Success stories, faculty research, God and the Good Life, and more!
Success stories, faculty research, God and the Good Life, and more!

Philosophy professor receives $806,000 grant to grow popular course into national curricular model

Meghan Sullivan will use the funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand her God and the Good Life course and adapt it into a curricular model used by faculty across the country. The three-year award will allow Sullivan to build a network of professors interested in developing or refining their own courses that teach philosophy as a way of life. It will also spur the expansion of God and the Good Life to four to five sections per year — encompassing 600 to 700 students, or one-third of the freshman class.
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How a philosophy major developed a passion for researching women’s rights in Latin America

One week into her senior year, Natasha Reifenberg '18 headed to an academic health conference in El Salvador, presenting a policy brief based in research she had been involved in for the last two years. An opportunity usually reserved for distinguished academics, the trip was just one of many highlights in an outstanding undergraduate career that included internships at the Global Fund for Women and United Nations Development Program and independent research opportunities centered around women's issues and rights. Reifenberg attributes her accomplishments to her Arts and Letters education — particularly her philosophy major.
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Tech entrepreneur Dan Peate ’00 on why majoring in philosophy helped him succeed in Silicon Valley

“A lot of people ask me, ‘Philosophy — do you even use that in business?’ And I actually do all the time, especially in the world of Silicon Valley,” said Dan Peate ’00, the founder of the technology companies DRIAV and Hixme, and the managing director of Peate Ventures LLC, a venture capital fund. He credits his success in business to the skills he gained in asking foundational questions as a philosophy major. He seeks new employees who can demonstrate flexible thinking and thinks all students should broaden their abilities to work creatively.
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Professor Robert Audi elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Robert Audi, the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy, is the seventh living Notre Dame philosophy faculty member to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers. The 213 members in the 2018 class include Barack Obama, Sonia Sotomayor, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Tom Hanks.
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Why the study of philosophy has guided Notre Dame alumna’s work as a Hollywood film director

Anne Hamilton ’04, whose 2016 film American Fable generated buzz at film festivals and received strong reviews from critics, majored in philosophy at Notre Dame and considered pursuing a Ph.D. Now, the texts she read and the conversations she had as an undergraduate influence her work as a filmmaker. “Philosophy tests our intuitions about what the truth and good are,” Hamilton said. “I think great films do that, and that’s what I’m looking for in what I direct — stories that challenge us to think differently about the world and ourselves.”
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After winning Templeton Prize, Notre Dame philosopher’s legacy continues with video series
The legacy of Notre Dame philosopher Alvin Plantinga will carry forward for years thanks to support from the John Templeton Foundation. He was named the 2017 Templeton Prize Laureate this spring — joining the ranks of previous winners Mother Teresa, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Charles Taylor, Jean Vanier, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the Dalai Lama — and his work has now been chronicled in a series of 10 animated videos that present many of his central arguments in a visually captivating style designed to appeal to a wide audience. With funding from the Templeton Foundation, the project was led by two Notre Dame philosophy professors.
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