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: Fall 2019

  1. PHIL 4930 - Modern Islamic Philosophy


    This course will introduce students to the key issues driving Muslim philosophical and theological discussions from the 18th century through the present day. Major themes include a response to European colonization of Muslim communities throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, nationalism and post-colonialism, modern science, as well as state and non-state violence. While we will focus on the early-modern and modern periods, this course will also examine how many of these themes represent continued threads from the pre-modern and medieval periods.

    Taught by Patrick D’Silva    


  2. PHIL 3500 - Buddhist Philosophy


    This course offers a general survey of key Buddhist philosophical concepts of both the Theravada and Mahayana traditions, such as dukha, nirvana, anatman and voidness. The relationship between Pali Sutta's and the Theravada tradition will be discussed as well as the relationship between Mahayana and the Prajna Paramita Suttas. Key schools of Mahayana, such as Cittamattra and Madhyamaka will also be introduced.

    Taught by Colin Lewis     

    Thursdays: 10:50-1:30



  3. PHIL 3720 - Philosophy Through Film


    This course explores the relation between philosophical issues and film to show how philosophical concepts are embodied in film and filmmaking. 

    Taught by Sonja Tanner     

    Tuesdays and Thursdays:  10:50-1:30

  4. PHIL 3240 - Political Violence: Peace, War, and Terrorism


    This course provides a critical examination of the philosophic commitments that underlie and affect war, conflict resolution, and peace; evaluation of various questions involved in conducting war and resolving disputes; consideration of the feasibility of pacifism. 

    Taught by Jennifer Kling     

    Fridays: 9:25-12:05

  5. PHIL 4400 - Science Wars


    This course provides a close examination of issues in the history, philosophy and sociology of science. Attention will be given to contemporary debates on such topics as the methodology of science, the growth of scientific knowledge, the logic of scientific discovery and the value-neutrality of science.

    Taught by Raphael Sassower

    Wednesdays: 10:50-1:30

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)