Howard Gardner to Deliver 2019 Montgomery Lecture at American Philosophical Society

On December 5, 2019, Howard Gardner will be speaking at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia as the 2019 Montgomery lecturer. Gardner will be in conversation with Washington Post report David Montgomery about his forthcoming intellectual memoir, which will be published in 2020.

The event is open to the public with registration. Please click here to learn more and register.

The event will be livestreamed. Click here to view at 6:00pm ET on December 5, 2019.

A description of the memoir, titled A Synthesizing Mind, is below.

Howard Gardner’s Frames of Mind was that rare publishing phenomenon: a mind-changer. Widely read by the general public as well as by educators, this influential book laid out Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. The seminal work debunked the primacy of the IQ test and inspired new approaches to education—entire curricula, schools, museums, and parental guides were dedicated to the nurturance of the several intelligences.

In A Synthesizing Mind, Gardner reflects on his intellectual development and his groundbreaking work, tracing his evolution from bookish child to eager college student to disengaged graduate student to Harvard professor. He discusses his mentors (including Erik Erikson and Jerome Bruner), his collaborators (such as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and William Damon), and even comedian Groucho Marx makes a surprise (non)appearance, declining Gardner’s invitation to chat with Harvard College students, in favor of “making a living.”

Throughout his career, Gardner has focused on human minds in general, or on the minds of particular creators and leaders. Reflecting now on his own mind, he concludes that his is a “synthesizing mind”—with the ability to survey experiences and data across a wide range of disciplines and perspectives. The thinkers he most admires—such as historian Richard Hofstadter, biologist Charles Darwin, literary critic Edmund Wilson—are exemplary synthesizers. Gardner contends that the synthesizing mind is particularly valuable at this time and proposes ways to cultivate a possibly unique human capacity.


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