Questions our scholars are asking – part 2 of 2

Colorful autumn trees
Click photo to make it larger.

 

We’ve distilled our Scholars’ research for this semester into respective questions; click here to take a look at the questions posted yesterday. In forthcoming posts, we’ll feature in-depth look at each. For now, we thought our readers would enjoy pondering each question. Together, they can read as a kind of meditation on the inter-relatedness of virtue, happiness, and deep meaning in life.

 

When and why are people accurate or inaccurate predictors of their own future feelings?

~Heather C. Lench, Texas A&M University

 

What roles do stories, social identities, and value pursuits play in the ways people understand their lives to have meaning?

~Dan P. McAdams, Northwestern University

 

How do we get people to abandon the notions of human separation from, and superiority to, nature?

~ Darcia Narvaez, University of Notre Dame

 

Do the fundamental human capacities for desire and aversion possess a rational structure, and can a Thomistic understanding of virtue help us understand it?

~Jean Porter, University of Notre Dame

 

Is it better to put the existence of evil out of our minds, or focus on how to respond to it?

~David Shatz, Yeshiva University

 

Should one die for God, and if so, under what conditions?

~Josef Stern, University of Chicago

 

What is the role of religious freedom in the context of the modern, non-confessional state?

~Father Thomas Joseph White, Thomistic Institute, Dominican House of Studies

 

How do we differentiate between positive and negative varieties of self-transcendence?

~Paul T.P. Wong, Trent University

Virtue Talk Podcast: Psychologist Heather C. Lench on Emotions

virtuetalklogorsClick the link below to hear our scholar and psychologist Heather C. Lench discuss her research in how our emotions impact our thoughts about our futures and daily events, and how the conversations she’s having at our working group meetings have given her new ideas about emotions.

Heather C Lench | Virtue Talk

Heather C. Lench is Associate Professor and Department Head of Psychology at Texas A & M University.  Read more here.

wgm_20151214_0228
Heather C. Lench with fellow scholar Marc Berman at the December 2015 working group meeting of the scholars of Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life.

 

Subscribe

Preview on iTunes

Read about our podcast “Virtue Talk”

Days 1-2 Working Group Meeting in Chicago – photos

Our 2nd working group meeting of scholars met June 6-10, 2016 at the University of Chicago in the beautiful Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. Although the sessions were closed, you can read our scholars’ abstracts for their June Meeting Topics here and see more photos up in our Flickr album for the week.

 

 

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.

Questions our scholars are asking – round two

20130301_View_From_Biology_WEB_1

This coming week (June 6-10, 2016, at the Neubauer Collegium at the University of Chicago) is the second of four meetings for our  scholars (the first was December 2015 at the University of South Carolina). These meetings are immersive experiences for these scholars, who are philosophers, theologians, and psychologists; the meetings are aimed at generating systematic and integrated knowledge, including ultimately a new construct for empirical research on self-transcendence, new instruments of assessment, and new data.

 

Here are summaries of the questions and research our scholars will be discussing with each other in the coming week.

 

Matthias Haase: Can virtue be cultivated like a habit?

 

Tahera Qutbudden: Can one enjoy a happy and pleasurable life in this world while also preparing for the next?

 

Jennifer A. Frey: Is selfishness a particular kind of vice, or the nature of vice?

 

David Schatz: Is ignorance always a vice, or can it also be a virtue?

 

Heather C. Lench: Can boredom lead us to virtue?

 

David Carr: Does spirituality have a material dimension, and if so, can it be developed and educated?

 

Mari Stuart: Can the indigenous knowledge reflected in a moral ecology worldview teach things that climate science cannot?

 

Jean Porter: Can malice, like virtue, also give meaning to life?

 

Erik Angner: Is social well-being the same thing as happiness?

 

Paul Wong: Is it possible to measure Self-Transcendence?

 

Katharine Kinzler: Can infant food preferences teach us about the social world?

 

Mark Berman: Do ugly surroundings encourage criminal behavior?

 

Angela Knobel: Can the notion of virtue as a gift from God have broad appeal?

 

Father Thomas Joseph White: Can Aquinas help us understand Nietzsche’s ideas about truth and moral freedom?

 

Michael Gorman: Is a meaningful life also necessarily a good life?

 

Nancy Snow: Is magnificence—expenditure for the public good—virtuous, or vicious? Can it be both?

 

Tal Brewer: Are human beings irreplaceable, and due special forms of regard and good treatment?

 

Dan McAdams: What is the difference between habit and character? Do we narrate these things about ourselves in different ways?

 

Reinhard Hütter: How do we overcome the lure of self-sovereignty that surrounds us and attain true self-transcendence?

 

Father Kevin Flannery: What is the relationship between intention, choice, and virtue?