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The Committee on Social Thought is one of several PhD-granting committees at the University of Chicago. It was started in 1941 by historian John Ulric Nef along with economist Frank Knight, anthropologist Robert Redfield, and University President Robert Maynard Hutchins.

The committee is interdisciplinary, but it is not centered on any specific topic; rather, the committee has, since its inception, drawn together noted academics and writers to "foster awareness of the permanent questions at the origin of all learned inquiry" [1].

Notable past members of the committee have included T. S. Eliot, Friedrich Hayek, Mircea Eliade, Leszek Kołakowski, Edward Shils, Allan Bloom, Saul Bellow, David Grene, Victor Turner, Hannah Arendt, Leo Strauss, poet and philologist A. K. Ramanujan, philosophers Stephen Toulmin, Paul Ricoeur and J. M. Coetzee.

Current faculty include renowned Sanskritist Wendy Doniger, theologian David Tracy, theorist of German literature David Wellbery, classicist James M. Redfield, psychologist and philosopher Jonathan Lear, philosopher Jean-Luc Marion, philosopher Robert B. Pippin, Nobel Laureate economist Robert Fogel, historian of science Lorraine Daston, physician and philosopher Leon Kass (former chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics), and poet Adam Zagajewski.

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