About John Deck

John Norbert Deck started teaching philosophy at Boston College in 1955, moved to Assumption University/University of Windsor in 1957, and continued teaching there until his death in 1979. In those years, his distinctive teaching style was influential at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Professor Deck’s specialties were metaphysics — Plotinus and Hegel. The book that emerged from his Ph.D. dissertation, Nature, Contemplation and the One (1967) was described by one authority (R. Baine Harris) as “the best book on Plotinus.”

Professor Deck also made substantial contributions to the understanding of scholasticism in “St. Thomas Aquinas and the Language of Total Dependence” in Aquinas: A Collection of Critical Essays (1969) and Metaphysics or Logic? (1989).

As a teacher, John Deck was best known for his introductory courses, especially “Dream Worlds vs. Real Worlds,” a course which asked if “the “ordinary man” lives in a world of dreams. In the departmental syllabus, students were warned: “There will be tests. No field-trips.” He also supervised more than twenty masters’ theses in his time at Windsor and was well-loved by grad students. Students returned to Windsor from all over the world for his funeral, to honor him and express their gratitude for the influence he and his teachings had upon them.

Each year, Windsor University awards the John N. Deck Memorial Prize in Philosophy.

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