Philip Kitcher bigraphy, stories - Philosophers

Philip Kitcher : biography

1947 -

Philip Stuart Kitcher (born 1947) 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.


  • Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism. MIT Press, 1982 (paperback 1983). ISBN 0-262-61037-X
  • The Nature of Mathematical Knowledge. Oxford University Press, 1983 (paperback 1984).
  • Vaulting Ambition: Sociobiology and the Quest for Human Nature. MIT Press, 1985 (paperback 1987).
  • The Advancement of Science, Oxford University Press, April 1993 (paper January 1995).
  • The Lives to Come: The Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities (Simon and Schuster [U.S.], Penguin [U.K.], January 1996, paperback editions 1997). The American paperback contains a postscript on cloning, almost identical with his article “Whose Self is it, Anyway?”.
  • Patterns of Scientific Controversies, essay in Scientific Controversies: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives
  • Science, Truth, and Democracy, Oxford University Press, 2001; paperback 2003. ISBN 0-19-516552-7
  • In Mendel’s Mirror: Philosophical Reflections on Biology, Oxford University Press, 2003. (This is a collection of seventeen of his articles).
  • Finding an Ending: Reflections on Wagner’s Ring, co-authored with Richard Schacht, Oxford University Press, February 2004. ISBN 0-19-517359-7
  • Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, Oxford University Press, January 2007. ISBN 0-19-531444-1
  • Joyce's Kaleidoscope: An Invitation to Finnegans Wake, Oxford University Press, July 2007. ISBN 0-19-532103-0
  • The Ethical Project, Harvard University Press, October 2011. ISBN 0-67-406144-6
  • Science in a Democratic Society, Prometheus Books, September 2011. ISBN 1-61-614407-6


Kitcher currently teaches at Columbia University in the Department of Philosophy where he holds an appointment as the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy. As chair of Columbia's Contemporary Civilization program (part of its undergraduate Core Curriculum), he also holds the James R. Barker Professorship of Contemporary Civilization. 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.

His appointments and service have included:

  • Editorial Board, Philosophy of Science, 1985–1994.
  • Editor-in-Chief, Philosophy of Science, 1994–1999.
  • Governing Board, Philosophy of Science Association, 1987–1991.
  • Member NIH/DOE Working Group on the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of the Human Genome Project, 1995–1997.
  • Representative of the American Philosophical Association to Section L of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1995–1998.
  • Member, Board of Officers, American Philosophical Association, 1996–99.
  • Philosophy Referee for John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 1994—

Early life

Born in London, Kitcher spent his early life in Eastbourne, East Sussex, on the South Coast of the United Kingdom. He earned his B.A. in Mathematics/History and Philosophy of Science from Christ's College, Cambridge in 1969, and his Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from Princeton University in 1974, where he worked closely with Carl Hempel and Thomas Kuhn.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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