Offline Salon in NYC: Lessons in Soulcraft from Boy Scouting and Alcoholics Anonymous


In the latest installment of the Braver Angles x Interintellect Series on the Philosophy of Depolarization, join special guest Luke Nathan Phillips of Braver Angels to explore two models of depolarization via what we’re calling soulcraft — and to see what these longstanding programs might teach us about how to live well in this politically divided age.

Most social-impact organizations aim their efforts broadly, often tinkering with public policy or other community outreach efforts. In this salon, II host and Braver Angels Director of Debates Jessie Mannisto will talk with special guest Luke Nathan Phillips, Publius Fellow for Public Discourse at Braver Angels, about an approach that, Luke will argue, is equally venerable and more impactful: character formation.

We’ll start off discussing two of the most successful and replicable models: scouting programs like the Boy Scouts of America and twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.  (Luke speaks as a student and not a representative of the organizations under consideration.)  As Luke will explain in the intro portion of this salon, each of these organizations offers a vision of self-improvement and a communal program by which individuals might attain that self-improvement. That self-improvement is explicitly the cultivation of certain traits of character.  So how does each of these institutions do this — and what might an organization like Braver Angels that aims for the lofty goal of depolarizing our fraught political culture learn from these models? What can we living in these politically polarized times learn from these models?

Come join us for a conversation about character, tradition, institutions, and the further development of the philosophy of depolarization!

This event will be recorded.

This is a members only event. Please sign in to RSVP.



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