Philosophy Department History

The Philosophy Department was one of the original programs on the UCCS campus.  In 1966, one year after the university received the Cragmor acreage, philosophy was established as part of the Boulder department’s offerings under the leadership of Resident Dean Richard Francis.  From its origins as a branch department, the UCCS Philosophy Program soon became an independent department offering the major in Philosophy.

The Philosophy Department has an exceptionally broad range of courses. We see ourselves as unique in the western states because of this. The program is historically-based with detailed courses in four periods in the history of philosophy and full coverage of Eastern traditions. We offer courses in all traditional areas, such as MetaphysicsEthics, and Epistemology, and many courses on the cutting edge of their disciplines, such as Philosophy, Globalization, and Sustainability. We offer an undergraduate major, a minor and specialized tracks Religion, Classics, and Culture; Justice and Global Studies; Cognition, Science, Phenomenology, and Linguistics; Culture, Media, and the Arts(for more information, see Program page). The department requires of each of our majors the writing of an undergraduate thesis as the capstone of undergraduate experience.

Currently there are seven tenure-track faculty.  Dorothea Olkowski (Chair and Professor) specializes in Continental Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, and Philosophy of Science.Mary Ann Cutter (Professor) specializes in Ethics, Biomedical Ethics, Philosophy of Medicine, and Philosophy of Religion.  Raphael Sassower (Professor) specializes in Postmodern Philosophy of Science, Social and Political Philosophy, and Philosophy of Art. Rex Welshon (Professor) specializes in Philosophy of Mind, Consciousness, Philosophy of Neuroscience, and Nietzsche. Sonja Tanner (Associate Professor) specializes in Ancient Greek Philosophy, History of Philosophy, and Philosophy of Art. Jeff  Scholes (Assistant Professor) specializes in Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Sports, and Vocation Theory.  Geoff Ashton (Assistant Professor) specializes in Asian Philosophy, Comparative Philosophy, and Aesthetics. Full-time instructors are Lorraine Marie Arangno (Senior Instructor) who specializes in Logic, Metaethical Theory, and Ancient Philosophy; Patrick Yarnell (Senior Instructor) specializes in Ethical Theory and Analytic Philosophy;  Mary Jane Sullivan, who specializes in Social Theory and Film Theory; Erik Hanson focuses on Philosophy of Religion, Nineteenth Century Philosophy, Existentialism, and Philosophy and Technology; Jennifer Jensen specializes in Metaphysics, Free Will, and Philosophy of Religion. Lecturers include Allison Postell who specializes in Ethics and Ancient Philosophy and  Joseph Kuzma, who specializes in 19th and Twentieth Century European philosophy, modernist poetics, the philosophy of psychoanalysis, and phenomenology. For contact information for any of these faculty members, click on Contact Us.