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Philip Kitcher

John Dewey Professor, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University

Governing Board Member, SOF/Heyman, Columbia University (2004–2006)

Headshot of Philip Kitcher

Philip Kitcher is the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University. Professor Kitcher was formerly the Chair of Contemporary Civilization at Columbia from 2004-07, as well as the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Philosophy from 2008-11. He is one of the most distinguished philosophers teaching today, having received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1988-89, a five-year Research and Training Grant from the National Science Foundation (1990-95), as well as having served as President of the American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division) and Presidential Professor at the University of California, San Diego. He received a first-class honors BA in Mathematics/History from Christ’s College, Cambridge in 1969, and his PhD in Philosophy of Science from Princeton University in 1974. Early in his career, Professor Kitcher was primarily interested in philosophy of mathematics and general philosophy of science. During the late 1970s, he became very concerned with the philosophy of biology, which led him to investigate not only conceptual and methodological issues in biology, but also questions about the relations of biological research to society and politics. He has especially elaborated his investigations in connection with work on pragmatism (especially William James and John Dewey), part of which advances a program for naturalistic ethics. Recently, Professor Kitcher has focused his research on philosophical themes in literature and music. His recent publications include The Ethical Project (Harvard University Press, 2011), Science in a Democratic Society (Prometheus Books, 2011), Preludes to Pragmatism (Oxford University Press, 2012), Philosophy of Science: A New Introduction (with Gillian Barker) (Oxford University Press, 2013), and Deaths in Venice: The Cases of Gustav von Aschenbach (Columbia University Press, 2013).