Department of Philosophy
The study of philosophy explores the fascinating range of theories and worldviews that have been offered in humankind's attempt to comprehend reality. Majoring in philosophy is a good choice for many students, but especially those planning on advanced careers in business or those pursuing graduate work in the humanities or law. Many students even find it worthwhile to double major in philosophy and another field, such Philosophy and Biology as preparation for medical school.
Courses at Fort Lewis College provides a strong grounding in the history of philosophy, while acquainting students with contemporary theories and approaches in all four major areas of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and logic.
Philosophy classes here at Fort Lewis College encourage lively debate among students and professors over issues most central to our lives. The Philosophy Club sponsors numerous receptions, talks, and events. We also offer exciting off-campus experiences to students interested in combining philosophy with adventurous trips abroad.
Our small classes mean you get an individualized education from our expert faculty. Because our faculty focus on teaching, they work closely with their students, taking pride in keeping their office doors open, being involved in their students' progress, and tailoring their assistance to each learner's needs. To learn more about our department, feel free to browse the website or download our brochure (PDF). If there is anything that we can do to help, please let us know.
All meetings are on Mondays from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Senate Chambers in the Student Union Building.
Support the Philosophy Department
This morning FLC philosophy alum and student marshal Doug Moore successfully defended his dissertation at the University of Missouri. Congratulations, Dr. Moore!
Recent Philosophy graduate, Weston Ellis and Dr. Justin McBrayer published a paper entitled, "A Phenomenal Defense of Reflective Equilibrium" in the Journal of Philosophical Research. Congratulations, Weston!
In June 2019, FLC philosophy alum Brett Sherman created a new app that helps people find attorneys and helps attorneys find clients! It's like Rocket Mortgage for legal aid. The app is called Legal Locate and you can check it out here: http://legallocateapp.com. Way to go, Brett!
On June 10, 2019, FLC philosophy and biology major Adam Hamilton started a new job with Perfect Day, a company that is manufacturing milk products without the help of cows! It's the perfect ending to a college career that combined environmental ethics with biochemistry. Congrats, Adam!
Congratulations to Rachel Lee and Sophie Schwartz, this year's inductees into Phi Sigma Tau, the international honor society for philosophy!
Philosophy major Maryssa Soots received a FLC travel grant to present her paper, “Confined by Beauty”, at the Fourth Annual Undergraduate Women's Philosophy Conference next month at Metropolitan State in Denver. Congrats, Maryssa!
Philosophy Department faculty and students congratulate Dr. Justin McBrayer, recipient of the 2018 Featured Scholar Award at Fort Lewis College. Dr. McBrayer is recognized with this award for his outstanding work in the humanities, for his significant national and international attention for his original work, including a Fulbright Scholarship and John Templeton Foundation grant, and being an active member of the campus community as current chair of the Philosophy Department and previous Board of Trustees representative.
Philosophy majors Mikayla Bennion and Sophie Schwartz will represent FLC in the annual business ethics case competition November 2nd at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Good work, Mikayla and Sophie!
Dr. Justin McBrayer explores the varieties of moral relativism in a blog post for a European project on the emergence of relativism that is being hosted by the University of Vienna. Dr. McBrayer was a Fulbright professor in Austria in the 16-17 academic year. (Varieties of Moral Relativism)
Dr. Justin McBrayer and Weston Ellis (alumni 16) have published a paper entitled "A Phenomenal Defense of Reflective Equilibrium" in the Journal of Philosophical Research. The paper defends the epistemology of John Rawls against common criticisms of skeptics.
Congratulations to our fine Philosophy faculty for this well earned ranking: FLC Philosophy Program ranked Top 5 for Small Colleges offering a Philosophy degree.
Does the scientific study of religion explain what religion is? Even after years of inquiry, are we closer to the facts that would allow philosophical closure on many of the questions between Philosophy and Theology? Is anyone really looking for those answers, on both sides of the question?
Indeed, many people are. Led by Dr. Justin Mcbrayer, nine other world-renowned philosohers and theologians are undertaking the Explaining Religion Project, with the goals of grasping the definition of what religion truly is.
Frank Bruni's recent article in the New York Times could be sub-titled 'Why your college should not mimic your smart-phone.' Timely, and accurate, his opinion deserves a wide sharing, because changes are occuring in all of Academia. Please read "Aristotle’s Wrongful Death".
Philosophy Major Tyler Porter accepted a full-ride scholarship worth over $90,000 to attend University of Richmond Law School. Congratulations, Tyler!
Very cool piece in the New York Times this week. Robert Rubin tells us how Philosophy prepared him for a career in Finance and Government.
Congratulations to graduating philosophy major Ivie Crawford! Ivie has been accepted into the prestigious program Economy, State, and Society: Politics & the International Economy at University-College London. She will leave Durango this summer to spend the first year in London and the second in Russia.
Philosophy Major Ivie Crawford (2018) will be presenting a paper entitled “Moral Skepticism and Evolutionary Biology” this April at the Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference. Congratulations, Ivie!
Christian Belman, Philosophy Minor and Spanish Major from 2016, has been accepted into the NYU Graduate Program for Creative Writing. Congratulations Christian!
Dr. Justin McBrayer, along with Philosophy Alumnus Weston Ellis, has recently published and article titled "The X-claim argument agains religious belief authors nothing new". The article will appear in an upcoming issue of the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion.
Philsophy Major Ivie Crawford has been awarded, and accepted, and internship with the local law office of Whitney & Schowalter. Ivie will graduate in 2018 and head to Law School. Join us in congratulating Ivie!
Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady’s article “Exploring Eco-Ability” was published in the book The Intersectionality of Critical Animal, Disability, and Environmental Studies. Congratulations, Sarah!
Oxford University Press has offered a contract to Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady, to produce an edited book entitled John Rawls: Debating the Moral Questions. Congratulations, Sarah!
Have you wondered, or been asked, "What are the Humanities good for?" JM Olejarz, Assistant Editor at Harvard Business Review, poses some answers for you in this article— Liberal Arts in the Data Age.
Have you ever wondered if your degree choice is causing you too much work? Are you going to spend a LOT of time working outside your regular course work? Tom Jenkins has authored this article, "Researchers have worked out which degree works the hardest." which lays out the amount of time each degree imposed upon the students on those degree paths.
Philosophy Department Graduate David Bowles, had chosen a funded offer to attend University of Georgia graduate school this fall. Philosophy Dept. congratulates him on his excellent choice.
Philosophy Department Graduate Alexandra Lamb has just received an Internship post with the Philosophy Podcast "The Partially Examined Life". She will be working directly with their social media, audio and blog editing, and networking with universities. Alex credits her experience working with KDUR and the Environmental Center at FLC as being key to her obtaining this opportunity.
Philosophy Department Graduate Weston Ellis has accepted an offer to attend graduate school at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Mr. Ellis has recently been assisting Dr. Justin McBrayer as researcher for the Explaining Religion Planning Grant.
April 10, 2017, Dr. Justin McBrayer is published in the Denver Post OpEd, asking relevant questions about how we react to the conflict in Syria. "Why should the line be drawn at chemical weapons?"
Dr. Justin McBrayer has written an Op-Ed piece, published last month in the Dallas News, "Why Christians must reject alternative facts". Justin is currently working in Europe, in preparation for a major research project—Explaining Religion.
Ben Brittain (philosophy major from Spring 2016) has accepted a fully-funded offer to attend CU Boulder Law School.
September 13, 2016, Dr. Justin McBrayer was published in The Critique, with his article "Africa & The Problem of Evil: Is It Reasonable For Africans To Believe In God?" His article is part of The Critique's September/October 2016 issue "The Bright Continent: Illuminating The Challenges, Opportunities & Promises Of a Rising Africa".
Dr. McBrayer is currently in Europe, teaching as a Fulbright Scholar.
In October, Dr. Justin McBrayer will begin a session as Fulbright Scholar at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.
September 1st was the opening date of a Planning Grant for Dr. Justin McBrayer. The theme of his year-long research/workshop project is "Explaining Religion", and will develop the foundations for a multi-year, international study.
Dr. Justin McBrayer published an Op-Ed article in the Orlando Sentinal, August 24, titled "Guns on the Free Market: Sure, if the Penalty for Sellers is Stiff." In his article, Dr. McBrayer seeks common ground between interests in the current debate on gun policies, and in the wake of the Pulse Nightclub shootings.
Dr. Justin McBrayer and Dr. Dugald Owen have co-authored a piece entitled "What Quantum Mechanics Doesn't Show" in the journal Teaching Philosophy!
Dr. Justin McBrayer has been named a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Innsbruck, Austria for fall term 2016. Congratulations, Justin!
Weston Ellis has been named the 2015-16 Outstanding Student in Philosophy. Congratulations, Weston!
Philosophy major Rhea Gillespie will be presenting research from her senior seminar offering a left-libertarian defense of animal rights at this spring's Pacific University Undergraduate Research Conference. Way to go, Rhea!
Philosophy minor and psychology major Tyler Jimenez has just accepted a fully-funded graduate school offer from psychology department at the University of Missouri. He will be working on something called the terror management health model that focuses on existential motivations for health-related behavior. Congrats, Tyler!
Check out this piece in the Washington Post on why kids need to learn philosophy now more than ever before.
Our own Dr. Justin McBrayer weighs in on the Oregon controversy. "This Land is Your Land. Or is it?" What makes property private?
To Weld or Philosophize? Here's an interesting response from a welder turned philosopher, Simon Critchley, in the New York Times!
Ryan Meer, an English and philosophy graduate from FLC, has just accepted a fully-funded offer to attend graduate school at Columbia University! He'll be working on a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. Congratulations, Ryan!
Philosophy and the Humanities in the New York Times!
Recent philosophy graduate, Doug Moore, has accepted a fully-funded offer to pursue a PhD in philosophy at the University of Missouri. Congratulations, Doug!
FLC's own Dr. McBrayer in the New York Times on "Why Our Children Don't Believe in Moral Facts."
Amazing how many of these movers and shakers are also philosophers!
The Fort Lewis College Ethics Bowl team dominated the regional tournament last week in Boulder. They will be competing in nationals in the spring term. Congratulations Theresa, Luke, Ivie, and Tyler!
Oxford University Press has published a short blog post explaining Dr. Justin McBrayer's co-edited book on skeptical theism.
Dr. Justin McBrayer's co-edited book on skeptical theism has just been released by Oxford University Press! The volume is entitled Skeptical Theism: New Essays and was put together with a colleague from Baylor University.
"Don't Dismiss the Humanities" in the New York Times argues for the impact that philosophers have had on the way many of us see the contemporary world.
Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady will be giving a talk on the work of John Rawls and Non-human Animals at this year's Rocky Mountain Ethics (RoME) Congress in Boulder, Colorado. Good work, Sarah!
Is Philosophy Obsolete? (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
The Philosophy Department is very proud to announce that Caleb Ontiveros, a 2014 graduate in philosophy, will be attending the PhD program at Notre Dame! Congratulations, Caleb!
Kirk Raikes (December 2013 philosophy graduate) recently presented a paper on Foucault for an online philosophy conference. See him here. Congratulations, Kirk!
Dr. Justin McBrayer has just reviewed a book on the epistemology of religion. The review is available on Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews here.
Dr. Justin McBrayer has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure!
Check out The Unexpected Way Philosophy Majors are Changing the World of Business, on the Huffington Post. Did you know that the co-founder of Flickr and former HP CEO were both philosophy majors?
Are you sure that a degree in the humanities makes graduates less employable than other majors like business or science? Answer here.
Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady and colleagues from the Department of Psychology have published new research demonstrating the comparative strength of critical thinking instruction in philosophy courses. Check it out here!
Dr. McBrayer's co-edited textbook on ethics has just been released on Amazon! Check out the article by Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady on the full-face veil ban in France (chapter 22.3).
Dr. Justin McBrayer and his family are interviewed by the Fort Lewis College Foundation on their work as family-in-residence for Animas Hall.
Which is better: an MBA or a degree in Philosophy? A business student here at FLC recently shared this article from The Atlantic with us.
Be Employable, Study Philosophy. Check out this article from a Canadian magazine!
The French Take Philosophy Seriously! A BBC report on the stiff philosophical requirements of French higher education.
Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady has been accepted as a participant in a 2013 summer workshop at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. The workshop is entitled Justice: Theory and Applications. Congratulations, Sarah!
Dr. Justin McBrayer has been accepted as a participant in a 2013 summer workshop at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. The workshop is entitled Moral Intuitionism: Epistemological and Methodological Aspects. Congratulations, Justin!