Graduate Work in Philosophy at Colorado State University
The Department of Philosophy at Colorado State University typically has about twenty graduate students interested in environmental philosophy, animal welfare issues, and international development issues. An undergraduate class in environmental ethics is also available, often in the fall, which can be taken with a graduate paper. There are typically about two relevant graduate seminars. Many related classes are offered elsewhere in the university.
About a half dozen graduate teaching assistantships (GTA's) are available each year.
The program typically takes two years to complete. There are both M.A. thesis degrees and M.A. nonthesis degrees. No Ph.D. is available in philosophy.
If a student has no previous philosophy, there are about five general courses in the main areas of philosophy required as "remedial" work, that is, they do not count toward 30 hours needed for the master's degree.
Much of the graduate work is in applied areas, for example, "Ethics and International Development," or "Endangered Species: Philosophical and Ethical Issues," though there are also more theoretical seminars. The theoretical seminars are often in ethics or perhaps in naturalism, for example one called "Philosophical Models of Nature," another is "The Concept of Natural Value," another is "Obligations to Future Generations," another is "Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature."
Address inquiries to:
Informal inquiries may also be addressed to:
Some examples of theses completed in the philosophy M. A. program:
- J. Douglas Daigle, The Role of a Planetary Narrative in Environmental Ethics, Spring 1993. Narrative as forming the larger unitary framework in which to understand nature and the human place in nature, with a sense of present crisis in the planetary store. The concluding chapter is on oceans interpreted as the common heritage of humankind and their role in contributing to a sense of global history. Daigle first worked for Pacific Environment and Resources Center, Sausalito, California, and now has a position with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisana, 200 Lafayette Street, Suite 500, Baton Rouge, LA 70801.
- Leeann Foster, The Self in Environmental Philosophy: Identification, Instrinsic Value and an Ecology of Self and Nature, Spring 1994. The deep ecological concept of self in comparison and contrast with the environmental ethical concept of self. Deep ecologists, such as Warwick Fox and Freya Mathews, expand the self into an identification with the whole, while environmental ethicists, such as Holmes Rolston, maintain a sense of others, centers of intrinsic value in the nonhuman natural world, who are morally considerable as others, differentiated from one's own self, and to whom one has duties of respect. Nevertheless the deep ecologists can find a place for pluralism and Rolston's ethic is based as much on love as it is on duty. Both ways of thinking are contrasted with the traditional concept of the autonomous self, represented by Kant. Foster is at the University of Vermont Law School, studying environmental law..
- Marguerite S. E. Forest, Ought and Can in Environmental Ethics: Ethical Extensionism and Moral Development, Summer 1992. Extending the range of moral concern from humans to animals to plants to ecosystems, compared with stages in moral development. The position of J. Baird Callicott fails because the full sequence of stages has not been developed. Lawrence Kohlberg's concept of justice is inadequate because it is anthropocentric and not holistic and ecosystemic. Carol Gilligan's caring orientation integrates the needed holistic environmental ethics and the more advanced moral stages. Forest, orginally from South Africa, is in a Ph.D. program in geography at the University of Oregon.
- Jeanne-Marie Bartas, The Tale of the Starry Heavens Above and the Moral Law Within: Kant's Aesthetic Theory. Kant's aesthetic theory as a basis for environmental ethics. Completed spring 1992. Bartas is in the Peace Corps in Africa.
- Christopher J. Preston, Reintegration with Nature: Against Dualist Metaphysics. Cartesian metaphysics separates humans from nature; both environmental philosophy and environmental science (especially Barbara McClintock) offer possibilities for metaphysical reintegration with nature. Completed fall 1992. Preston, who is from England, had a job teaching philosophy and environmental ethics at Prince William Sound Community College, Valdez, Alaska, but found it difficult to get a permanent work permit in the U.S. He is in the Ph.D. program in philosophy at the University of Oregon. In the summers he has worked on an Alaska fishing boat that is also on standby alert for oil spills.
- Brenda Kay Hausauer, Philosophical and Literary Methodology: Holmes Rolston's Literary Philosophical Methods. Spring 1993. The differences between nature writing and environmental philosophy, comparing writer Annie Dillard and philosopher Holmes Rolston. All philosophical texts should be partially evaluated as artistic works. Rolston's more "non-philosophical" and literary texts are examined for the blending of appeal to experience and to argument. Rolston's non-philosophical, literary methods raise questions which could help reconceive philosophy's traditional methodology. Hausauer and Les Blomberg have taken a joint position with the Vermont Public Service Department rewriting their state energy plan, with an analysis of principles, policy, ethics, and operations, working out of Montpelier, Vermont.
- Les Blomberg, From Labor to Recreation: The Role of Non-Alienating Wilderness Recreation. Fall 1993. Increased productivity from labor using advanced technology and modern capitalization can result in more free time from labor, although, in present economic emphases, the usual result is continued labor and more productivity, with an escalating need to consume what is produced. This produces alienation. Such free time can more meaningfully be put to recreational uses, including appreciation of the natural world, and one especially important area is wilderness recreation. Here one is removed from the technology-production-consumption mode for re-creation in the context of creation. In this respect, wilderness recreation has interesting similarities to the traditional concept of the sabbath. Blomberg and Brenda Hausauer have taken a joint position with the Vermont Public Service Department rewriting their state energy plan, with an analysis of principles, policy, ethics, and operations, out of Montpelier, Vermont.
- Lyanda Haupt, Bridging the Gaps: Theory and Practice in Radical Environmental Activism. Fall 1993. Radical environmentalism lacks a coherent philosophical basis, and the deep ecology to which it appeals is unable to supply such a grouding. Much activist practice is undertaken haphazardly and often undermines its own goals and proves self-defeating. The Chipko movement and the Redwood Summer events offer more promise of a successful, non-violent methodology that is well grounded philosophically. Haupt has published a short paper, "Scientists in Conservation Activism," Conservation Biology 9(1995):691-693.
- Katharine E. Rawles, Animal Welfare and Environmental Ethics. Fall 1990. Environmental ethics and animal welfare are not as antithetical as portrayed in J. Baird Callicott's "triangular affair," but an environmental ethics includes a concern for animal welfare, when animal welfare is appropriately understood. Rawles has since finished a Ph.D. at the University of Glascow, Scotland, and has a teaching position at the University of Lancaster, teaching philosophy, including environmental ethics.
- Daniel M. Cowdin, Environmental Ethics and the Relationship Between Human and Nonhuman Values. Spring 1986. Cowdin went on to complete a Ph.D. at Yale University Divinity School and now has a tenure position at the Catholic University of Amercica, Department of Theology.
- Matthew J. McKinney, Wildlands Valuation and Decision Making. 1984. A philosophical analysis of the values at stake in wildlands conservation and some principles for political decison making that incorporate these principles. McKinney went on to complete a Ph.D. in natural resources at the University of Michigan, and is now Director of the Conflict Resolution Office in the Department of Natural Resources, State of Montana, Helena.
Other departments at CSU in which to do environmental conservation/policy.
Department of Political Science. Has both M. S. and Ph.D. in political science and many faculty there are interested in environmental policy. Inquire of Professor James P. Lester.
Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology. Has both M. S. and Ph.D. in wildlife biology (and/or fishery biology) and many of graduate students there have concentrated in conservation biology. Inquire of Professor Richard L. Knight or Professor Dale Hein.
Department of Forest Sciences. Has both M. S. and Ph.D. in various dimensions of forestry, including forest conservation and policy. Inquire of Professor Donald L. Crews or Professor Richard D. Laven.
Department of Range Science. Has both M. S. and Ph.D. in range and soil conservation. Inquire of Professor Robert G. Woodmansee.
Department of Recreation Resources and Landscape Architecture. Has both M. S. and Ph.D. in environmental interpretation, recreation resources, conservation biology, wilderness management and policy, tourism, and frequent graduate students in these areas. Inquire of Professor Glenn E. Haas or Professor George Wallace.
Department of Biology. Has both M.S. and Ph.D programs and graduate students often have biological conservation as an aspect of their studies. Inquire of Professor Bruce A. Wunder (biology, zoology), of Professor Dieter H. Wilken (botany), Professor Ralph Dix (ecology).
Numerous M. S. and Ph.D. programs are also also available in agriculture, animal science, and others.
CEP - CSU -
May 18, 1996