Marquette receives $2.6M grant to fund virtue research

Special to The Freeman

April 3, 2014

MILWAUKEE – Nancy Snow, professor of philosophy at Marquette University, is the recipient of a $2.6 million grant that will fund interdisciplinary research on virtue, character and the development of the moral self, according to a statement.

The three-year grant was awarded by the Templeton Religion Trust, which funds “discoveries relating to the big questions of human purpose and ultimate reality.” Snow is leading the research initiative, “The Self, Motivation, and Virtue,” with Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame, the statement said.

The initiative will also include the seeding of 10 new research projects, an interdisciplinary forum, interdisciplinary conferences with international scholars, a project website and several book projects.

“Many approaches to the study of character and virtue consider personality to be foundational to character and virtue,” Snow said. “Our project hypothesizes that the self is the site of virtue. Key to this examination will be an important collaboration among scientists, humanists, theologians, psychologists and philosophers.”

According to Snow, the project will study how individuals develop virtue in their lives and how it is translated into practical efforts such as education. The researchers hope their work will ultimately impact important societal issues, such as bullying, and focus on how to counter them.

The project will officially begin on Sept. 1, according to the statement. The project’s first big event, the Interdisciplinary Moral Forum, will be held at Marquette in spring 2015 and will feature research presentations by international scholars.