Work, Leisure, and the Good Life

Yale University  |  June 3—June 8, 2018

Jacob Howland, University of Tulsa  |  James Murphy, Dartmouth College

A seminar about the meaning and value of work and leisure in human life, with readings drawn from classic and contemporary sources, including Aristotle and Aquinas, Adam Smith and Karl Marx, Max Weber and Joseph Pieper.

This seminar is for advanced undergraduates and pre-dissertation graduate students.

Applications Due March 18



A week-long seminar for approximately sixteen students, jointly led by two expert faculty. The seminar meets for three 90-minute sessions each day. Participants also share meals and the opportunity to take part in a range of extra-curricular activities.


The seminar is designed with advanced undergraduates (i.e. rising juniors and seniors) and pre-dissertation graduate students in mind, but others are welcome to apply. Students from outside of the United States are welcome to apply.

How to Apply


  1. Complete application form.
  2. Submit a sample of your academic work to

To guarantee consideration, all application materials must be received by March 18.

Registration Fee

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to offer our summer seminars to students at a small fraction of their true cost. A non-refundable registration fee of $200 covers tuition, lodging, food, and all reading materials for the seminar.

A limited number of registration fee waivers and travel stipends are available for students who would not otherwise be able to participate.


Participants will be provided with accommodation in one of Yale's undergraduate colleges. Accommodation is available from the night of Sunday June 3 through to the night of Friday June 8.

Jacob Howland is McFarlin Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tulsa. His research focuses on ancient Greek philosophy, history, epic, and tragedy; the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud; Kierkegaard; and literary and philosophical responses to the Holocaust. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and five books, including Kierkegaard and Socrates: A Study in Philosophy and Faith (2006) and, most recently, Glaucon’s Fate: History, Myth, and Character in Plato’s Republic, which will be published in 2018.  

(Full profile)

James Murphy is Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. His research interests include: Aristotle, jurisprudence, semiotics, political economy, philosophy of education, and political theology. He is the author of several books, including The Moral Economy of Labor: Aristotelian Themes in Economic Theory (1993) and The Philosophy of Customary Law (2014). 

(Full profile)