David Hilditch | Webster University | Webster University

David Hilditch, PhD


David Hilditch

Professor of Philosophy
 (314) 968-7170



Dave Hilditch is one of a small group of pioneers in the emerging field of philosophical practice, the application of philosophical insights and methods of thought to the real-life problems of individuals and organizations. A philosophy professor at Webster University, Dave was St. Louis’s first certified philosophical counselor, and the founder and facilitator of the St. Louis Philosophical Café. He was also one of the founding partners of L.I.F.E. Leadership Connections, LLC, an innovative humanities and arts-based learning program for managers and corporate leaders. 
His work has been featured on KWMU Morning Edition, the RFT, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Webster World magazine and most recently in St Louis Magazine:

Dave received his B.S. In Biology and Philosophy, his M.A. in Classical Greek Philosophy at St. Louis University, and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Washington University, St. Louis. He’s been teaching at Webster University since 1999. His academic reading and research interests are in philosophical psychology, consciousness studies and the contemplative humanities.  Transformative philosophy (“Philosophy as a way of life”) and Philosophy of happiness are among the courses he teaches.

Dave has for many years maintained a daily mindfulness (vipassana) meditation practice, and regularly teaches meditation to senior citizens and referrals from area psychotherapists.

Before earning his doctorate, Dave worked as a substance abuse researcher and psychiatric interviewer, as a high school teacher and as a library Accessions clerk. He also has experience as a pastoral counselor and worked as an orderly at Calvary Cancer hospice in New York City. Dave spent a number of years as a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

Outside of philosophy, Dave is a part-time musician and composer. He’s played in a number of St. Louis jazz and rock ensembles over the years, including the Heebie Jeebies, Belle Starr and Pravda Records’ The Civil Tones. A member of ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, he’s composed and recorded music for the soundtracks of a feature length movie (Too Tired to Die) and dozens of TV programs, including NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Streets, Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, HBO’s Sex in the City and MTV’s Made, Punk’d and The Osbornes.

Dave and his life partner Annie Smart like to hike and are slowly, in 200 km increments, completing the French “Chemin” portion of the Camino de Santiago de Compostella. Dave and Annie live in University City, MO, with their garden and their cats Sophie and Minou.