Bill Vitek

Bill Vitek

Bill Vitek is a scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College, director of the New Perennials Project, and editor of New Perennials Publishing. He taught philosophy for 32 years at Clarkson University with the objective of helping students understand how the philosophical imagination can and must do useful work in the world. With Wes Jackson he edited Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place, and The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge. Bill plays piano in The Jazz Collective, a group of veteran musicians playing from the Great American Songbook in Vermont, USA.


The pandemic armchair philosophy blog: The long game, a creation story for the pandemic weary

We are each and all of us playing the music of the spheres in the Big Bang Orchestra, which doubles as our hearth and home.

January 27, 2022

Battle of Salamis

The Pandemic Armchair Philosophy Blog 02.24.2021

The Pandemic Armchair Philosophy Blog welcomes the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 crisis, but a “return to normal” should refocus us on a long list of global climate emergencies, social injustices, and tottering democratic institutions.

February 24, 2021

Harvesting Kernza

Bill Vitek: In Pursuit of Better Agriculture (and a Better Society)

About 40 years ago, Wes Jackson at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas asked this radical question: Why can’t we have perennial grains? Since grains make up about 65% of worldwide calories, why not develop perennial versions?

December 30, 2020

Harvesting kernza

Transforming life on our home planet, perennially

With nearly eight billion people on the planet, we aren’t going back to hunting and gathering. But around the world, often under the banner of agroecology, people are using modern science and traditional knowledge to develop ways of farming that are less ecologically and socially destructive.

December 8, 2020

1755 Lisbon earthquake

Pandemic Armchair Philosophy Blog: August 25, 2020

Voltaire gives readers a glimpse of the overwhelming weight of the universe and the worst abuses imagined by human beings. And he does it in a way that we can hold them in our hands, smile at their absurdities, remain fortified against their eventualities, and work to plant and grow new ideas and systems…

August 25, 2020

Tavern scene

The Pandemic Armchair Philosophy Blog, 05.18.20

How do we live wise and virtuous lives with all of our human frailties laid bare by a pandemic?  Hume, I think, would answer: with others, with humor and kindness, and with constant checks on the assumptions and certainties we hold too tightly and too often in opposition to others, be they viral or human. 

May 18, 2020

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