Department of Philosophy

Welcome to Philosophy

Dorthea Olkowski

Dear Campus Community:

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 Metaphysics, Ethics, 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; Erik Hanson focuses on Philosophy of Religion, Nineteenth Century Philosophy, Existentialism, and Philosophy and Technology; Allison Postell who specializes in Ethics and Ancient Philosophy; Jennifer Jensen specializes in Metaphysics, Free Will, and Philosophy of Religion, and; Joseph Kuzma, who specializes in 19th and Twentieth Century European philosophy, modernist poetics, the philosophy of psychoanalysis, and phenomenology.

Dr. Raphael Sassower, Department Chair


From Our Students

“I have always been a fairly critical thinker, but my work in philosophy has sharpened my thinking tremendously. Through my studies I have polished my writing and presentation skills, developed greater focus, and cultivated an analytic approach to problem solving. I am continually impressed with the breadth of philosophical specialties covered by the faculty at UCCS. The passion that each professor has for their subjects is obvious – and contagious.

-Mikey Cunningham, Class of 2014

“It is difficult to pin down “one” greatest thing I have taken from philosophy, since there are several: Logical argumentation, which has improved my writing; insight into the history of western philosophy, which has provided me with context for many of the issues I encounter in my present work; and cordial debate, for which the professors in the Philosophy Department were excellent role models.”

-Karenleigh A. Overmann, Class of 2010

“For me, studying philosophy instilled an intense passion to understand the world around me on a deeper level, and to not accept anything at face value. I also felt that it challenged me to be my best self, and continually strive for excellence. The professors of UCCS’s Philosophy Department have my sincere appreciation for their work, and dedication, to the study of knowledge. I can honestly say that I miss all of the classes I took, and the time I spent at UCCS.”

-Katie Spence, Class of 2010


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College of Letters, Arts & Sciences | Department of Philosophy
Phone: (719) 255-4552 | Location: CoH 2025
Chair / Professor: Dr. Raphael Sassower | Phone: (719) 255-4090 |
Program Assistant: Monica Beltran | Phone: 719-255-3016 |