Founded in 1900 as the Scots Philosophical Club, the Scots Philosophical Association (SPA) is the professional association of philosophers in Scotland. Its primary purpose is to promote the study and teaching of philosophy in Scotland. This is achieved through the organization of an annual meeting, the sponsorship of conferences and workshops, the sponsorship of fellowships (including the annual SPA Centenary Fellowship), and the provision of grants to philosophy departments (which fund seminars, faculty travel, and postgraduate activities).   The SPA is the joint owner of the Philosophical Quarterly.


All members of academic staff in philosophy departments (or equivalent units) at Scottish universities belong to the SPA automatically (unless they resign), and continue their membership after they have retired. Members of other academic departments who teach philosophy are also eligible for membership; there are further categories of honorary and associate membership. Postgraduate students in the Scottish philosophy departments are encouraged to attend the Association’s meetings.

Conference support

Income from sales of the Philosophical Quarterly enables the SPA to offer grants to support philosophy events organised in Scotland: How to make an application for conference support. If you’re organising a conference or workshop and would like it to be advertised to SPA members, please send the relevant details to the Secretary.

Annual meeting

The SPA’s annual meeting is held in early December, with the location rotating between Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Stirling, St Andrews, Glasgow, and Dundee.

The next AGM will be held in December 2020 at St. Andrews (Upcoming meetings: Glasgow (2021), Dundee (2022), Edinburgh (2023), Aberdeen (2024).)