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Education:  M.S. Microbiology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; M. Div. Theology; M.A. Philosophy, California State University, Los Angeles; Ph.D. Philosophy, University of California, Riverside.

How Long at COC:  At COC since Fall 2000.

Research Interests: Metaethics, Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Religion.

General Teaching Philosophy: A philosophy class is an ongoing conversation concerning fundamental, deep questions about the human situation and our place in the universe.  Regarding such a conversation, much is hoped for, much is expected, much may be gained.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Education: Ph.D., University of South Carolina (Philosophy); M.A., Boston College (Philosophy)

How Long at COC:  Since January 2007. 

Philosophical Interests:  I have published and given talks on topics such as existentialism, free will, the philosophy of religion, just war theory, minority rights, free speech, tolerance, and the nature of evil. I specialize in the work of Søren Kierkegaard, modern and contemporary German philosophy (particularly the German Idealist tradition and the thought of Jϋrgen Habermas), free will, and self-deception.  I am also very interested in the work of Karl Jaspers and process philosophers like Alfred North Whitehead.   I am a member of the American Philosophical Association and the Søren Kierkegaard society. 

Teaching Philosophy:  At its simplest, philosophy is a rational dialogue about the most pressing and thought-provoking questions that face human beings.  For instance:  Do we have free will?  Does a god exist?  What is the relation between the mind and the body?  What can we know?  What is justice?  What is the difference between a right and a wrong decision?  As a professional philosopher, my job is never to teach people what to believe about such topics, and I do not tell students what I personally believe about specific beliefs.  Instead, my aim is to help them to think more clearly about what they believe and why they believe it.  Being able to think intelligently about these matters empowers a person to make wiser decisions and to live as a free individual in society. Philosophy also prepares people for any discipline or profession because unlike other subjects, it does not tell us what to think, but how to think well. 
 

 

 

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  PAUL HICKS

 

Education: B.A. Philosophy of Law and Applied Ethics (Cum Laude), California State University, Sacramento; M.A. Philosophy, California State University, Los Angeles.
How Long at COC: Since Spring 2013
Philosophical Interests: Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Epistemic Conceptual Frameworks, Feminism, and how constructed identities of race, gender, and class develop the perception of our self.  I am often asked to speak on college campuses and radio stations to address students on various philosophical interests.
General Teaching Philosophy: Unlike other disciplines, teaching Philosophy is more about teaching students how to think rather than what to think.  We are not filling the minds of students with content as much as we are teaching students how to think critically and creatively with the content of other disciplines.  Having open and honest discussions about any area of thought is imperative to understanding ourselves and the world around us. While I do not push any particular philosophical position, students should be expected to substantiate theirs through rational arguments in their course writing and class discussions. My hope is for students to leave my class with the qualifications to think critically of the world around them and the socially constructed conceptual frameworks they have adopted.