Wilsey Family College Professor of Philosophy; Director of Notre Dame Institute of Advanced Study
Meghan Sullivan is the Wilsey Family Collegiate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. She serves as Director of the NDIAS, a university-wide research institute based in Notre Dame Research. The NDIAS promotes issue-engaged, inclusive, and interdisciplinary study of questions that affect our ability to lead valuable, meaningful lives. Applications have just opened for our 2023-24 Residential Fellowship Program: The Long Run.
Sullivan’s research tends to focus on philosophical problems concerning time, modality, rational planning, value theory, and religious belief (and sometimes all five at once). She has two books: Time Biases (OUP, 2018) and The Good Life Method (Penguin, 2022 - with Paul Blaschko). She is now writing a book on the role love plays in grounding moral, political and religious reasoning. It is tentatively entitled Agapism: Moral Responsibility and Our Inner Lives.
Sullivan teaches courses at all levels and founded Notre Dame’s God and the Good Life Program. GGL introduces undergraduates to big philosophical questions concerning happiness, morality and meaning… and key methods for wrestling with them. In Fall 2019 she team-taught an FTT and Philosophy exploratory seminar about NBC’s The Good Place called The Good Class. Sullivan occasionally teaches gateway seminars like The Examined Life, and specialized graduate seminars on time, modality, philosophical logic, rationality and value. In Fall 2020, working with campus partners, she launched an interdisciplinary graduate seminar and funded fellowship program within the NDIAS. And with Mark McKenna (ND Technology Ethics Center/Law School) and Ted Chiang (’20-21 NDIAS fellow) she offered a 2020 seminar on Ted Chiang’s fiction and the role of narrative, philosophical and legal analysis in shaping ethical thinking about technology. In 2021, Sullivan was honored with one of Notre Dame’s Joyce Awards for Teaching and with the Provost’s All-Faculty Team Award.
Sullivan is a co-editor for the journal Nous. She also serves as an Executive Committee Member-At-Large for the American Philosophical Association (Central Division) and is co-chair (with Kenny Easwaran) of the 2023 Central APA Program Committee. She serves on way too many committees and frequently does research with postdocs, graduate and undergraduate students.
Sullivan has degrees from the University of Virginia (BA: Philosophy and Politics, Highest Distinction), Oxford (B.Phil: Philosophy), and Rutgers (PhD: Philosophy). She studied at Oxford as a US Rhodes Scholar (Balliol College).
When not philosophizing or leading NDIAS, Sullivan enjoys cooking, biking, building elaborate Lego sets, reading science fiction, and traveling the world. She cheers for the Fighting Irish and Virginia Cavaliers in all of their endeavors, and when they play each other she has a rational crisis.