Department of Philosophy

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Welcome to the Cal State LA Department of Philosophy

Existential angst? Metaphysical nausea? Ethical nihilism? Do you doubt the existence of your own soul? If you have these or any other philosophical symptoms, then the Cal State LA Philosophy Department is just the place for you. We specialize in solving and dissolving philosophical conundra, and in engaging our students in doing it with us.

We also specialize in helping students develop critical thinking skills, argumentation skills, analytic problem solving skills, clear and effective oral and written communication skills. Philosophy, of all disciplines, stands out in its blending of the analytic rigor found in the mathematical and scientific disciplines with the writing-intensive demands of disciplines in the Humanities. In this respect, the ability to think philosophically can be regarded as the ultimate “transferrable skill.” We think and write about the most difficult, abstract, intractable problems with which humans have ever had to grabble and in doing so, we acquire highly-developed skills of analysis, argumentation, and communication that can be applied in any context whatsoever. For this reason, a training in philosophy is particularly useful in an ever-changing economic landscape that demands flexibility. Beyond that, studying philosophy can enrich your life and perhaps even make you a better human being!

We have graduate and undergraduate programs and an extremely diverse twelve-member full-time faculty, with areas of specialization in ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, feminist philosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of law, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mathematics, political philosophy, ancient philosophy and science, modern philosophy, Indian philosophy, Islamic philosophy, Latin American philosophy, continental European philosophy, queer theory, and transgender studies. Our MA program is regarded as one of the top MA programs in the nation, consistently placing graduates in top-ranked Ph.D. programs.


Talia Bettcher

Professor and Chair