Notre Dame professor wins $137,045 NEH grant to fund an innovative philosophy teaching institute.

Author: Christine Grandy

Meghan SullivanMeghan Sullivan

Meghan Sullivan (Professor of Philosophy) has teamed up with Stephen Grimm (Professor of Philosophy at Fordham and a Notre Dame Ph.D. graduate) and Stephen Angle (Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan) to lead an NEH Summer Institute on teaching philosophy as a way of life.  The Institute — ``Reviving Philosophy as a Way of Life’’ — will gather faculty from across the country who are interested in developing courses that explore the concrete recommendations that various philosophical movements propose for achieving the good life.  Faculty will spend half of the Institute studying the key teachings of Stoicism, Buddhism, Kanitanism and other major movements, with nationally recognized senior scholars leading the sessions.  The remainder of the Institute will be dedicated to finding effective and innovative ways to help undergraduate students ``try out’’ these teachings. 

Institute participants aim to find new ways to help students experience philosophy rather than merely learn it.  As Sullivan puts it: "Philosophy is often approached as an abstract discipline, but many great philosophers of history saw themselves as giving practical advice on how to achieve happiness — practices and worldviews that were meant to improve the lives of those who immerse themselves in the systems.  We want students to experience philosophy by studying the practical advice of these great thinkers and considering how these `ways of life’ succeed and fail.”  

The Institute will take place on the Wesleyan campus July 9-20, 2018.  It is co-directed by three senior faculty known for teaching ground-breaking ``way of life’’ courses on their campuses.  Wesleyan, Fordham, and Notre Dame hope to spur a movement in creative and immersive philosophy teaching.  

For more information on the project, click here

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