John Deely

The Deely Project

Teaching lies at the heart of Saint Vincent’s mission. Accordingly, the Deely Project provides a site where
leading figures foster exploration of the semiotic perspective for the coming generations. Faculty and students, undergraduate and graduate, drawn from across the disciplines, engage each other in vigorous, critical and fertile dialogue. The lively interchange in colloquia, seminars and tutorials intrinsically integrates knowledge across methodologies that have perennially taken themselves to be essential.

"In the pantheon of semiotics and American philosophy, Deely’s place was established well before his death. In the near future he will be recognized as one of the most original thinkers of the current epoch."
Paul Cobley, President
International Association for Semiotic Studies

Lecture Seriesdeely-lecture-series
The Deely/Maritain Lecture Series

Farouk Seif, Ph.D.
“De-Sign: The Mutual Fulfillment of God and Humans”
Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 4 p.m.
Luparello Lecture Hall

Farouk SeifFarouk Y. Seif, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus, Antioch University, Seattle, WA, past President of the Semiotic Society of America (SSA), former Executive Director of the SSA, a registered architect, and a Fellow of the International Communicology Institute. His main interests are design and semiotics for social and cultural change, paradoxes, transdisciplinarity and transmodernity. He taught in universities and lectured at conferences in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Demark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Kirgizstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Romania, Spain, Turkey, and USA. He was the recipient of the 2010 Fulbright Specialists Program at University of Sofia, Bulgaria. Professor Seif is the author of more than 50 articles and a dozen book chapters. His newly published book De-sign in the Transmodern World is a state-of-the-art integration of design and semiotics.


“The John Deely/Jacques Maritain Lecture Series heralds the future potential at Saint Vincent College of the Deely/Maritain Chair in Philosophy. The Chair, as grounded in Benedictine tradition, will provide a setting internationally for further developing the Catholic tradition in ways that meet the needs of our current age in the shaping of future culture. As a philosophical framework and direction, a forward-looking Thomism and the contemporary transdisciplinary field of semiotics have joined together in this development, thanks to the work of Maritain and Deely.” -- Fr. Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B., President


This Lecture Series is presented annually on the beautiful campus of Saint Vincent College. Inaugurated in 2018, it hosts distinguished speakers and experts in Maritain thought and Deely’s semiotic philosophy.

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The John Deely Reading Room

Latimer LibraryThe John Deely Reading Room is located in the expanded Dale P. Latimer Library (right).

  • A space for scholarly reading, consultation and discussion
  • Featuring selected books and artifacts from the Deely archive
  • A focus for visitors drawn to Saint Vincent by Deely’s scholarship
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The Endowed John Deely/Jacques Maritain Academic Chair
  • Jacques Maritain and John DeelyEnvisaged by John Deely as mortar between the bricks of College and Seminary
  • Focal point of semiotic thought at Saint Vincent
  • Continue research along the lines pioneered by John Deely and Jacques Maritain
  • Promote the thought of John Poinsot, especially as rediscovered by Maritain and as contextualized by Deely’s Ages of Understanding
  • Encourage a semiotic perspective of scholarship at Saint Vincent
  • Nurture faculty-student interplay in undergraduate and graduate programs across multiple disciplines
  • Promote Saint Vincent at key academic conferences and in professional publications
  • John Deely
    John Deely (April 26, 1942 – Jan. 7, 2017) was appointed full Professor and Philosopher-in-Residence at Saint Vincent College in the fall of 2015. Author of more than 30 books and more than 200 articles, editor of several book series, and acclaimed by the global translations of his work into a dozen languages, Deely has been a shaping influence on the development of philosophical thought worldwide. In the words of Paul Cobley, “Deely has been the ‘philosopher-in-residence’ for contemporary semiotics.” According to the great Thomist Mauricio Beuchot, O.P., “John Deely’s legacy is a pivotal element in the future of both semiotics and Thomistic thought.” Deely thrice represented the USA as a Fulbright scholar to Brazil, Mexico and Bulgaria; and he was an invited lecturer in many other countries around the world.
  • Jacques Maritain
    Jacques Maritain (Nov. 18, 1882 – April 28, 1973) is recognized as one of the leading philosophical figures of the 20th century. Early in their marriage, he and Raissa converted to Roman Catholicism, and they soon afterward became Benedictine oblates. Maritain’s philosophical work prepared the way for the Second Vatican Council. He was actively involved in drafting the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His forward-looking Thomism applied perennial truths to the demands of his own time, in works spanning a broad range of topics, including aesthetics, political theory, the philosophy of science, metaphysics and the nature of education, as well as theological topics including sacramental semiotics, liturgy and ecclesiology, and the nature of mystical experience. Strongly drawn by Maritain and his work, John Deely took the final photos of Maritain, which were displayed at Maritain’s funeral.