In 1989 the Kwantlen philosophy department doubled in size. Its sole member welcomed a second instructor just prior to the opening of the new Surrey Campus. The department that year offered 24 sections over the Fall and Spring semester, on two campuses. Currently the department, now 13 regular members, teaches over 100 sections over three semesters, on three campuses as well as online.
This explosion in the size of the department also allowed us to expand significantly the breadth of our course offerings. In the early '90s, the department listed only three upper level, or second year courses, namely, Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Logic. With new faculty, of course, came new research interests and new strengths to offer to the students. Many new upper-division courses were developed and added to the curriculum. These include Environmental Philosophy, Asian Philosophy, Ancient Greek Philosophy, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Art, 20th Century Analytic Philosophy, Ethics and Public Policy, Free Will and Determinism, Personal Identity, and Philosophy of Language among others. The general expansion of the institution too, provided opportunities for the department to be of service. We support the nursing program by tailoring an ethics course for their use, and we teach several sections of Business Ethics, a required component of the business program.
Our program is designed to meet the needs of several kinds of student in addition to those planning to specialize in philosophy in pursuit of a degree: these include those wishing to gain practical skills in reasoning and conceptual analysis, and those majoring in other subjects who wish to broaden their university experience. Our courses are essential preparation for anyone, whether majoring in philosophy or not, who is planning a career that requires clarity, focus and independence of thought.
While all of our faculty members are deeply committed to teaching philosophy, our research interests also inform and enliven the classroom. Besides books and articles in professional journals, we write encyclopedia articles and book reviews, sit on panels as consultants, present our research at conferences in Canada and internationally, and offer public talks. We have hosted international conferences as well as invited speakers. The wider campus community is always welcome at our brown bag lunch series, where philosophers from nearby universities present engaging philosophical problems. There is a lively student club called Grey Matters, casual and open to all. You can find them on Facebook.
A notable strength of our faculty is in ethics, including applied ethics. We are an integral part of the new Policy Studies (POST) degree. Philosophy of Mind is also strong, as are Philosophy of Language, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. History of Philosophy (ancient, modern and analytic) and Asian Philosophy are represented, and Logic and Critical Thinking are offered on a regular basis.
To find more information about philosophy at Kwantlen, or to find out more about philosophy in general, follow the links below:
You are invited and encouraged to stop by the offices of any one of the faculty with any questions about our courses or programs. The current (2013) Chair of the philosophy department is Wayne Fenske.