Philosophy curriculum expands, adds insight


Denis Perez / The Advocate

Philosophy professor Michael Kilivris lectures during a class in the Biological Sciences Building Room 8 on Aug. 14.

By Michael Santone, Associate Editor

The liberal arts department has added Introduction to Philosophy to the Contra Costa College Catalog beginning the fall 2017 semester for in-person and online courses.

Meeting on Monday and Wednesday in the Biological Building Room 8 from 11:10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Philosophy 101 explores key philosophers, consciousness, identity and notions of self while incorporating the traditional teachings in relation to the humanities, arts and sciences.

Instructed by Dr. Michael Kilivris who said as he began work on creating an Associate of Arts transfer degree in Philosophy, he realized an introductory philosophy course has never been offered at CCC.

“We need a Philosophy 101 course because it’s important to expose students to philosophers and to the big questions about life,” he said. “It can help students develop important skills for other classes and careers.”

These big questions range from ‘What is justice? to What is the good life?’ Kilivris said. “Philosophy is all about interpreting different perspectives and searching for truths.”

The course meets the California State University general education requirements as well as the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC).

With a combination of lectures and collaborative learning, students will develop an understanding of how to analyze, evaluate and synthesize diverse philosophical perspectives.

“Because our students are diverse it will make philosophy courses that much more interesting,” Kilivris said. “Students will leave the class with a greater self-awareness of themselves as well as the world around them.”

Dean of the Liberal Arts Division Jason Berner said Kilivris has been working on creating an Associate transfer degree in philosophy which should be finalized within the next year or two.

“I think as long as the degrees exist at the state level, they should be offered at community colleges,” Berner said. “I’m not expecting to have a large amount of philosophy majors, but more options for general education is important.”

Political science major Danny Clay, who is currently enrolled in Philosophy 101, said it was mostly the ethical questions such as the meaning of life and is god real that peaked his interest.

“These questions can be answered by anyone and there are no wrong answers,” he said. “It’s going to be amazing to hear other people’s opinions.”

Clay said after coming back from a trip to Spain he found himself questioning things going on in the world and in his life.

“Introduction to philosophy is a great course to get some answers to questions I’ve been wondering about.”

He said he is looking forward to learning about philosopher John Loc and how what is going on in the world today can be discussed in terms of philosophy.