The Chairman of the Committee, a thinly veiled reference to the American academic Richard McKeon, oversees the interdisciplinary study program at the University of Chicago, in which Phaedrus enrolls. The Chairman is a staunch Aristotelian, which puts him in opposition to Phaedrus’s ideas on Quality. He is therefore a chief antagonist to Phaedrus, and the two clash in the classroom on several occasions.
The timeline below shows where the character The Chairman of the Committee appears in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...to the program by its interim acting chairman based on his résumé. When the program’s Chairman returns, Phaedrus interviews with him for a scholarship, but the Chairman distinguishes between substance and... (full context)
The narrator recollects a fragmented memory of Phaedrus commenting to the Assistant Chairman that he hadn’t noticed Aristotle in the committee’s curriculum. The Assistant Chairman was aghast that... (full context)