Hyde Park Institute promotes the understanding and cultivation of virtue as an essential component of leading a fulfilling and flourishing life. We seek to enhance the role of moral philosophical thinking throughout the University of Chicago community with an eye toward integrating intellectual, professional, and moral development. We serve as a resource for University of Chicago faculty, students, staff, and alumni by sponsoring curricular initiatives, educational programming, and academic research.


The Chicago Moral Philosophy Project works alongside the Hyde Park Institute to provide curricular and extracurricular support for students interested in practical philosophy—ethics, social and political philosophy, moral psychology, philosophy of action and decision, and work in the history of philosophy relevant to thought about good and bad in human life.

We sponsor undergraduate and graduate courses.  We bring a senior visiting faculty member in Spring to lead a faculty-doctoral student reading group, offer a mixed graduate-undergraduate course, and help to advise doctoral student dissertations.

Our recent courses have included:

  • The Nature of Practical Reason (PHIL 21504/31504)
  • Character and Commerce: Practical Wisdom in Economic Life (PHIL 24098/ECON 12300)
  • Thomas Aquinas’s Metaphysics of Morals: The Goodness and Badness of Human Actions (PHIL 20002/30002)
  • Medieval Metaphysics: Universals from Boethius to Ockham (PHIL 20098/30098)
  • Aquinas on Human Nature (PHIL 25101/35101)
  • Emotions and their Ethical Significance (PHIL 20001/30001)
  • Aristotle on Practical Wisdom (PHIL 21714/31714)
  • Final Ends (PHIL 20214/30214)
  • Ethics with Anscombe (PHIL 20212/30212)

The Chicago Moral Philosophy Project benefits from our Advisory Board’s counsel.  Our Advisory Board is drawn from University of Chicago faculty:


We draw heavily on university faculty inside and outside the University of Chicago to design and deliver programming. Below is a list of UC faculty and administration who have had a hand in leading, conceptualizing, or sponsoring HPI programming.


Is HPI affiliated with the University of Chicago?

  • HPI works to enhance and support the university by offering programs aimed at ethical formation, but it is independent of UC.

Who can attend HPI events?

  • HPI events are open to UC students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Some programs, though, are designed for students with a particular career focus, e.g. healthcare or education.

Which UC faculty members are involved in HPI programs?

  • Click here list of UC faculty that have led HPI programming.

Are you affiliated with a particular religious or political community?

  • No.

Does HPI charge a fee for participating in events?

  • No.

Where are HPI events held?

  • On the UC Hyde Park campus.

How do I find out about UC events?

  • In addition to information on our website, HPI advertises all yearlong programs in the fall, and other events throughout the year. Check our online calendar here for upcoming events.

How can I get involved with HPI?

  • You can get connected by attending an event or participating in a yearlong program. You can also reach out to either Jim Palos or Zack Loveless so that we can discuss how you can get involved!

Why does HPI focus on ethical development and on the development of character in particular?

  • We do not presume that having good character will solve all the world’s problems. Even so, we all want to be good people and to live good lives. Virtuous character is the foundation for that, for virtues, are necessary for individual excellence, they contribute to the flourishing of society, and are connected with leading lives that are satisfying and meaningful.

"We need prudence or practical wisdom for any large-scale worthy enterprise, just as health and sanity are needed. We need justice to secure cooperation and mutual trust… without which our lives would be nasty, brutish, and short. We need temperance in order not to be deflected from our long-term and large-scale goals by seeking short-term satisfactions. And we need courage in order to persevere in the face of setbacks, weariness, difficulties, and dangers."

Peter Geach, The Virtues (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977), p. 16