Humanistic Disciplines Mini-Seminar

The Humanistic Disciplines Mini-Seminar enhances engagement with moral issues and texts within the university community and increases the opportunities for serious discussion of moral matters among graduates and undergraduates. The seminar is small, not-for-credit, and focuses on an important issue or text in moral philosophy. The seminar is led by an advanced graduate student and is open to all undergraduates (about 12-15 per seminar). The seminar meets once per week over the course of a [...]

Speaking of Character (with Anne Snyder, David Brooks, and Candace Vogler)

Program Description:       Many different cultures treat developing good character as one of the central challenges in human life. Your character draws together strengths that help you to pursue and promote good reasonably, avoid bad responsibly, and participate in the collective movements toward common good that shape the social world in which you find yourself. Good character is, as one says, a proof against rewards--a good person does not, for instance, betray her [...]

Chicago Moral Philosophy Project

The Chicago Moral Philosophy Project brings an esteemed scholar specializing in ethics to visit the University of Chicago’s Department of Philosophy each spring. The scholar teaches one graduate-undergraduate course, leads a faculty-doctoral student reading group, and provides special advising to students. The program enhances the curriculum in moral philosophy for graduates and undergraduates and fosters productive and rigorous discussion about ethical topics within the Department of Philosophy and beyond.     The Project: Spring [...]

Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life

Principally funded through a grant from the John G. Templeton Foundation, the Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life project is an international collaboration between philosophers, religious thinkers, and psychologists. The project investigates whether self-transcendence—a connection to something beyond a person’s own immediate concerns, e.g., to one’s family, one’s spiritual practice, or one’s work for social justice—is part of living a happier, more meaningful life. The Hyde Park Institute will co-sponsor the project’s 2017 Summer [...]

Emerging Scholars Cohort

The Emerging Scholars Cohort (ESC) will be composed 15-20 students selected from pre-med undergraduates, medical students, and other health professional students. Members of the ESC will interact with leading practitioners and scholars in the fields of medicine, sociology, moral psychology, ethics and theology through seminars and lecture series to explore answers to the unique challenges that medicine faces in the context of late modernity. The central question is: How does one become a “good physician” [...]

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"Even now, in an age not much given to mysticism, there are people who ask 'What is the meaning of life?' Not a few of them make the simple…assumption that there is something to be known here….. And most of those same people make the equally unguarded assumption that the whole issue of life's meaning presupposes some positive answer to the question whether it can be plainly and straightforwardly true that this or that thing or activity or pursuit is good, has value, or is worth something. Finally…they suppose that questions like that of life's meaning must be among the central questions of moral philosophy."

David Wiggins, Truth, Invention, and the Meaning of Life," in Needs, Values, Truth (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 87