"Education is the process of casting false pearls before real swine."
Irwin Edman (1896–1954)
Columbia College 1900, PhD 1920
A true man of the world, the philosopher Irwin Edman was once described by a colleague as "a blend of Plato, Santayana, and Manhattan--with a dash of Dewey." An internationally known scholar, Edman lectured at the Sorbonne and at the Athenaeum in London as well as Columbia, but he also sought out general readers in such books as The Contemporary and His Soul, Candle in the Dark, Philosopher's Holiday, and Philosopher's Quest. His philosophical interests never strayed far from the practical problems of living. Famous for both his absent-mindedness and his ability to memorize entire pages of poetry and prose, Edman was popular among undergraduates not only for general education courses, but for his regular departmental offerings. Many considered Philosophy 3-4 one of the truly great Columbia College courses.