Steven M. Cahn teaches academic ethics, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of education at the Graduate Center and has published widely in the field of philosophy and education. His books include Fate, Logic, and Time (1966, rpt. 2004), Saints and Scamps: Ethics in Academia (1986, rpt. 2011), God, Reason, and Religion (2006), and Puzzles and Perplexities: Collected Essays (2007). He recently coauthored Polishing Your Prose: How to Turn First Drafts Into Finished Work and From Student to Scholar: A Candid Guide to Becoming a Professor. He has edited or coedited some forty books, many in multiple editions, including Political Philosophy: The Essential Texts; Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology; Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues; and Classics of Western Philosophy.
Cahn came to the Graduate Center as professor of philosophy and dean of graduate studies in 1983. He was named provost and vice president for academic affairs in 1984, remaining in that position until 1992; in the spring of 1991, he served as acting president after the death of Harold M. Proshansky. He previously taught at Dartmouth College, Vassar College, the University of Rochester, New York University, and the University of Vermont, where from 1973 to 1980 he headed the department of philosophy. He has also been active in foundation work. He held executive positions with the Exxon Education Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he is longtime president of the John Dewey Foundation. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Columbia University.