Meghan Sullivan

Wilsey Family College Professor of Philosophy; Director: Notre Dame Ethics Initiative

Meghan Sullivan

109 Malloy Hall
by appointment



BPhil Oxford

Ph.D. Rutgers University

Research Interest

Value Theory (Ethics and Rationality), Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Religion

Meghan Sullivan is the Wilsey Family College Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. She serves as Director of the University-wide Ethics Initiative and is the founding director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Ethics and the Common Good, which will launch in the summer of 2024. The hub for University research and teaching in ethics, the Institute includes the new Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C, Center for Virtue Ethics, the Notre Dame–IBM Technology Ethics Lab, and a major grant from the John Templeton Foundation focused on developing the next generation of courses on human flourishing, as well as a robust slate of highly competitive fellowships and programming.

Sullivan is deeply interested in the ways philosophy contributes to the good life and the best methods for promoting philosophical thought. Time Biases, her 2018 book with Oxford University Press, offers philosophical guidance about how to navigate the puzzles that the passage of time poses to rational planning. It was featured in a 2021 New Yorker piece. In 2022, Sullivan published The Good Life Method with Penguin Press (co-authored with her teaching collaborator Paul Blaschko) based on a wildly popular introductory philosophy course she developed at Notre Dame called “God and the Good Life.” Since 2016, “God and the Good Life” has accompanied over 5,500 Notre Dame students through the process of developing a philosophical plan for their lives. Sullivan’s course has been recognized with major grants from the NEH, the Mellon Foundation, and the John Templeton Foundation, and over 120 faculty at other universities have participated in course development programs based on the model. In the past, Sullivan has collaborated with faculty in other departments to offer courses on NBC’s The Good Place, Ted Chiang’s science fiction, and Thom Browne’s fashion empire.

Sullivan has been honored with one of Notre Dame’s Joyce Awards for Teaching, with the Provost’s All-Faculty Team Award, and with the City of South Bend’s 40 Under 40 Award. She is a co-editor for Nous, one of the top philosophy journals. She holds degrees from the University of Virginia (B.A.: Philosophy and Politics, Highest Distinction), Oxford (B.Phil: Philosophy), and Rutgers (Ph.D.: Philosophy), and studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar (Balliol College).