Nancy Snow



Acting Chair
Interim Director of Graduate Studies

Nancy E. Snow is a Professor of Philosophy with research interests in moral psychology and virtue ethics.  She is currently working on two books -- one on hope and one on virtue ethics and virtue epistemology -- as well as invited papers on virtue ethics.  She is editing an anthology for Oxford University Press entitled, Cultivating Virtue: Multiple Perspectives, and co-editing, with her colleague Dr. Franco V. Trivigno, an anthology for Routledge Press entitled, The Philosophy and Psychology of Virtue: An Empirical Approach to Character and Happiness.  She is the Associate Editor for Ethics and Philosophy of The Journal of Moral Education

In Spring 2014, it was announced that Dr. Snow is the recipient of a $2.6 million grant that will fund interdisciplinary research on virtue, character and the development of the moral self. 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 large-scale research initiative, "The Self, Motivation, and Virtue," with Dr. Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame.

The initiative will include the seeding of 10 new research projects, an interdisciplinary forum, interdisciplinary conferences with international scholars, a project website and several book projects. 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 – a goal that Snow said aligns perfectly with Marquette's Catholic, Jesuit mission.

"We will also look at the development of virtue in the emerging person – what happens as we grow up and develop into people," Snow added. "We want to take a deeper dive into whether the development of virtue involves memories, genetics, etc. In this way, we can develop a more comprehensive picture of how key periods in our lives – adolescence, retirement, physical decline, traumatic incidents – play a role. Ultimately, we want to generate an appreciation of what virtue is, the importance of motivation to virtue and how virtue can be cultivated."

The project will officially begin on Sept. 1, 2014. 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.

For more information, please visit the Self, Motivation and Virtue Website


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