Templeton Foundation Awards $2.1 Million in the Pursuit of Happiness

The University of South Carolina has announced a $2.1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to examine the connections between virtue, happiness, and the meaning of human life and society.

The grant will bring together a team of philosophers, religious scholars, and psychologists led by UofSC assistant professor Jennifer A. Frey and Candace Vogler, the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago to conduct interdisciplinary research on questions related to how happiness connects with the cultivation of virtues such as justice and fortitude and how individual virtues contribute to a sense of life’s ultimate meaning. The project, which got under way in August, will include public lectures in December 2015 and 2016 and a philosophy workshop for scholars and students in the spring of 2016. The team will convene in person for four weeklong meetings and will bring the project to an end with a two-day conference in October 2017 at which team members will share their research results.

"It will be a huge breakthrough if our team can begin to show in a rigorously interdisciplinary way that virtue, happiness, and meaning in life are related not merely in theory but also in practice," said Frey. "The implications for social policy and education could be considerable."

"Pursuit of Happiness Leads to a $2.1 Million Grant Award for UofSC, UChicago." University of South Carolina Press Release 09/03/2015.