The second event sponsored and promoted by the Windsor Philosophical Society was an argument boxing match – a debate deploying all of the aesthetic flourishes of a boxing match. This event was held at the Walkerville Brewing Company and coincided with the Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation (OSSA) conference hosted by the University of Windsor. Jan Sobocan and Grant Yocom stepped into the ring with our guest moderator/ referee Stephen Pender to debate the acceptability of boxing as a metaphor for arguments in academic discourse. Jan argued that this metaphor is far to male-centric and violent to be acceptable within academic discourse. Further, the boxing metaphor evokes a form of domination which constrains dialogue to mere opposition. Grant came back swinging, arguing that the very act of prohibition regarding this metaphor was a violent form of domination itself, and further, a form of punch that asks the defender not to defend. Grant argued that boxing, as one among many metaphors we deploy as arguers, was perfectly acceptable in the context of academic discourse. This was an extremely successful event, raising enough money to sponsor the first student award given out by the WPA. Though Grant lost by TKO (the applause-o-meter), he expects a re-match.
The WPA began as an informal alumni society for the Department of Philosophy at the University of Windsor. Shortly after the inception of the WPA it became a loose knit association of alumni from the department of philosophy, philosophers located in Windsor, and generally friends of philosophy within the region. This more general association was intended to be an open group that supports the development of a critical community of the philosophically minded within the region. The WPA supported both student and independent scholarship and encourages philosophers to bring their research beyond the bounds of the university and into the public sphere.
In May of 2013, the WPA transformed again into the WP(A)A, a registered Non-Profit Corporation and Charitable Organization in Ontario. The notion behind this latest transformation is to establish a non-profit artist organization (akin to Artcite, Windsor) dedicated to supporting independent philosophical scholarship and philosophers intervention events within the greater Windsor region.