July 13, 2007
Philip Kitcher is the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy at Columbia
University. An eminent philosopher, he is the author of many books on
science, literature, and music, including Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism; The Lives to Come: The Genetic Revolution and Human Possibilities; and Science, Truth, and Democracy.
Concerning himself mostly with the philosophy of science, he has also
had influence in the study of the ethical and political constraints on
scientific research, the evolution of altruism and morality, and the
possible conflict between science and religion. His most recent book is
Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith (Oxford University Press, 2006).
In this conversation with D.J. Grothe, Philip Kitcher explores the implications of Darwinism for both literalist religion, and for liberal faith, and to what extent the implications of Darwin’s theory for belief in God should be taught in the public schools. He also discusses the role and benefits of religion, and explores alternatives to it, such as secular humanism, and offers ideas for how secular humanism might become more popular in society.