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PAST PROGRAMS

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 [...]

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 [...]

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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
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