Orange Alert

Ben Bradley Awarded $94,000 by the Immortality Project at University of California, Riverside

Bradley and Team to Study Death, Rational Emotion, and Meaningfulness

June 13, 2014, by Sarah Scalese

Professor Ben Bradley
Professor Ben Bradley
It’s only the second week of June, and already it’s been a great month for Ben Bradley, chair of the Department of Philosophy and director of the Integrated Learning Major in Ethics. Earlier this month, Bradley was named the inaugural Sutton Distinguished Chair and just recently, he was awarded nearly $94,000 by the Immortality Project at the University of California, Riverside. The grant, which is funded by the John Templeton Foundation, will allow Bradley, and two of his graduate students – Kirsten Egerstrom and Travis Timmerman – to study death, rational emotion and meaningfulness.

“This is a fascinating research opportunity and I am grateful to UC, Riverside for the financial support,” says Bradley. “Through our research, we will explore what emotions and attitudes are fitting or appropriate to have towards one’s own death, and towards the possibility of radically extended or immortal life. Death is never an easy topic to discuss but it is my hope that our research will uncover why we feel the way we do and shed further light on how the meaningfulness of life can explain the rationality behind certain emotions towards death.”

In describing this year’s crop of proposals, John Martin Fischer, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and the head of The Immortality Project said this year’s competition was “fierce.”

“The Immortality Project has sparked an interesting and necessary conversation about how people view and even prepare for the afterlife. It’s also given philosophers, scientists, and theologians the financial tools to study mortality,” says Bradley.  

Bradley, a professor in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences joined the SU faculty more than a decade ago. Named chair of the Department of Philosophy in 2012, Bradley is an accomplished philosopher with expertise in ethics and philosophy of death/ He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He’s held academic positions at Princeton University, Western Washington University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Illinois Wesleyan University. In 2011, Bradley was named a Laurance S. Rockefeller Fellowship at Princeton University’s Center for Human Values and in 2013, he was awarded a SU Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award. A frequent contributor to renowned scholarly journals, Bradley’s had dozens of articles published in outlets such as Philosophical Studies, Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, Utilitas, and Ethics, just to name a few. 

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Sarah Scalese