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Engaged Philosophy Group

The Trailer for our Mellon Philosophy as a Way of Life Project

Research and Teaching Aimed at Human Flourishing

Participants in 2018 NEH Workshop

The EPG leads initiatives to connect more specialized academic research in ethics, epistemology and metaphysics to broad and timely public debates about human flourishing. Some programs are Notre Dame-based. We have two fully-funded Mellon PhD studentships, a program manager and a postdoctoral fellowship, in addition to several affiliated faculty, PhD students and undergraduate RAs. We run the GGL Fellows Program, serving 30-40 students each semester, and regularly offer workshops on teaching and philosophy outreach. Our biggest ND initiative is the God and the Good Life program.

Externally, we currently lead several major national/international projects funded by outside grants:

Philosophy as a Way of Life (Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation). $806k, 2018-2021. A three-year grant focused on research and teaching initiatives across over 100 campuses. Includes annual summer conferences, seed grants, and a teaching network. Emphases include deeper, integrative understanding of “way of life” genres in the history of philosophy, increased diversity and engagement, and best teaching practices. More information at philife.nd.edu.

Our PREP 2019 Epistemology Cohort

Philosophy and Religion Engaged with the Public Pilot Project (Funded by the John Templeton Foundation). $234k, 2018-2019. A pilot grant for a two-week intensive summer workshop in June 2019 bringing together researchers on epistemology and theories of rationality to develop projects that engage with public debates on rational disagreement, belief polarization, religious belief and the nature of evidence. Participants also work with media leaders to develop writing and outreach skills necessary to participate in high-level public engagement. At end of program, participants produce both new research projects and drafts of related general-audience writing. To date, three projects have appeared in the NYTimes. A fourth is linked with a major podcast hosted by Slate.

Reviving Philosophy as a Way of Life (Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities). Co-PIs: Stephen Grimm (Fordham) and Steve Angle (Wesleyan). $137k, 2017-2018. An intensive summer workshop for university faculty interested in research and teaching related to philosophy as a way of life. A special focus was paid toward building teaching capacity in historical traditions that are not traditionally part of general education philosophy courses (i.e. Confucianism, Buddhism, Ancient Skepticism, Stoicism) and fresh perspectives on teaching Kantian and Existentialist moral philosophy.

The EPG collaborates with a large network of humanities scholars and social scientists, as well as non-profits and media professionals. We host several programs to bring faculty together for research and curriculum development. For more information, you can contact our team at philife@nd.edu. Like the Mellon trailer at the top of this page? You can see more of our videos on the PhiLife Youtube channel.

Meet Our ND-Based EPG Team:

Justin leading a meeting on assessment.
  • Director: Meghan Sullivan
  • Program Coordinator: Justin Christy (PhD 2018, Notre Dame)
  • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow/NDIAS Asst Director: Paul Blaschko (PhD 2018, Notre Dame)
  • 5+1 Postdoctoral Fellow: Ting Cho Lau (PhD 2019, Notre Dame)
  • Mellon PhD Student: Ross Jensen (4th Year)
  • Mellon PhD Student: Ciara O’Rourke (2nd Year)
  • PhD Student: Haley Dutmer (2nd Year)
  • Visiting PhD Student: Shannon Sandridge (SLU)
  • Fall 2019 Undergraduate Co-Chairs: Ryan Cook, Elle Deitz, Sam Kennedy, Emma Shimek.
  • Fall 2019 Digital RA: Elijah Grammer.

The EPG welcomes inquiries from Notre Dame PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and affiliates interested in this work. Our group meets weekly during the academic year. Contact Justin or Meghan for further information.

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