WHAT WE DO
Exploring foundational questions regarding human existence.
For sixteen years the Witherspoon Institute has offered a wide array of summer seminars for high schoolers, undergraduates, graduate students, law students, professors, and young professionals. Ranging in subject matter from ancient moral philosophy to contemporary bioethics, from metaphysics to marriage, all of Witherspoon’s summer seminars offer a vision of human flourishing at both the individual and the societal level. We expect all of our students to come to our sessions prepared for rigorous and charitable questioning, intellectual freedom, argument, and even (at times) friendly disagreement.
Entering their fifth year, the Witherspoon Institute’s academic year seminars continue to explore foundational questions regarding human existence, drawing in more and more Princeton undergraduates and graduate students. Always held over dinner on Wednesdays and lunch on Fridays, Witherspoon seminars provide a space to form deep friendships in the pursuit of truth. No grades are given, and any readings given are meant more as prompts for conversation and reflection rather than lifeless objects of analysis. Previous seminar topics have included wonder and poetry, rootedness and community, ambition and humility, love and friendship. For more about Academic Year Seminars, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.
Begun in 2013 by seven moms and one marriage activist, CanaVox is now an international network of friends for marriage, with reading groups in 36 states and 27 countries.
CanaVox reading groups provide opportunities for friends to have open and honest conversations about marriage and family. Our carefully curated list of readings and videos encourage great discussions—pulling together up-to-date academic research and inspiring stories from the front lines of real life.
Public Discourse is the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute. Founded in 2008, the publication is dedicated to providing thoughtful, philosophically rigorous commentary on the most important issues of the day. The journal strives to enhance public understanding of the moral foundations of free societies by making the scholarship of fellows and affiliated scholars available and accessible to a general audience. Public Discourse authors write on a wide array of topics in a variety of academic disciplines, but they are united by a common commitment to the idea that truth exists, is knowable, and should inform our politics and culture.