Moral Saints and Moral Burnout: Philosophical advice from Aristotle, Susan Wolf, and Beyonce on striving to become a better person while in college

Moral codes like Kantianism, Utilitarianism, Christianity, etc all give us ideas of what a morally perfect person would be like. But should we strive to be as good as possible? In this session, we will debate an age-old question in philosophy: whether good people should try to be as good as possible.  And just who really has a better life: Mother Theresa or Beyonce? We'll think about what it means to set goals to become a better person and how some big ideas in philosophy can help you think about your upcoming journey at Notre Dame.

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Meghan Sullivan

Professor of Philosophy

College of Arts and Letters

About the Lecturer

Meghan Sullivan’s research focuses on philosophical problems concerning time, modality, rational planning, value theory, and religious belief (and sometimes all five at once). Her first book, Time Biases, develops a theory of diachronic rationality, personal identity, and reason-based planning.

She is the founder of Notre Dame’s God and the Good Life program, an introductory philosophy course for undergraduates that tackles big questions concerning happiness, morality, and meaning — and key methods for wrestling with them. She also team-taught an exploratory seminar about NBC’s show The Good Place called The Good Class. Her book on virtue ethics based on God and the Good Life, The Good Life Method, comes out in 2022.



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