Basic Assumption: Our basic assumption is that ideas are a major force in determining the course of human behavior. People act in accordance with what they believe to be true. For example, when people believed the earth was flat, they dared not venture far from land for fear of falling off into the abyss of space; and when our New England ancestors believed in witchcraft, they consciously hanged or burned “witches” at the stake, believing what they were doing was right behavior! Consequently, in order to understand the values, attitudes, and dispositions of people living in the 21st century, it is important that we learn about the fundamental ideas which have contributed most strongly to the formation of contemporary civilizations.
Purpose: The purpose of this organization shall be to promote the study and dissemination of major seminal ideas undergirding modern civilizations. These ideas shall be explored in their historical contexts, including their origins and growth and development, and evaluated for their significance in the contemporary world and their possible usefulness for anticipating and influencing the future.
Procedures: The Association’s procedures shall be directed toward
(1) establishing a charter, by-laws, and constitution;
(2) building on our West Virginia nucleus, to establish a potential membership list of prominent Americans, especially those involved in the gathering and dissemination of knowledge, and the formation and administration of public policy; and
(3) establishing a headquarters; selecting a board of directors, including a chief executive officer; and formulating long-term strategies and objectives.
Goals, Objectives and Strategies:
Goals: The goals of the Association shall be:
(1) to create an awareness of the impact ideas have on human behavior; and
(2) to contribute to a better understanding of some of the major ideas which have helped to shape contemporary civilizations.
Objectives: The objectives of the Association shall be:
(1) to develop a package of instructional material consisting of
(a) a basic textbook for each course,
(b) a course syllabus,
(c) a resource guide, and
(d) CDs for each of the following courses
1/ Ideas that Shaped the Western World,
2/ Ideas that Built America,
3/ The Idea of Divinity, and
4/ Others (?) E.g., Ideas that Shaped the Asian Mind.
(2) to set up a study center or institute in Florida.
(3) to train a cadre of instructors and conduct ideas seminars for appropriate agencies, institutions, and organizations.
(4) to develop a publishing company, e.g., The Sunshine Press.
Short-term Strategies: The short-term strategies of the Association shall be:
(1) to continue to promote the basic textbooks: Ideas that Built America and Supplementary Readings and Resource Guide; Ideas that Shaped the Western World; and The Idea of Divinity, including
(a) developing a new promotional brochure.
(b) sending the new brochure with an introductory letter to the history departments of various colleges and universities, and
(c) visiting schools, colleges, civic clubs and other appropriate organizations to promote the project actively;
(2) to set up a discussion group in Central Florida;
(3) to write articles and prepare press releases for appropriate publications;
(4) to implement courses where possible; and
(5) to determine the assessment of dues at membership meetings.
Daniel B. Crowder
Founder, 1988 – 1989