Philosophy on educational material


Bellevue College’s philosophy department is kicking off the quarter with a series of five lectures open to the general student body.  The talks will be given by a variety of professors, including BC’s own Steve Duncan and Philosophy Department Chair, Russ Payne, and will cover a variety of philosophical topics.

These speeches represent a continuation from last spring’s educational material being made available for students by the philosophy faculty, where a similar lineup of lectures included a talk from BC’s philosophy professor Tim Linnemann on the subject of morality.

Following up on yesterday’s talk by Washington State University grad student Zoe Aleshire, which blended Kant’s categorical imperative with DeBeauvoir’s feminist existentialism will be Professor Duncan.

His lecture next Monday is entitled “Why we need Free Will,” a potentially controversial and interesting subject for psychology students familiar with the behaviorism of Pavlov, Skinner, and Watson.

Payne’s lecture on climate change, San Francisco State University’s Rebeka Ferreira’s discussion on intellectual values and religion, and University of Washington  grad student Patrick Smith’s talk about John Rawls will close out the series, and possibly provide discussion topics for BC’s active Philosophy Club.  None of the faculty was available for comment, but Aleshire expressed excitement about her thesis online, describing it as a “beautiful wedding” of the two philosophers she discussed.  Ferreira’s thesis has attracted some attention in the graduate-student academic world – there is at least one rebuttal to her claim written by University of Alberta grad student Andrew Ball.  Religion and politics have a tendency to flirt controversy in the academic world, and there will be no shortage of either in Ferreira’s and Smith’s talks.

Though many students weren’t aware of the lecture series, most expressed at least some interest in going to at least one of them.  Anthony Klobas, a student, said he was particularly interested in Duncan’s talk on free will, saying “it just sounds like it would be really interesting.”

“All of them sound really interesting,” said Bailey Tugadi, another BC student.  “The only one I wouldn’t be interested in is the one on Feminism. I feel like I’ve heard it all before.  A lot of my friends talk about it though.”

Unfortunately, the late morning and early afternoon timing conflicts with many students’ class schedules.  Students who are interested in seeing the lectures but who have conflicting class schedules can access them however, as the lectures will be taped and stored in the Library Media Center (technical difficulties notwithstanding).

The lectures will be held in the Library Media Center (D-106) on various days over the next two months, as indicated on the sidebar.  Students with questions about the lectures or BC’s philosophy club are encouraged to contact Payne at or 425-564-2078.