Skip to content

Lecture Answers the Question Why Sustainability Matters?

April 17, 2018

Dr. Randall Curren, professor of philosophy at the University of Rochester, will discuss the ethical heart of sustainability during the annual Joseph A. Trovato Lecture, sponsored by the Ethics and Sustainability Minor programs at St. John Fisher College. The lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, in Basil 135.

Randall Curren

Curren’s lecture, “Sustainability as the Preservation of Opportunity to Live Well,” explores the idea that the ethical heart of sustainability is preserving opportunity to live well into the future. Comparative judgments of opportunity across time would be predicated on what is universally essential to living well.  A conception of such universal essentials emerges from cross-cultural research on human well-being, and an important implication of this research is that a less materialistic orientation of life is favorable to living well both now and in the future.

As an ethicist, Curren works across the boundaries of moral, political, legal, environmental, and educational philosophy, often in ways grounded in his scholarship in ancient Greek philosophy and often collaboratively with colleagues in other disciplines, including law, history, sociology, psychology, psychometrics, and geology.  

Sustainability has been a major focus of Curren’s work since 2005, when hurricanes Katrina and Rita flooded New Orleans, his hometown, and invitations to speak at disaster relief events and disaster ethics and sustainability symposia began to flow his way.  A notable product of this work was an invited education policy pamphlet on UNESCO’s Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, launched in London in 2009.  Shortly thereafter Curren began his collaboration with geologist Ellen Metzger on what has become their book, Living Well Now and in the Future:  Why Sustainability Matters (MIT Press, 2017).

The event is free and open to the public.