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Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing

"We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education."

– Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The Purpose of Education,” 1947 

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To flourish means to live well, to thrive. We believe that humans flourish when they develop to their fullest potential as rational and moral creatures living in healthy communities.

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Our Mission

The mission of the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing is to advance the science of virtue and to promote the flourishing of OU Students and all Oklahomans. Learn more

Latest News

Immediate opening

Research Associate Position

The Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing (ISHF) seeks a PhD-level research associate with expertise in evaluation to continue our work with six Norman Public Schools.  The Civic Virtues Project is being done in collaboration with educators from three of these schools to integrate compassion, fairness, and civility into their teaching.  This project will end on May 31, 2021. The Longitudinal Virtues Project (with four of these schools) and Five Year Strategic Planning Projects (with all six partner schools) has recently started and will continue for the next 15 months.  In addition, the position requires assessment of ISHF events and participation in the Kern Family Foundation Partners in Character and Educational Leadership.  Duties will include designing and administering surveys, analyzing data, and compiling reports; interacting with educators to devise and integrate strategies for cultivating virtue into their teaching and curricula; revising a Teacher's Guide to Civic Virtue, and compiling and revising a Teacher's Guide to Intellectual Virtue.  This work will done under the supervision of and in collaboration with the ISHF Director, Dr. Nancy Snow.  The salary is $50,000/year plus benefits, with supplemental pay not to exceed $12,000.  This work can be done remotely. 

For more information and to apply, please go to and reference job #193317.

July 31 - August 1, 2019

Institute Hosts Civic Virtues Project Workshop

On July 31st and August 1st, the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing hosted a Civic Virtues Workshop at the University of Oklahoma. Led by the Institute’s Assessment Coordinator, Dr. Michael Warren, the workshop provided middle and high school teachers with an overview of a semester-long quasi-experimental study in which teachers will deliver in-class lessons on civility, compassion, and fairness. A draft of the Teachers’ Guide to Civic Virtues—a working document with over 65 virtue activities—was shared with the teachers and served as a foundation for the creation of developmentally sensitive virtue lessons. After constructing concrete lesson plans that will be implemented throughout fall 2019, teachers were briefed on an assessment plan by which the efficacy of the virtue lessons will be evaluated according to how well they foster the development of civic virtues in students’ lives. The event was rounded out with a brief lecture by Dr. Nancy Snow on the relevance of civic virtues in the lives of students, and by a sample lesson presented by Dr. Pamela Pittman-Adkins from Norman North High School. 

The workshop was attended by educators from Norman High School, Norman North High School, and Irving Middle School. In addition, school counselors, administrators, and officials from Norman Public Schools district participated. At the close of the workshop, attendees completed a survey that assessed how well key workshop objectives were achieved. A forthcoming assessment report is in progress to document the survey results. Teachers will begin in-class virtue lessons during the week of August 20, when the new school year begins.


June 14, 2019

Call for Papers - Populism and the Recovery of the Intellectual Virtues

An announcement from Greg Peterson (South Dakota State University):

Our SDSU Ethics Lab has recently received a South Dakota Humanities Council Grant to support a small workshop on "Populism and the Recovery of the Intellectual Virtues." The workshop is Sept 25-27, and will feature Heather Battaly (Philosophy, University of Connecticut) and Kirk Hawkins (Political Science, Brigham Young University). For six participants who commit to coming and writing an article for a proposed edited volume, we are offering $1,000 ($800 for attendance and $200 upon receipt of the article at the end of December). If you feel like this is up your alley, I encourage you to apply. If you could kindly forward information about the workshop to others who might be interested, we would deeply appreciate it.  More information can be found at

Call for Papers

Scholars in philosophy and related disciplines are encouraged to submit a proposal for participation in a workshop at South Dakota State University on September 25-27, 2019. The topic is: “Populism and the Recovery of the Intellectual Virtues.” Paper proposals may be on any topic as it relates to the project theme, including papers on populism and populist movements, intellectual virtues and virtue epistemology, democratic virtues, deliberative democracy, epistemic democracy, political cognition, and democracy and science. Proposals should include the following documents and information:

  1. A short cover letter including Name, Role and Institutional Affiliation
  2. An academic C.V.
  3. A description of a proposed paper (300-500 words) addressing some aspect of the workshop theme, “Populism and the Recovery of the Intellectual Virtues.”

Six selected scholars will receive $1,000 as a stipend ($800 for attending the workshop and $200 upon submission of a paper by December 31 for publication in a proposed edited volume). Applications may be sent by email to Application Deadline: June 30

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The Institute is made possible by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation
and by support from The University of Oklahoma and the Kirkpatrick Foundation.