The Centrality of Education

Philip Stuart Kitcher
March 3, 2022 - 5:00 PM

Wolstein Building Auditorium, 2103 Cornell Road

Philip Kitcher, a professor at Columbia University, is known for his studies on the role of scientific inquiry in democratic societies. This lecture is a follow up to his 2017 Walter Strauss Lecture Series offered at CWRU and is presented in coordination with the publication of  his book, The Main Enterprise of the World: Rethinking Education.  Emerson's vision of education as "the main enterprise of the world" should be taken seriously.  Rather than thinking of education as consisting in the production of productive workers, Kitcher proposed that we should see it as growing people who can live together as fellow citizens and enjoy fulfilling lives.  He believes our central task as human beings is to leave the world better than we found it, and to enable our successors to continue the process of improvement.  

This lecture will also be live-streamed at

If attending in-person, registration is requested.  Register HERE.

About the speaker:

Philip Stuart Kitcher is a British philosophy professor who specializes in the philosophy of science, the philosophy of biology, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of literature, and, more recently, pragmatism.

Kitcher is the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University.  Before moving to Columbia, Kitcher taught at the University of Vermont, Vassar College, The University of Minnesota, University of Michigan, and for several years at University of California, San Diego where he held the position of Presidential Professor of Philosophy.

Kitcher is past president of the American Philosophical Association. In 2002, Kitcher was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and he was awarded the inaugural Prometheus Prize from the American Philosophical Association in 2006 in honor of extended achievement in the philosophy of science.

He has trained a number of prominent philosophers of science, including Peter Godfrey-Smith at the City University of New York Graduate Center, Kyle Stanford at the University of California at Irvine, and Bruce Glymour at Kansas State University.

Click HERE to visit Philip Kitcher's Faculty Page.

Click HERE to watch Philip Kitcher's lecture, "Too Many Aims," which was the first of the 2017 Walter A. Strauss Lectures offered at CWRU.

Click HERE to watch Philip Kitcher's lecture, "Shaping the Citizen," which was the second of the 2017 Walter A. Strauss Lectures offered at CWRU.

Click HERE to watch Philip Kitcher's lecture, "The Importance of the Sciences and the Arts," which was the third of the 2017 Walter A. Strauss Lectures offered at CWRU.

Increasing COVID-19 cases within Northeast Ohio have prompted Case Western Reserve to resume its requirement that masks be worn indoors. In addition, only those who are fully vaccinated (two weeks past their final dose) should attend any campus event. Leaders continue to monitor pandemic developments and may need to adjust health protocols further as circumstances warrant. In-person is subject to change based on COVID-19 guidelines.