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Kathleen Dean Moore

Distinguished Professor Emerita, Oregon State University

Kathleen Dean Moore, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor Emerita at Oregon State University and co-founder and Senior Fellow of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word. An environmental philosopher, Moore writes about moral, spiritual, and cultural relationships to the natural world. Her 2010 co-edited volume, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, addresses the question, Do we have a moral obligation to the future to leave a world as rich in possibilities as the world we inherited?

Her other climate ethics books are:
Great Tide Rising: Toward Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change
Bearing Witness: The Human Rights Case Against Fracking and Climate Change
Piano Tide, A Novel (cli-fi, winner of the WILLA Award for contemporary fiction)
Earth's Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Natural World
Take Heart: Encouragement for Earth's Weary Lovers (forthcoming)

Moore is especially interested in the role of narrative in the discourse of environmental ethics. She is the author of books of nature essays -- Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature, Holdfast, Riverwalking, and The Pine Island Paradox, winner of the Oregon Book Award.

Deeply committed to engaged philosophy, Moore often writes beyond philosophical audiences in professional journals such as The Journal of Forestry, Frontiers in Ecology, and Environmental Ethics; and in popular journals such as Discover, Audubon, The Conversation, and Orion. She speaks widely in public venues and on radio, including a conversation on climate ethics for NPR’s “Philosophy Talk.”

When words seem not to be enough, Moore turns to film. In collaboration with the Spring Creek Project, she wrote the screenplays and appears in "The Extinction Variations," "Bedrock Rights: A New Foundation for Global Action Against Fracking and Climate Change," and twenty tiny concerts called "The Animal Interludes."

Moore's Ph.D., from the University of Colorado, is in the philosophy of law, where her particular interest is in the nature of forgiveness and reconciliation. Her book, Pardons: Justice, Mercy, and the Public Interest (Oxford) outlines a justice-based argument for pardons.


  • –present
    Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Oregon State University