Huntington University Faculty Attends Liberty Fund Summer Institute for Academics

Dr. Brock Zehr, associate professor of business and economics at Huntington University, recently participated in the Wisdom, Knowledge, and the Good Life conference sponsored by the Liberty Fund in Carmel, Indiana. Regarding the event, Zehr stated, “It was an honor and privilege to participate in this interdisciplinary conference with scholars from other Indiana independent universities. We learned from the seminal texts, scholarly discussions, and integration with our academic disciplines.” 

This week-long Summer Institute for 18 academics from Indiana focused on classic texts addressing the power of reason and the limits of human knowledge, the nature of wisdom and our capacity to achieve virtue and happiness. Its primary goal was to allow faculty to read, discuss and consider classic works that explore the human condition and the prospects human beings have for leading lives of virtue, meaning and purpose. 

Other goals of the Institute included providing an opportunity for conferees to consider central elements of the “Great Conversation” that has informed our civilization, to explore the relation of science to the liberal arts and to consider what science and the liberal arts can, either individually or jointly, contribute to our understanding of a life worth living. 

Readings for the conference included selections from the writings of Aristotle, Augustine, Francis Bacon, Descartes, Hume, Adam Smith and J.S. Mill, and the conference included joint viewing of three movies, collective meals and hospitality.  

Session themes for each day were: 

  • Day One: Virtue and Knowledge  

  • Day Two: Science, Reason and the Good Life  

  • Day Three: Rest and Rejuvenate (no formal sessions)  

  • Day Four: Politics and the Good Life  

  • Day Five: Knowledge, Liberty and Responsibility  

The Institute was directed by James Otteson, a professor of business ethics at Notre Dame, and Cecil Bohanan, professor of economics at Ball State University. Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational foundation devoted to studying liberty and responsibility through nonpartisan moderated discussions of a common set of readings. For more information about Liberty Fund, go to