Many traditions in philosophy have aimed at helping individuals think more deeply and rigorously about the good life. From 2018-2022, Notre Dame and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation partnered with universities across the world to imagine new and higher impact ways to teach these traditions. Efforts included hosting an in-person conference in 2019, a series of online summer curriciulum development workshops in 2020 and 2021, investment in growing existing PWOL courses and subgrants to launch new ones.  Faculty in the network developed and shared curricular materials.  Two doctoral students, two postdoctoral/staff positions and dozens of undergraduate fellowships were supported off of the grant.  Faculty and grant personnel developed and implemented training programs for undergraduate dialogue leaders.  Meghan Sullivan and Paul Blaschko published a book with Penguin based on its approach to teaching philosophy as a way of life, The Good Life Method. Stephen Grimm further developed Oxford's successful Guides to the Good Life series, and Steve Angle contributed a volume on Confucian approaches to PWOL.  In 2023, Sullivan published a feature review in Ethics on "Philosophy as a Way of Life". In total, 139 faculty members from a wide variety of institutions directly participated in grant programs.

This project wrapped up in the summer of 2022, and Sullivan and the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study is now in the process of launching an interdisiplinary course development grant focused on cross disciplinary approaches to flourishing.  More information about that program, including the 2024 call for proposals, will be available soon on the NDIAS webpage.


Philosophy as a Way of Life Project

c/o Meghan Sullivan

109 Malloy Hall, Notre Dame IN 46556




A project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation