exchange, which is now online and open-access.