Jennifer Frey (South Carolina) and Candace Vogler (Chicago) have received a $2.1 million grant for their project, “Virtue, Happiness, and Meaning of Life.” The project will be jointly hosted by the Neubauer Family Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago and the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina and is funded primarily by the John Templeton Foundation, with additional support from the University of Chicago, the University of South Carolina, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, the Jacques Maritain Center at Notre Dame, and the Lumen Christi Institute.
According to Professor Frey, the grant will convene “an international team of 30 scholars in philosophy, psychology, and religious studies to engage in collaborative, interdisciplinary research on the concept of self-transcendent good as a framework for investigating fundamental questions about virtue, happiness, and meaning of life.” Professor Vogler elaborates, adding that an aim of the project is to “bring Aquinas’s work into conversation with mainstream analytic philosophical moral philosophy, empirical psychology, and religious studies.”
While some large grants in philosophy are distributed by the primary investigators in smaller portions to fund independently conceived and executed research projects, with this grant, Professors Frey and Vogler aim to more tightly integrate the work of those funded with week-long, cross-disciplinary working group meetings in Columbia and Chicago.
The other philosophers involved in the project include: Erik Angner (George Mason), Talbot Brewer (University of Virginia), Sarah Broadie (St. Andrews University), Fr. Kevin Flannery (Pontifical University Gregorian), Matthias Haase (University of Leipzig), John Haldane (Baylor University and St. Andrews University), Kristján Kristjánsson (University of Birmingham), Jonathan Lear (University of Chicago), John O’Callaghan (University of Notre Dame), and Nancy Snow (University of Oklahoma).
UPDATE (9/3/2015): Some more details about the project are here.