Department of Philosophy - Home

Welcome to the 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.

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Philosophy News & Updates

Dr. Justin McBrayer named Fort Lewis College Featured Scholar of 2018 - Monday, October 01, 2018

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.

 

FLC Philosophy Majors to represent college in ethics competition. - Monday, October 01, 2018

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!

 

Varieties of Moral Relativism - Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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)

 

Defense of John Rawls against common criticisms of skeptics. - Wednesday, September 12, 2018

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.

 

FLC Philosophy Program ranked Top 5 for Small Colleges offering a Philosophy degree - Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Congratulations to our fine Philosophy faculty for this well earned ranking: FLC Philosophy Program ranked Top 5 for Small Colleges offering a Philosophy degree.

 

Explaining Religion Project - Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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.

 

New York Times Opinion Article - Wednesday, May 30, 2018

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".

 

Scholarship award for FLC Philosophy Major - Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Philosophy Major Tyler Porter accepted a full-ride scholarship worth over $90,000 to attend University of Richmond Law School.  Congratulations, Tyler!

 

Cool piece in NY Times - Thursday, May 03, 2018

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.

 

Graduating student accepted to University-College London - Friday, March 30, 2018

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 presenting at Undergraduate Conference - Thursday, March 01, 2018

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!

 

Philosophy Alum gains Graduate Program position. - Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Christian Belman, Philosophy Minor and Spanish Major from 2016, has been accepted into the NYU Graduate Program for Creative Writing. Congratulations Christian!

 

New Publication - Monday, January 29, 2018

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.

 

Internship awarded to FLC Philosophy Major - Tuesday, October 03, 2017

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!

 

New published article for Philosophy Faculty Member - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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!

 

 

New publishing project for Philosophy Faculty member - Friday, September 08, 2017

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!

 

What ARE the Humanities good for? Quite a lot, actually. - Thursday, August 31, 2017

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.

 

Which degree works the hardest? - Wednesday, July 19, 2017

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.

 

Graduate school selection made by Philosophy grad. - Friday, July 14, 2017

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.

 

New Intern position for Philosophy Alumnus - Wednesday, July 12, 2017

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.

 

FLC Philosophy Alum to attend University of Edinburgh - Friday, May 12, 2017

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.

 
Why should the line be drawn at chemical weapons?

Why should the line be drawn at chemical weapons? - Monday, April 10, 2017

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?"

 
Why Christians Must Reject Alternative Facts

Why Christians Must Reject Alternative Facts - Tuesday, February 07, 2017

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.

 

Graduate receives invitation to Law School - Monday, January 09, 2017

Ben Brittain (philosophy major from Spring 2016) has accepted a fully-funded offer to attend CU Boulder Law School.

 

Africa & The Problem of Evil - Wednesday, September 28, 2016

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.

 

Fulbright Scholar in Austria - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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.

 

Explaining Religion - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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. 

 read more ...

Guns on the Free Market... - Tuesday, September 20, 2016

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.

 

McBrayer and Owen in Teaching Philosophy - Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dr. Justin McBrayer and Dr. Dugald Owen have co-authored a piece entitled "What Quantum Mechanics Doesn't Show" in the journal Teaching Philosophy!

 

McBrayer a Fulbright Scholar - Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Dr. Justin McBrayer has been named a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Innsbruck, Austria for fall term 2016.  Congratulations, Justin!

 

Weston Ellis Outstanding Student - Monday, April 11, 2016

Weston Ellis has been named the 2015-16 Outstanding Student in Philosophy.  Congratulations, Weston!

 

Philosophy Senior Presents her Research - Thursday, April 07, 2016

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!

 

Tyler Jimenez to Missouri for graduate school! - Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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!

 

Why Kids Need to Learn Philosophy - Friday, February 05, 2016

Check out this piece in the Washington Post on why kids need to learn philosophy now more than ever before.

 

This Land is Your Land. Or is it? - Tuesday, January 05, 2016

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, Perchance, to Dream? - Monday, November 16, 2015

To Weld or Philosophize?  Here's an interesting response from a welder turned philosopher, Simon Critchley, in the New York Times!

 

Meer to Columbia - Thursday, June 04, 2015

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 in the NYT - Monday, April 20, 2015

Philosophy and the Humanities in the New York Times!

 

Doug to Grad School - Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Recent philosophy graduate, Doug Moore, has accepted a fully-funded offer to pursue a PhD in philosophy at the University of Missouri.  Congratulations, Doug!

 

Why Our Children Don't Believe in Moral Facts - Monday, March 02, 2015

FLC's own Dr. McBrayer in the New York Times on "Why Our Children Don't Believe in Moral Facts."

 

Why Study Philosophy? (with Ben Folds!) - Sunday, January 18, 2015

Amazing how many of these movers and shakers are also philosophers!

 

Ethics Bowl - Thursday, November 20, 2014

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!

 

Blog Entry on Skeptical Theism - Monday, October 13, 2014

Skeptical Theism: New Essays

 Oxford University Press has published a short blog post explaining Dr. Justin McBrayer's co-edited book on skeptical theism.

 

Belief in God is Good for You - Monday, September 22, 2014

Dr. Justin McBrayer  Dr. Justin McBrayer just published a paper defending a re-vamped version of Pascal’s Wager.  The gist?  Belief in God is good for you.
 

Dr. McBrayer on skeptical theism - Sunday, August 31, 2014

Skeptical Theism: New Essays 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 - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New York Times - Don't Dismiss the Humanities

"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. 

 

Sarah at ROME - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady

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? - Friday, May 02, 2014

Is Philosophy Obsolete? (The Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Caleb to ND - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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 on Foucault - Thursday, April 10, 2014

Kirk Raikes (December 2013 philosophy graduate) recently presented a paper on Foucault for an online philosophy conference.  See him here.  Congratulations, Kirk!

 

NDPR - Friday, March 21, 2014

Dr. Justin McBrayer

Dr. Justin McBrayer has just reviewed a book on the epistemology of religion.  The review is available on Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews here.

 

McBrayer earns tenure - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dr. Justin McBrayer

Dr. Justin McBrayer has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure!

 

Philosophy Majors Rule - Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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?

 

The Employability Myth of the Humanities - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Are you sure that a degree in the humanities makes graduates less employable than other majors like business or science?  Answer here.

 

Research in Critical Thinking - Thursday, January 09, 2014

Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady

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!

 

ethics book - Monday, December 16, 2013

textbook on ethics 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).

 

Philosopher-in-Residence - Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dr. Justin McBrayer and his family are interviewed by the Fort Lewis College Foundation on their work as family-in-residence for Animas Hall.

 
Blackwell Companion

Blackwell Companion - Friday, August 23, 2013

Dr. McBrayer's co-edited book on the problem of evil has just been released on Amazon

MBA or Philosophy? - Monday, August 19, 2013

 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

Be Employable, Study Philosophy - Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Be EmployableBe Employable, Study Philosophy.  Check out this article from a Canadian magazine!

 

The French Take Philosophy Seriously! - Monday, June 03, 2013


The French Take Philosophy Seriously!  A BBC report on the stiff philosophical requirements of French higher education.

 

stuff - Wednesday, April 03, 2013

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!

 

Moral Epistemology in Budapest - Monday, March 18, 2013

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!

 

Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl - Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fort Lewis students competed in their first ever Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl competition yesterday!  They won their initial debate despite eventually losing to the winner of the entire regional competition.  Good job Colin, Caleb, Jakob and Ryan!
 

Innovative Month Trip to Greece - Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dr. Justin McBrayer will be leading an innovative month trip to Greece this summer!  Students will earn both EGC and Philosophy credit as they explore both classical and contemporary Greek culture.
 

How Americans View Wealth and Inequality - Monday, August 20, 2012

How Americans View Wealth and Inequality with insights from political philosopher John Rawls.
 

Daniel Leighton - Thursday, August 09, 2012

One of our philosophy majors and recent graduates, Daniel Leighton, has accepted a job with Mercury Payment Systems here in Durango. Congratulations, Dan!
 

America the Philosophical? - Wednesday, July 11, 2012

America the Philosophical?  So says a New York Times review...
 

Andy Bolton - Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One of our philosophy majors, Andy Bolton, has been accepted to a masters of library science program at the University of British Columbia.  Congratulations, Andy! 
 

Ursula Squire - Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One of our philosophy majors, Ursula Squire, has been accepted to law school.  Congratulations, Ursula! 
 

New Faculty Teaching Award - Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dr. Justin McBrayer is one of two 2012 recipients of the New Faculty Teaching Award.  Our department now has TWO teaching awards to its credit!
 

Ryan Murphy - Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One of our philosophy majors, Ryan Murphy, has been accepted to San Francisco State for graduate school in philosophy.  Congratulations, Ryan! 
 

Wealth or Waste? Rethinking the Value of a Business Major - Thursday, April 05, 2012

"Wealth or Waste? Rethinking the Value of a Business Major," as reported in The Wall Street Journal.  It turns out that employers want employees who have the breadth and critical thinking skills that come from a liberal arts degree. 
 

Does it Matter Whether God Exists? - Thursday, March 22, 2012

An article in the New York Times entitled "Does it Matter Whether God Exists?" cites an article entitled "Skeptical Theism" recently published by Dr. Justin McBrayer. 
 

Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady - Thursday, March 08, 2012

Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady has been promoted to full professor.  Congratulations, Sarah!
 

St. Thomas Summer Seminar in Philosophy of Religion - Monday, February 27, 2012

Dr. Justin McBrayer  is one of 20 PhD's to be chosen as a participant in this summer's St. Thomas Summer Seminar in Philosophy of Religion sponsored by the Templeton Foundation.
 

Best and Worst Jobs of 2011 - Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Wall Street Journal has released its data on the Best and Worst Jobs of 2011.  Guess who ranks at 16 out of 200 different jobs?  Philosophy! 
 

ex-apologist - Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dr. Justin McBrayer's recent work in philosophy of religion is noted on the philosophy of religion blog the ex-apologist.
 

Is Philosophy the Most Practical Major - Sunday, October 16, 2011

2012 Mountain/Pacific meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers - Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dr. Justin McBrayer will be presenting a paper on counterpart theodicies as responses to the argument from evil at the 2012 Mountain/Pacific meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers in Santa Barbara, CA from January 11-13, 2012.
 

Answering Agrippa: An Internalist Solution to the Regress Problem - Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dugald Owen will be giving at lecture entitled “Answering Agrippa: An Internalist Solution to the Regress Problem” at the Northwest Philosophy Conference in Portland, OR on Nov. 4th & 5th, 2011.
 

Society of Christian Philosophers - Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The department has received a grant from the Society of Christian Philosophers to bring renowned philosopher Dr. Linda Zagzebski to campus for a talk!
 

Are Skeptical Theists Really Skeptical? Sometimes Yes, and Sometimes No - Friday, September 02, 2011

Dr. Justin McBrayer's paper "Are Skeptical Theists Really Skeptical? Sometimes Yes, and Sometimes No," is forthcoming in the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion.
 

Skepticism about the Argument from Divine Hiddenness - Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dr. Justin McBrayer's paper "Skepticism about the Argument from Divine Hiddenness," is forthcoming in the journal Religious Studies.
 

Alice Admire Outstanding Teacher Award - Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady is the 2010-11 recipient of the Alice Admire Outstanding Teacher Award. Way to go, Sarah!
 

Knowing in Religion and Morality workshop - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2/16/11: Dr. Justin McBrayer has been chosen from a worldwide pool of applicants as one of 15 participants in the Knowing in Religion and Morality workshop at Purdue University sponsored by the Templeton Foundation.
 

Conflict of Interest in Industry-Sponsored Clinical Research - Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dr. Sarah Roberts-Cady's paper “Conflict of Interest in Industry-Sponsored Clinical Research,” is forthcoming in the International Journal of Applied Philosophy.
 

Dylan Leigh - Friday, November 19, 2010

Congratulations to Philosophy major Dylan Leigh on winning the campus-wide Common Reading Experience Essay Contest. Way to go, Dylan!
 

Lessons in Morality at West Point - Monday, September 20, 2010

"Lessons in Morality at West Point," as reported by the BBC
 

Philosophy major's mid-career - Friday, August 27, 2010

Philosophy major's mid-career pay is higher than those majoring in Business, Biology, Pscyhology, English, Sociology, Journalism, Anthropology, Art, etc. (from Payscale.com)
 

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2018-19 Philosophy Club Schedule

Fall 2018

Monday, Sep. 10: 7:00 pm - Vallecito Room, SU. A visit with Scott Helker, Libertarian candidate for governor of Colorado.

Monday, Sep. 24: 7:00 pm - Vallecito Room, SU. Dr. Dugald Owen discusses "Moral Truth: Illusion or Reality?" Everyone is welcome!

Monday Oct. 8: 7:00pm - Senate Chambers, SU"What Do I Care What You Think?"  Dr. McBrayer invites us think outside ourselves.

Monday, Oct. 22: 7:00pm - Senate Chambers, SU.  Philosophy Club offers a discussion this week on economics with Dr. Deb Walker. Title TBA. 

Monday, Nov. 5 : 7:00pm - Senate Chambers, SU. Does the Ethics Bowl need to practice? Certainly! They will, and you are invited!

Monday, Dec. 3: 7:00pm - Senate Chambers, SU. Interested in learning more about immigration? Join FLC Political Scientists, Drs. Ruth Alminas and Paul DeBell to this week's club meeting. Title TBA.