Welcome to the Department of Philosophy


Philosophy is the systematic and critical inquiry into thinking and the nature of existence. As a discipline, philosophy is applied to a great variety of topics, such as the nature of knowledge, the mind, and truth, determining what is moral, investigating what makes something beautiful, and inquiring after the existence of God or Ultimate Reality.

As a practice, philosophy teaches analytical and critical thinking, develops oral and written communication skills, and contributes to interdisciplinary understanding. Philosophy attempts to answer perennial questions about values, human existence, and the nature of reality. Skills developed in this inquiry help philosophy students excel in careers in law, medicine, management, education, government, writing, computer science, psychology, sociology, and ministry among many others.

Upcoming Courses: Spring 2020

  1. PHIL 3080 - Religion and Capitalism


    This course explores the complex relationship between religion and capitalism. The course will address issues of religious accommodation to capitalistic culture as well as religious critique of the economy. Special attention is paid to consumer culture.

    Taught by Jeff Scholes   

    Wednesdays: 1:40-4:20


  2. PHIL 3230 - Gender, Race, and Sexuality


    This is an introductory course that provides an overview of first, second, and third wave feminism. Focus will be on how to avoid essentializing the category "Woman" and will examine how the intersection of various forms of oppression (gender, race, sexuality, economic class, and physical ability) shape and change feminist politics in the United States and globally.

    Taught by Jennifer Kling  

    Mondays: 1:40-4:20



  3. PHIL 3490 - Philosophies of China


    This course focuses on the historical development and critical analysis of the major philosophical schools and texts of China, including Confucianism, Taoism, Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism and modern Chinese thought.  

    Taught by Colin Lewis  

    Tuesdays and Thursdays:  12:15-1:30

  4. PHIL 3530 - Cynics, Stoics, and Skeptics


    This course explores the history of Western Philosophy during the Hellenistic period (c. 310 B.C.E. To 450 C.E.). It covers Stoicism, Epicureanism, Skepticism, Atomism, neo-Platonism and the introduction of Jewish and Christian thought into philosophy via Philo of Alexandria and St. Augustine, respectively.

    Taught by Sonja Tanner

    Wednesdays: 10:50-1:30

  5. PHIL 4060 - Mid-20th Century Continental Philosophy


    This course features an intensive examination of the major European philosophical movements of the mid 20th century, including phenomenology, existentialism, linguistics and post-structuralism, emphasizing their relation to key philosophical and non-philosophical issues of the period.

    Taught by Dorothea Olkowski

    Tuesdays: 4:45-6:00

A Message From the Chair



Welcome to the UCCS Department of Philosophy!

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 our Programs 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 (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 (Professor / Head of Department) specializes in Ancient Greek Philosophy, History of Philosophy, and Philosophy of Art. Jeff Scholes (Associate Professor) specializes in Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Sports, and Vocation Theory.  Jennifer Kling (Associate Professor) specializes in Philosophy of War, Social and Political Philosophy, Normative and Applied Ethics, Feminism.  Our full-time Instructors are Lorraine Marie Arangno, Patrick Yarnell, Erik Hanson, Allison Postell, Jennifer Jensen, Joseph Kuzma, and Colin Lewis. 

Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about the Department of Philosophy.


Professor Sonja Tanner, Ph.D. (Head of Department)