Course Description

FTT 30111/PHIL 33101: The Good Class — The Philosophy and Production Behind The Good Place

This one-credit Fall 2019 course at the University of Notre Dame will offer an interdisciplinary deep dive into the ground-breaking NBC sitcom The Good Place.  We’ll look at the philosophical theories of goodness and human flourishing that back the episode scripts. We’ll consider how moral change figures in comedy and how television helps shape the conversation between popular art and morality. We’ll look at the economic and aesthetic forces that guide work like this. And we’ll get into the details of how the show was devised, pitched, and produced. There will be five 90-minute class meetings, plus an in-depth session with showrunner Michael Schur. Participants will be expected to watch and critically analyze episodes of the series, engage with relevant secondary literature (including some secondary viewing), and submit writing assignments.

In order to be admitted into The Good Class, students must submit an application form no later than Thursday, April 7. Instructions for submission and a link to the application form can be found at Only declared or anticipated FTT majors and Philosophy majors/minors are eligible to apply.

Instructors: Meghan Sullivan (Philosophy), Christine Becker (FTT), Ricky Herbst (FTT)

Meeting times: The first five Fridays of the semester, 11-12:30, plus a lunchtime meeting on Monday, Sept 16.

Location: B043 DPAC