Deane Curtin


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Emeritus Professor in Philosophy

During 2016-17 I will be in India on a Fulbright-Nehru Professional Excellence Fellowship. I will be based at Tibet House, New Delhi, conducting research on Buddhist practical ethics and the response to climate change. On November 26 I will be delivering the annual Spiritual Ecology address in Delhi, and on December 9 I will be offering a day-long workshop on Buddhism and climate change for the Department of Philosophy at Mumbai University.

I served as Professor in the Department of Philosophy from 1978 to 2015. At the time of retirement I was the Hanson-Peterson Chair of Liberal Studies. During 2012 - 2013 was on sabbatical in Dharamsala, India, where I coordinated a project with the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives to translate the major works of Western philosophy into Tibetan for the first time. I'm also working on a book that examines what a moral life might look like if not ordered by the concepts of good and evil. These interests were supported by a Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship.

I have long been fascinated with the multiple ways people connect with place. My scholarship and teaching focus on international ethics, particularly the ethics of community development, and environmental ethics. These interests are reflected in two books: Environmental Ethics for a Postcolonial World (2005), and Chinnagounder's Challenge (1999)

Recent invitations to speak have taken me to Peru for the keynote address at the First International Congress for Sustainable Development at Cesar Vallejo University, to Tel Aviv University, where I spoke on ethics and population growth at the Inaugural Conference for the Tarnesby Chair in the College of Medicine, to Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi, India, and as the keynote speaker for the Greater Philadelphia Philosophy Consortium annual meeting.

Over the years, I have been a visiting professor at several universities around the world: Kansai Gaidai University in Japan, Kings College, Cambridge University, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Fiesole, Italy, and the Centre for Research on a New International Economic Order in Chennai, India.

At Gustavus, I have served as the Raymond and Florence Sponberg Chair of Ethics. I also designed and led the Community Development in India program. I'm a core faculty member in the Gustavus Environmental Studies Major.

I particularly enjoyed traveling with students, having led student programs in Japan, India, Spain, Italy and Morocco. At Gustavus, my courses included Philosophies of the Environment, Ethics of International Development, Philosophy of Art and Buddhist Philosophy. 

Selected Syllabi

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Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
PHI-109 Philosophy of Environment 25 2015/SP, 2014/SP, 2012/SP, 2011/SP, 2010/SP, 2009/SP, 2008/SP, 2007/SP, 2006/SP, 2005/SP, 2004/SP, 2003/SP, 2002/SP, 2001/SP, 2000/SP, and 1999/SP
PHI-104 The Individual and Community 14 2013/FA, 2011/FA, 2010/FA, 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2006/FA, 2004/FA, 2004/SP, 2003/FA, 2003/SP, 2002/FA, 2001/SP, and 2000/FA
PHI-246 Ethical Theory 10 2009/FA, 2008/FA, 2007/FA, 2006/FA, 2004/FA, 2003/FA, 2002/FA, 2001/FA, 2000/FA, and 1999/FA
PHI-241 Philosophy of Art 9 2015/SP, 2011/SP, 2009/SP, 2008/SP, 2005/SP, 2004/SP, 2002/SP, 2001/SP, and 2000/SP
PHI-243 Ethics of Development 7 2014/SP, 2012/SP, 2010/SP, 2007/FA, 2003/SP, 2002/JN, and 2000/JN
PHI-230 Buddhist Philosophy 5 2014/FA, 2013/FA, 2011/FA, and 2010/FA
PHI-201 Ancient Philosophy 4 2014/FA, 2001/FA, 2000/FA, and 1999/FA
PHI-120 Buddhist India 3 2011/JN, 2010/JN, and 2009/JN
PHI-118 Morocco and Spain 3 2005/JN, 2004/JN, and 2003/JN
PHI-399 Colloquium 2 2008/SP and 2003/FA
CUR-230 Visual Experience 2 2006/SP and 2004/FA
CUR-399 Senior Seminar 2 2002/SP and 2001/FA
PHI-244 ST: Phil Dalai Lama 1 2013/FA
PHI-245 Social and Political Philosophy 1 2011/SP
PHI-103 Mind and Matter 1 2011/SP
PHI-236 Formal Logic 1 2011/SP
PHI-370 Seminar: Spinoza and D?gen 1 2007/SP
NDL-139 Florence and Italy 1 2007/JN
PHI-268 Career Exploration 1 2001/JN
FTS-100 First Term Seminar 1 1999/FA
PHI-108 Great Philosophers 1 1999/SP
IDS-390 Interdisciplinary Seminar 1 1999/SP
Courses prior to Spring semester 1999 are not displayed.