Our Mission

Our Mission

Public Discourse is the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute, a 501(c)3 research center located in Princeton, New Jersey. We seek to enhance public understanding of the moral foundations of free societies by making the scholarship of our fellows and affiliated scholars available and accessible to a general audience.

Public Discourse authors write on a wide array of topics in a variety of academic disciplines. They are united by a common commitment to the idea that truth exists, is knowable, and should inform our politics and culture.

At Public Discourse, we believe that a free and thriving society is possible, but it depends on the existence of a virtuous citizenry—human beings, living in community, who seek to understand what is good and to live it out. The formation of virtuous human beings is a complex task, one that works best when families, religious communities, and schools work together to accomplish it. A just system of government and a dynamic economy is also necessary to protect the rights of citizens and ensure their material wellbeing. An online publication can never replace this network of interconnected institutions, but it can inform and inspire the people who comprise it. That is what we seek to do.