Group photo: “Virtue & Happiness” Summer Seminar

This week on the Virtue Blog, I’ll post photos from our first summer seminar, “Virtue & Happiness”.

I took our group photo on the grounds of Moreau Seminary, the location for our week-long series of seminars, discussions, great food, and walks around the lakes.

Click the photo to make it larger!

~ Valerie Wallace, Associate Director, Communications

From left: Darcia Narvaez, Chip Lockwood, Kristina Grob, Anne Baril, Jason Welle, Indra Liauw, Fr. Michael Sherwin, Wenqing Zhao, Santiago Mejia, Olivia Bailey, Ryan Darr, Gus Skorburg, Leland Saunders, Mihailis Diamantis, Sukaina Hirji, Jennifer A. Frey, Hollen Reisher, Candace Vogler, Owen Flanagan, Yuan Yuan, Amichai Amit, Brian Ballard, Parisa Moosavi, Sungwoo Um, Anselm Mueller, John Meinert, Samuel Baker, Tom Angier, Kate Phillips, Jaime Hovey, Matthew Dugandzic. Photo by Valerie Wallace.

Group photo: Working Group Meeting June 2016

Scholars Team June 2016
Click photo to make it larger. Photo by Marc Monaghan

We’re so happy our scholars are here in Chicago! Find out more about our scholars and their work this week in June here, and working group meetings in general, here.

Our scholars and team are:

From left to right, back row: Santiago Mejia, Michael Gorman, Matthias Haase, Jennifer A. Frey, Father Kevin Flannery, Candace Vogler, Katherine Kinzler, Howard Nusbaum, Talbot Brewer, Reinhardt Huetter, Marc G. Berman (not pictured: Tahera Qudbuddin).

Middle row: Christian Kronsted, Jean Porter, Father Thomas Joseph White, Mari Stuart, Nancy Snow, Heather C. Lench, Angela Knobel,  Erik Angner, Dan McAdams, Valerie Wallace, Jaime Hovey.

Front row: Paul Wong, David Shatz, David Carr, Anselm Mueller.

Photos, tweets, and audience response: Anselm Mueller’s leture, “What Do We Live For?”

We will post the recording of Anselm Mueller’s April 11 lecture “What Do We Live For?” when it becomes available, but in the meantime thought you might enjoy some feedback we received on our surveys, photos, some of our live tweets, and first, this article about Mueller’s lecture with an interview with Candace Vogler about our Visiting Scholar program.
anselm tweets.jpg
Audience survey responses to Anselm Mueller’s “What Do We Live For?”
  • The tension between well-being and perfection is what living life day-to-day is all about.
  • I have a broadened grasp of the problems in trying to understand virtue.
  • The talk provided a different framework for which to shape my own perception of moral philosophy.
  • The lecture provided clear examples of competing factors and forces that we humans aim for both perfection and well-being, and the difficulties in choosing between them.
  • The lecture has contributed to my understanding of the meaning of life. It provided a framework for understanding personal virtue that I had ever thought of before.
  • The lecture gave me a broader understanding of theories on the dichotomy between well-being/perfection.
  • The event will lead to further exploration of these topics in personal reading and attendance at other events and lectures.
  • The lecture helped clarify the nature of the two specific tele as ways in which to frame my life.
  • I hadn’t considered the importance of the conceptual between well-being and perfection as different tele.
  • The lecture illuminated the function of perfection in relation to a meaningful life and the place of the pursuit of well-being within it.
  • The lecture helped to order the variety of philosophical approaches and their limitations.
  • The lecture helped me to see that the collapse of well-being and philosophical perfection is rife in ableism. The lecture provided with useful material to counter the basic claims in ableism.
  • The lecture certainly inspired me to do further reading.
  • The lecture helped me to see that philosophy is well equipped to clarify the tension between well-being and perfection but that it is not equipped to resolve it.

Photos by Valerie Wallace. For more photos from our events, visit our Flickr page.

Save the date: April 11 4pm Live-streaming Anselm Mueller, “What Do We Live For”

crop for web the-temptation-of-st-anthony
Detail from The Temptation of St. Anthony by Hieronymus Bosch.

“What Do We Live For?” Lecture by Anselm Mueller

4 pm, April 11, 2016 | University of Chicago | The Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

For those unable to make this event, you can watch it on live our website

Ethical conduct is not without its costs—delivering truthful testimony against well-connected murderers in a criminal trial can be dangerous; delivering bad news to good people is painful; facing down and working through a mountain of debt can require tightening your belt in unpleasant ways; and duly courageous action can get you killed.  Unethical conduct, on the other hand, often promises ease, comfort, wealth, and some important forms of success.  Points such as these have led many thinkers to notice that there seems to be a tension between acting well (the stuff of ethical conduct) and faring well (getting things that people generally want to get, and finding ways of holding onto those things).


In this lecture, Anselm Müller will consider the traditional opposition between acting well and faring well, and the kinds of steps that thinkers in different cultural settings have taken to address it.   Some urge that meaningful lives are primarily those centered on pursuit of ethical perfection.  Others urge that the best lives are directed to faring well (sometimes in ways that have nothing to do with satisfying desires for wealth or ease or comfort).  And a few urge that there is no such thing as really faring well unless one also is devoted to acting well.  How are we to understand these responses to the traditional problem?  Which, if any, look like sound ways of addressing the tension?


Visiting Scholar Anselm Mueller

Anselm Mueller is Professor Emeritus, University of Trier, and a Visiting Scholar with Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life and the Department of Philosophy. A student of Elizabeth Anscombe and Anthony Kenny at Oxford in the early sixties, Professor Müller has taught philosophy at Oxford University, Australian National University, University of Trier, University of Luxemborg, and Keimyung University. He has written many books and articles in the following areas: ethics, rationality, action theory, philosophy of mind, and the history of philosophy.


For more details, visit:


Our Visiting Scholar Program is hosted by the Neubauer Collegeium for Culture and Society and made possible by a grant from the Chicago Moral Project. This talk is also made possible by generous support from the John Templeton Foundation.

Our Visiting Scholar Program begins Spring 2016

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our project will bring two visiting scholars to the University of Chicago. Anselm Mueller (emeritus, University of Trier) is our visiting scholar Spring quarter 2016, and Stephen Brock (Pontifical University of Santa Croce) will be our visiting scholar Spring quarter 2017. They will be hosted by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society.

In addition to teaching a course, each visting scholar will

  • lead faculty-doctoral student reading groups, to bring some of the intensity of our summer seminars to Chicago, allowing several faculty and doctoral students to work together to build an enlarged community of inquiry;
  • give a public lecture;
  • participate in at least one meeting of one of the University of Chicago’s existing, extensive system of interdisciplinary doctoral student workshops;
  • participate in the June working group meeting in order to advance the project goals;
  • contribute to The Virtue Blog and Virtue Talk podcast;
  • attend the capstone conference at the end of the project.


Read more about the Visiting Scholars here.