Porter, Noah

Porter, Noah,

1811–92, American educator and philosopher, b. Farmington, Conn., grad. Yale, 1831. He entered the ministry in 1836. In 1846 he became professor of moral philosophy and metaphysics at Yale and from 1871 to 1886 was 12th president of the university. As president he steadfastly opposed modern tendencies in education, urging the retention of Greek and Latin as the basis for the liberal arts course, the subordination of science to the humanities, and a prescribed curriculum rather than an elective system. He edited (1864, 1890) revised editions of Noah Webster's dictionary and wrote a number of educational and philosophical works, the most popular of which was The Human Intellect (1868).


See biography by T. Dwight (1892).

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Porter, Noah

(1811–92) clergyman, college president; born in Farmington, Conn. A Congregational pastor, he became professor of moral philosophy (1846–92) and president of Yale (1871–86). Among his many philosophical works, The Human Intellect (1868) enjoyed the widest success; in American Colleges and the American Public (1871) and elsewhere he expounded a conservative educational philosophy.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.