As education fails to prompt reflections that might lead to self-fashioning, as work proves unsatisfying, the way is prepared for adult citizens whose aspirations are bounded by the horizons of accumulating ‘assets,’ crowding out the possibility of achieving the rewards of community.
Philip Kitcher was born in 1947 in London (U.K.). He received his B.A. from Cambridge University and his Ph.D. from Princeton. He has taught at several American Universities, and is currently John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia. He is the author of books on topics ranging from the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of biology, the growth of science, the role of science in society, naturalistic ethics, Wagner’s Ring and Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. He has been President of the American Philosophical Association (Pacific Division) and Editor-in-Chief of Philosophy of Science. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was also the first recipient of the Prometheus Prize, awarded by the American Philosophical Association for work in expanding the frontiers of Science and Philosophy. He has been named a “Friend of Darwin” by the National Committee on Science Education, and received a Lannan Foundation Notable Book Award for Living With Darwin. During 2011-12, he was a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, where he was partially supported by a prize from the Humboldt Foundation, and in the autumn of 2015 he was the Daimler Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. Recent books include: The Ethical Project (Harvard University Press, 2011), Preludes to Pragmatism (Oxford University Press, 2012), Deaths in Venice: The Cases of Gustav von Aschenbach (Columbia University Press, 2013) and Life After Faith: The Case for Secular Humanism (Yale University Press, 2014). The Seasons Alter: How to Save our Planet in Six Acts, co-authored with Evelyn Fox Keller, will be published by W.W. Norton in 2017.