Our Mission


The Dallas Forum on Law, Politics, and Culture is a scholarly institute dedicated to understanding contemporary American life in light of timeless truths about human flourishing. Our programs support a community of scholars, students, and professionals who wish to recover the wisdom needed for the direction of American public life, and who expect to find that wisdom in norms derived from nature and the Author of nature.

Our Goals


Guided by the ancient Greek and Roman ideal of educated statesmanship, the Dallas Forum offers intellectual formation to both future and current leaders in government, law, education, business, and society.


  • We promote the recovery of the Western natural-law tradition that has formed and guided American statesmen from the Founders through Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • We sponsor careful and well-grounded analysis of the most pressing issues in American public life today—including political and legal as well as cultural, social, and religious issues.
  • And we encourage respectful dialogue on matters of public concern, both with those who share our own premises and with those who question them.

Whether on philosophical first principles or concrete policy proposals, the Dallas Forum encourages intellectual reflection that sheds light on the practical challenges that face our nation and our world.  


Too often in today’s civic discourse, cheap slogans and ephemeral fads take the place of reasoned reflection; performative rage and virtue-signaling crowd out respectful debate; and the contemptuous judgments of supposed experts dismiss essential elements of human flourishing. We all need to relearn how to listen to the voice of nature and of nature’s God over the tumult that surrounds us. A long tradition, inherited and carried on by our nation’s Founders, teaches us that this task requires dialogue and debate among a wide range of different philosophical and theological views. The Dallas Forum’s activities thus offer a much-needed model for our nation’s public discourse today—both in what we discuss and in the way we discuss it. 

The Dallas Forum was founded in 1989 by Dr. Christopher Wolfe as the American Public Philosophy Institute (APPI). We are currently in the process of reincorporating, during which our legal name remains the American Public Philosophy Institute, EIN 22-3037480.

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