man standing in front of students in a lecture hall

2017 Walter A. Strauss Lecture Series: “Too Many Aims?”

The Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities presents the 2017 Walter A. Strauss Lecture Series, composed of three lectures on “Education and Democracy” given by celebrated philosopher Philip Kitcher.

Kitcher, a professor at Columbia University, is known for his studies on the role of scientific inquiry in democratic societies, rooted in the philosophy of pragmatism associated with William James and John Dewey. In this lecture series, Kitcher broadens this inquiry to investigate the aims of education with emphasis on the importance of the humanities and the arts.

This lecture series, in memory of Walter A. Strauss (1923-2008), who was the Elizabeth and William T. Treuhaft Professor of Humanities, is generously supported by funds provided by the Paul Wurzburger Endowment. 

The first lecture in the series is titled “Too Many Aims?” and will take place Monday, Nov. 27, from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Research Building auditorium. Kitcher suggests that a number of different approaches to the aims of education have considerable plausibility. When they are combined, as they sometimes are by writers such as John Stuart Mill and John Dewey, the task of providing an adequate education looks formidable. Kitcher argues for a way of taking on the challenge.

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The other two lectures in the series, titled “Shaping the Citizen” and “The Importance of the Sciences and the Arts,” will take place Wednesday, Nov. 29, and Friday, Dec. 1, respectively.

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