Speaking Inquiries — and selected list of past engagements and interviews/features

Whether he is immersed in a Constitution Café dialogue, or presiding over a Socrates Café, Democracy Cafe, or some other form of inquiry, Phillips believes that the process of dialogue and the space of human interaction are good for us as individuals and essential for us as a society. At a time when there are widening rifts between Americans, and when American culture is frequently perceived as exclusionary and self-involved, Phillips encourages us to approach others with greater openness and less fear. His goal is to inspire curiosity and wonder, to nurture not just self-discovery, but a “democracy without borders” that realizes more and more, on local and global scales, the Jeffersonian notion of freedom — of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

As a government major at the College of William & Mary, Christopher immersed himself in studies of Thomas Jefferson, himself a devotee of Socrates. As Jefferson wrote to his personal secretary William Short, “the superlative wisdom of Socrates is testified by all antiquity, and placed on ground not to be questioned.” Socrates couldn’t have said it better himself when Jefferson exhorted his nephew Peter Carr to “fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness… Do not be frightened by this inquiry by any fear of its consequences.”

Contact for lectures or events:

Christopher Phillips



Selected list of some of Christopher’s past engagements:

Rutgers University:  Rethinking Democracy.  Keynote

Missouri State University: Third Annual Civic Engagement Conference. “Ask Not.” Keynote

Florida State College of Jacksonville, Center for Learning Enrichment, “What Can I Do?”  Keynote

Quinnipiac University, Socrates Cafe and the Philosophy of Childing

James Madison University, Madison Vision Series

Gemini Ink and University of Texas San Antonio, Breakthrough Thinkers Series

Illahee Lecture Series, Pacific Northwest College of Art, “Constitution Cafe”

Elgin Community College Humanities Center, “Childing the World”


Selected List of some interviews with and features on Christopher:

The Philosophy of Socrates Cafe, NPR

All the Right Questions, TIME Magazine

The Philosophy of Childing, WLRN, “Topical Currents”

What are you going to be when you grow up? WHYY Radio Times

Daring to revise America’s sacred text, San Francisco Chronicle

Want to unleash creativity? Consult kids,   Minneapolis Star-Tribune

A volunteer teaches kids philosophy — and how to listen to one another, San Francisco Chronicle

He has a few questions for you, Los Angeles Times