Harris, William Torrey

Harris, William Torrey,

1835–1909, American educator and philosopher, b. Windham co., Conn., educated at Yale. He was superintendent (1868–80) of the St. Louis public school system and was U.S. commissioner of education (1889–1906). In 1873, with Susan Blow, he established in St. Louis the first permanent kindergarten in the United States. He interpreted German philosophical thought, particularly Hegelianism, in his books and in the pages of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, which he founded and edited (1867–93). His books include Hegel's Logic (1890, repr. 1970) and The Psychologic Foundations of Education (1898, repr. 1969).


See biography by J. S. Roberts (1924); K. F. Leidecker, Yankee Teacher (1946, repr. 1971).

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Harris, William Torrey

(1835–1909) philosopher, educator; born in North Killingly, Conn. The leading American exponent of German philosophy, he was founding editor of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy (1867–93) and author of works on philosophy and education. He pursued educational reform as St. Louis school superintendent (1867–80) and as U.S. Commissioner of Education (1889–1906).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.