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Fall Seminar:
Ambition: Intellectual, Moral, Political

Case_for_GreatnessThe Institute is pleased to announce its 2016 fall seminar on Ambition: Intellectual, Moral, Political sponsored by the Center on the University and Intellectual Life. This seminars is part of the Institute’s efforts to assist the next generation of scholars in reflecting on truly human questions.

In this year-long seminar, undergraduate students will study and challenge the ironism found in both society and the university, exploring the intellectual, moral, and political foundations for a healthy and reasonable ambition, including the quests for truth, free society, and statesmanship. Students’ readings will orbit around Robert Faulkner’s The Case for Greatness: supplementing this with readings on political glory and fame in Machiavelli, Nietzsche, Aristotle, Seneca, Montaigne, Josef Pieper, Aquinas, Tocqueville, and the life of George Washington. Professor Faulkner will lead one of the sessions, while all others will be led by Dr. RJ Snell. Continue reading


R. J. Snell is appointed Director of the
Center on the University and Intellectual Life

The Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of R. J. Snell as Director of the Center on the University and Intellectual Life.

snellPrior to his appointment at the Witherspoon Institute, Snell was for many years Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Philosophy Program at Eastern University and the Templeton Honors College, where he founded and directed the Agora Institute for Civic Virtue and the Common Good.  His research interests include the liberal arts, ethics, natural law theory, Thomas Aquinas, the Catholic intellectual tradition, and the work of Bernard Lonergan, SJ. He is the author of Through a Glass Darkly: Bernard Lonergan and Richard Rorty on Knowing without a God’s-eye View (Marquette, 2006), Authentic Cosmopolitanism (with Steve Cone, Pickwick, 2013), The Perspective of Love: Natural Law in a New Mode (Pickwick, 2014), Acedia and Its Discontents (Angelico, 2015), and co-editor of Subjectivity: Ancient and Modern (Lexington, 2016) and Nature: Ancient and Modern (Lexington), as well as articles, chapters, and essays in a variety of scholarly and popular venues. Snell earned his MA in philosophy at Boston College, and his PhD in philosophy at Marquette University.

Snell and his family reside in the Princeton area.