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.
Our Visiting Scholar, Philosopher Anselm Mueller, considers 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. He gave this talk at the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago on April 11, 2016.
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?
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 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.