Apr 14, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog


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OFFICE: Arts and Letters 446
TELEPHONE: 619-594-5263
WEBSITE: http://philosophy.sdsu.edu


Chair and Graduate Adviser: Barbone, Steven L., Professor of Philosophy (B.S. University of Scranton; Ph.D., Marquette University)

Undergraduate Adviser: Francescotti, Robert M., Professor of Philosophy (B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Syracuse University)

Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty:

Atterton, Peter C., Professor of Philosophy (B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of Essex, England)

Corlett, J. Angelo, Professor of Philosophy (B.A., Azusa Pacific University; M.A. Div, Santa Barbara Theological Seminary; M.A., University of Louisville; M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; M.A., Ph.D., University of Arizona)

Wawrytko, Sandra A., Professor of Philosophy (B.A., Knox College; M.A., Ph.D., Washington University at St. Louis)

Wheeler, Mark R., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, SDSU Imperial Valley; Professor of Philosophy (B.A. Colgate University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Rochester)

Stramondo, Joseph A., Associate Professor of Philosophy (B.A., M.A., Trinity College, Hartford; Ph.D., Michigan State University)

Guralp, Genco, Assistant Professor of Philosophy (B.S., Middle East Technical University; M.S., Ankara University; M.A., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University)


Barzilai, David, Ph.D., Philosophy

Brown, Alison M., Ph.D., Philosophy

Dedman, Shelley L., M.A., Philosophy

Hadge, Rutger J., M.A. Philosophy

Nericcio, Lorenzo, M.A. Philosophy

Peñafuerte-Neuner, Araceli, M.A., Philosophy

Whaley, Tawny, M.A. Philosophy


Chaffin, Deborah, Ph.D., 1981-2012, Associate Professor of Philosophy,

Feenberg, Andrew L., 1969-2002, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy

Freeman, Roderick, 1978-2010, Professor of Philosophy

Moellendorf, Darrel, Ph.D., 2002-2013, Professor of Philosophy; Director of the SDSU Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs; currently Professor of International Political Theory, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany

Nelson, Sherwood M., 1956-1982, Professor of Philosophy

Reyes, Herminia, 1994-2020, Lecturer of Philosophy

Rosenstein, Léon, 1969-2003, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy

Troxell, Eugene A., 1966-2000, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy

Warren, Edward W., Ph.D., 1963-1990, Professor of Philosophy and Classics

Weber, Stephen, Ph.D., 1996-2011, President, Professor of Philosophy

Weissman, Stanley N., 1962-1991, Professor of Philosophy

Weston, Thomas, Ph.D.,1974-2019, Professor of Philosophy

Undergraduate Information

The Major

The Philosophy major explores and seeks to understand values and the nature of reality. Through the study of philosophy, questions are asked about existence and experience: What is truth? What is morally right? What kind of life is best? What kind of society? Is there an ultimate reality? Philosophy studies the types of questions that most other subject areas are unable to address fully.

There are three different ways these questions are characteristically investigated in the Philosophy major at San Diego State University. They are approached historically, by studying the history of philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the present; analytically, by carefully examining the meanings and interrelationships of ideas; and critically, by training students in the art of evaluating various claims and the arguments for and against them.

While the analytical and critical approach are part of every course in Philosophy, the Philosophy curriculum at San Diego State University emphasizes the historical approach. The aim is to provide the Philosophy major with a thorough grounding in the development of philosophy so that the student is well prepared to participate in the discussion of contemporary issues.

The education of a Philosophy major, along with providing the satisfaction of dealing with fundamental issues that have concerned serious thinkers for many centuries, also provides the student with skills that may be used in a variety of careers. Some students begin graduate work after their B.A., either in Philosophy, with the expectation of teaching or writing in the field, or in law, education, or other professional programs. Some enter new fields of research, working on computer problems or artificial intelligence. Other students find that the special skills they have developed as Philosophy majors - the ability to read complex material with comprehension, to analyze problems, to find relevant sources, to evaluate evidence, to propose solutions and to examine them self-critically, and to report the results of their inquiries with clarity and coherence - are valued by employers in many different fields. Such students may find career opportunities in government, industry, finance, politics, and social services.


All College of Arts and Letters majors are urged to consult with their department adviser as soon as possible; they are required to meet with their department adviser within the first two semesters after declaration or change of major.

Graduate Information

General Information

The Department of Philosophy offers a program of graduate studies leading to the Master of Arts degree. The purpose of the M.A. program in Philosophy is to provide students with rigorous advanced training in philosophical reasoning on philosophical topics. The program serves students who wish to go on to pursue Ph.D. work in Philosophy or other areas of advanced study; who seek skill development for professional careers such as teaching, law, business, and public service; and who seek personal enrichment through disciplined reflection on important and profound philosophical questions.

Nota bene: Anyone applying to do graduate work in Philosophy with the hope of eventually teaching Philosophy needs to be aware that there are currently many more candidates for positions in teaching philosophy than there are positions available.

Admission to Graduate Study

All students must satisfy the general requirements for admission to the university with classified graduate standing as described in Admission and Registration . To be considered for admission to the graduate program in the Department of Philosophy with classified status, an applicant must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. All students must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. institution or equivalent degree. The degree should be in the field of Philosophy.
  2. A minimum grade point average of 3.3 in upper division work in Philosophy with an overall minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required.

Conditional admittance: Unusually promising students who do not meet all the above requirements may be accepted into the program with conditional status. Students who are accepted conditionally with 12-23 units of upper division Philosophy will be required to take additional units (beyond the 30 units required for the M.A. degree) to meet the minimum qualification of having earned 24 units of upper-division Philosophy before achieving classified standing. Applicants who have an overall grade point average of 2.85-2.99 and an average of 3.3 in upper-division Philosophy may be considered for conditional admittance.

Students applying for admission should electronically submit the university application available at http://www.calstate.edu/apply along with the application fee.

All applicants must submit admissions materials separately to SDSU Graduate Admissions and the Department of Philosophy.

Graduate Admissions

The following materials should be submitted as a complete package directly to:

Graduate Admissions
Enrollment Services
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7416

  1. Official transcripts (in sealed envelopes) from all postsecondary institutions attended;

    • Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts for work completed since last attendance.
    • Students with international coursework must submit both the official transcript and proof of degree. If documents are in a language other than English, they must be accompanied by a certified English translation.
  2. GRE scores (http://www.ets.org SDSU institution code 4682);
  3. English language score, if the medium of instruction was in a language other than English (http://www.ets.org SDSU institution code 4682).
Department of Philosophy

The following admissions materials must be submitted electronically:

  1. Letter describing the applicant’s reasons for pursuing graduate study in Philosophy;
  2. Sample of the applicant’s writing (about 2,000 words) that provides evidence of a capacity for careful analytic thought;
  3. Two letters of recommendation;
  4. Curriculum vitae or resume.

For information regarding the admissions process, visit the department website at http://philosophy.sdsu.edu.


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