Skip to main content


Philosophy as a Public Humanity

General Programming

dateMay 1, 2014 timeThursday, 12:15pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
Photograph of a newspaper blowing across Madison Avenue in Harlem, NY

Max Hayward, Public Humanities Fellow at the Heyman Center for the Humanities, will present a discussion on the conception and implementation of Rethink, a philosophy community outreach program that runs philosophical talks with court-involved youth in Harlem. Hayward's focus is two-fold: First, he seeks to explore what it is that philosophical thinking has to offer a wider public, and what role philosophy as a discipline has to play in pressing issues such as those that confront participants in Rethink. Secondly, Hayward aims to suggest ways in which public engagement can be an enriching resource for philosophy, and present a particular conception of one subfield of philosophy--ethics--according to which public engagement is an indispensable epistemological tool.

The Public Humanities Fellowship was developed by the New York Council for the Humanities in partnership with university humanities centers at Columbia, Cornell, CUNY, NYU, Syracuse, and the State University of New York at Buffalo and Stony Brook to bring humanities scholarship into the public realm, to encourage humanities graduate students to conceive of their work in relation to the public sphere and to explore the public dimensions of their scholarship in partnership with community organizations serving pubic audiences throughout New York State.

The year-long fellowship provides training in the methods of public scholarship and in developing scholars' skills for doing public work.

More on the Public Humanities Fellowship at the New York Council for the Humanities website.

  • Max Hayward PhD candidate in Philosophy Columbia University