The Philosophical Ramblers Association (PRA)

Like its down-to-earth cousin, this association was formed to keep the old pathways open, generally campaign for the rights of all such ramblers in the modern world, and put off senility by the exercise of gentle rambling.

Aims of the PRA

PRA activities

The main activity of the association consists of disorganised rambles along established philosophical pathways. The association aims to traverse all such pathways at least once a year. The rambles consist of identifiable groups of philosophers thrashing their way along forgotten paths wearing slightly antiquated clothing and wearing protective beards. Once started these groups set off in a predetermined direction, trying to keep together for mutual support. Although ramblers frequently drop out when they have only traversed part of the route, it is rare for new philosophers to join them after the start. As far as possible clear well-marked paths are chosen which avoid any deep philosophical quagmires. Although we publicly assert the beneficial effects of such rambles, they are conducted primarily for the amusement of participants. Afterwards it is traditional to celebrate the ramble in a book with chapters contributed by the ramblers that managed to complete the course.

In addition to its rambles the association publishes a variety of regional and general newsletters, recounting such rambles and retelling the history of the association and also arranges a variety of social events at which interesting talks are given.

For insurance reasons only existing members can participate in PRA events.

The organisational structure

Although there are some self-appointed national and inter-national ramblers most of the association's activities are controlled by more specialist groupings of philosophers. These groups do all the real work of the PRA, deciding routes, membership, and composition of all committees as well as collecting funds, editing newsletters and arranging social events. Each groups decides its own constitution and only has to pay minimal lip-service to the national and international PRA organisations. Group membership is determined by free and open co-option.

The national association provides a variety of services including grants for young new ramblers (strictly limited), an one-way advice hot-line (a sophisticated two way service allowing questions is presently being discussed) a general newsletter with articles from committed ramblers and a yearly shin-dig (or three).

Supporting the PRA

The PRA desperately needs your support! The public can play a crucial role in supporting the PRA either by making a donation or by lobbying your local MP for increased government support and the maintenance of media consultation rights of established members.

Joining the PRA

Applications for membership are welcome from the general public and are generally successful as long as they have either received a new ramblers grant, published accounts of rambles in one of our newsletters or given a talk at one of our social events.