Meghan E. Sullivan
Wilsey Family College Professor of Philosophy
Director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study
“Notre Dame is an outstanding place to be a philosopher—which is, admittedly, a weird profession.
“There is a challenging research element. Philosophy professors combine very careful logical reasoning with a deep knowledge of the history of human thought to help us better understand who we are, what goals are worth pursuing, and how all of the more specialized questions we research fit together into a coherent whole. We write articles and books, prepare lectures, and enter into intellectual debates on all of these “big questions”—and it is extraordinarily difficult to get good work into top journals and national-level discussions.
“One wonderful feature of working at Notre Dame is the size, diversity, skill, and warmth of our faculty, especially in my college. I have so many interesting conversation partners, and sharing work-in-progress with them makes our individual projects so much better.
“But being a philosopher is also a way of life you want to share with others—a way of developing concern for the truth and caring for the soul. Another distinguishing feature of Notre Dame is the community’s combination of both sincerity and intensity when it comes to these concerns.
“University life can have its stresses—tough deadlines, complex planning problems, research projects that hit brick walls. But these are all absorbed into a good life when you have students, friends, and colleagues who help you see it in the context of these higher pursuits.”