Policies & Calendar


Course Vision:

In God and the Good Life you will:

  1. Learn how to argue convincingly, deeply and responsibly.
  2. Cultivate the practice of philosophical self-reflection.
  3. Discover the personal and social value of philosophy.
  4. Grow in five intellectual virtues: curiosity, argumentative rigor, intellectual courage, intellectual humility, and empathetic reasoning.

Learning Objectives:

You will develop (and be evaluated on) five specific skills related to the course vision:

  1. Closely reading philosophical texts and analyzing their key arguments.
  2. Closely reading major news sources and analyzing their key arguments.
  3. Contributing to a sustained interpersonal dialogue that applies philosophy in a sophisticated and constructive way to concrete problems in the community.
  4. Writing a persuasive philosophical apology, explaining and defending your core philosophical beliefs.
  5. Verbally articulating philosophical arguments in short TED talks, formal parliamentary debates and group dialogues.


Assignments must be submitted by the due date.  For major assignments this is typically 11pm on Fridays.  No late work or class absences are accepted without an approved University absence.  Click the links below to read descriptions of the assignments.

Grading System:

GGL is graded on a total point system.  You earn points for completing different assignments.  Many assignment have maximum point values which few or no students will achieve.  That’s completely fine! There are many routes to a very high letter grade. But all of them require constant attendance, engaged participation, and (most importantly) timely, successful completion of assignments. There is no curve for the course–your grade is determined purely based on the effort you put in and your achievements over the course of the semester.  The teaching team wants you to grow in this class and to score as well as possible on every skill, so please talk to us if you want to strategize about how to reach for more points or if you do not understand how you are doing.  Points will be posted to Sakai as soon as they are available.  Here is how points translate to final letter grades:

  • [A] > 440 points
  • [A-] 428-440 points
  • [B+] 414-427 points
  • [B] 395-413 points
  • [B-] 380-394 points
  • [C+] 366-379 points
  • [C] 347-365 points
  • [C-] 333-346 points
  • [D] 285-332 points
  • [F] < 284 points

Honor Code:

This class follows Notre Dame’s binding Honor Code.  All work you submit must be your own.  Your sources must be properly cited.  Direct quotations from others must be in quotation marks.  If you have questions about how to attribute your sources, talk to your graduate TA or professor.

Course Calendar:

Below you can find upcoming deadlines.