Hillsdale College

Grant Awardees



Oneness. An experimental philosophical approach.

The idea that everything that exists is part of some fundamental entity or process occurs in a wide range of religious, spiritual, and philosophical traditions.

Helen De Cruz (Saint Louis University)
Johan De Smedt (Saint Louis University)

Award: $179,864
Start Date: July 1, 2022
End Date: June 30, 2024


Attributions of Purpose and the Philosophy of Religion.

Judgments about purposes play a central and ubiquitous role in the philosophy of religion. Philosophers of religion have been concerned with questions about whether human life has a purpose and whether the universe itself has a purpose.

Joshua Knobe (Yale University)
Mike Rea (Notre Dame)
Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers)
David Rose (Stanford)
Tobias Gerstenberg (Stanford)

Award: $249,999
Start Date: July 1, 2022
End Date: June 30, 2024


Religiosity and Reflection Across Cultures.

Our goal is to resolve an ongoing debate about the link between reasoning and religiosity. In an unprecedentedly large, cross-cultural, and nuanced empirical investigation, we will determine whether and how differences in reasoning performance can meaningfully explain differences in religiosity.

Nick Byrd (Stevens Institute of Technology)
Stephen Stich (Rutgers)
Justin Sytsma (Victoria University of Wellington)

Award: $246,404
Start Date: January 1, 2022
End Date: June 30, 2024


Foreknowledge and Free Will in Christianity and Islam.

The project examines whether there is a tension between divine foreknowledge and human free will in several Christian traditions (in particular, among Calvinists, Catholics, and non-Calvinist Protestants) and in Sunni Islam. In Islam and Christianity, God is traditionally thought to have foreknowledge of human actions.

Edouard Machery (University of Pittsburgh)
Ameni Mehrez (Central European University)

Award: $249,550
Start Date: July 1, 2022
End Date:  June 30, 2024


Psychological Foundations of the Cosmological Argument.

Why does the universe exist? This seems like a perfectly reasonable question. But why think there should be an answer to it? Why should there be an explanation for the existence of the universe?

Shaun Nichols (Cornell)
Tamar Kushnir (Duke University)
David Pizarro (Cornell)

Award: $249,913
Start Date: January 1, 2022
End Date: December 31, 2023


The Anatomy of Agency: A Cross-Cultural Experimental Philosophy of Religion Investigation into Causation, Free Will, and Responsibility.

What philosophical intuitions do folk have pertaining to religion and agency, especially about free will, causation, and moral responsibility, and what differences emerge about these philosophical intuitions among Western, Indian, and Chinese folk, whether Christian, Buddhist or unaffiliated?

Ryan Nichols (Cal. State Fullerton)

Award: $249,550
Start Date: July 1, 2022
End Date: June 30, 2024