Join the Mellon Philosophy as a Way of Life Project!

Fellows Training

Many traditions in philosophy have aimed at helping individuals think more deeply and rigorously about the good life. Notre Dame and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation are partnering with universities across the country to imagine new and higher impact ways to introduce students to these traditions. We are building a network of faculty from a wide range of institutions committed to:

  1. Developing assignments that help students to connect philosophical arguments with their own day-to-day decision-making;

  2. Equipping each other to teach texts and traditions from different cultures that offer visions of the good life;

  3. Building diverse, collaborative learning communities and peer-led discussions around philosophy as a way of life themes;

  4. Promoting research into philosophical approaches to the good life, especially on topics that are likely to translate to philosophy curricula.

If you are involved in philosophy education and interested in bringing this kind of program to your institution, we invite you to consider joining the Mellon Philosophy as a Way of Life network.

The New PhiLife Digital Portal is launching April 2019.  Watch this space.

Network Activities:

Network members will collaborate on ways to build rigorous, inclusive, and innovative philosophy curricula organized around the concept of philosophy as a way of life.  Specific activities include:

  • Three annual week-long summer workshops to share best practices, build these new curricula, and share research and masterclasses on these traditions. (The first meeting will be June 17-21, 2019 at Notre Dame.)  

  • Building the PhiLife digital portal: a database of curricular materials, best practices and highlights from network member teaching initiatives.

  • Limited start-up funds to support diversity and peer-mentorship programs for undergraduates at member institutions.

We are currently inviting letters of interest to join the Mellon network. Adjunct, permanent, tenure-track, and tenured philosophy teachers from post-secondary institutions are eligible to apply. Network members will commit to attending at least one of the summer workshops and sharing teaching resources from their courses with network members on the upcoming PhiLife portal.  We welcome applications from experienced "way of life" teachers or colleagues just getting started on these kinds of projects.  And we want our network to feature a number of different approaches to philosophy, a wide variety of teaching institutions, and diverse backgrounds among participants.  Funded participants are expected to attend each of the three annual weekly summer workshops and either develop or expand a "way of life" course at their institution. 

To apply, please submit a letter of interest outlining your experience or interest in teaching philosophy as a way of life and your reasons for wanting to participate in the network. If you wish to be considered for travel funding for the conference, your letter should also outline your level of need for this funding. Letters of interest should be sent to  The subject line should include "Letter of Interest: NAME INSTITUTION".  The deadline for applying for the first cohort is Jan 15, 2019.  

Feel free to contact us at with any questions or to join our mailing list.

2019 Workshop: June 17-21 (University of Notre Dame)

Information about registration and agenda coming soon.

Project Personnel

Our project is organized by a multi-institution advisory group:

Lead Faculty Advisors

  • Meghan Sullivan (Principal Investigator) Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

  • Stephen Grimm Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University

  • Steve Angle Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University

  • Caleb Cohoe Associate Professor of Philosophy, Metropolitan State University of Denver