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For more information about Philosophy and Humanities, please contact the Chair, Edrie Sobstyl, at 
Faculty members' interests encompass all the major areas of philosophy including ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of art, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, modern philosophy, Asian philosophy, philosophy of law, philosophy of mind, logic, philosophy of science, existentialism, phenomenology, philosophy of language and philosophical counselling. Faculty members' interests also include the humanities areas of history of ideas and religious studies.

The faculty members of the Department of Philosophy and Humanities represent a wide variety of viewpoints and traditions within Philosophy and, more broadly, the Humanities. As educators, we are dedicated to the challenging and rewarding task of teaching our students to think critically about current debates in the social, ethical and political spheres through analysis of the philosophical issues that lie behind these debates. We believe that attention to the philosophical background of current issues helps our students form more nuanced and defensible views on these issues and thereby achieve greater autonomy and independence of thought. However, we also hope to challenge our students to think beyond the application of philosophical ideas to current debates and to consider, for their own sake, those questions about knowledge, reality and value that have been the objects of human thought for as long as human thought has been recorded.

If you have a general question about Douglas College or want information about one of our programs, please contact us. 


BA, MA (McMaster), PhD (Guelph), 
Phenomenology, continental philosophy, history of philosophy, aesthetics, ethics, social and political philosophy and critical thinking
604 527 5783 
Office: N3319, New Westminster 

Areas of interest

Ontology, philosophical hermeneutics, phenomenology, political philosophy, and aesthetics

Principal publications

Homo Interrogans, 2001 (University of Ottawa Press) 


BA (Alberta), MA (British Columbia), MTS (Regent College), PhD (University of Calgary)
Religious studies: comparative religion, nature of religion, new religious movements, religion in post-modern society
604 527 5784, NW
Office: N3317, New Westminster 


BA (British Columbia); MA, PhD (Western Ontario)
History and philosophy of logic, philosophy of science, epistemology, critical thinking and modern philosophy
604 527 5170
Office: N3318, New Westminster 


BA (Hons, Dalhousie); MA, PhD (Waterloo) 
Political philosophy, ethics, existentialism, metaphysics, philosophy of sports 


Nature and role of apology; economics and environmental sustainability; philosophy of biography; collective action problems; philosophy and public policy; critical thinking

Principal publications

  • (co-edited with Lester Embree) Phenomenology of the Cultural Disciplines  

Taught previously in Ontario and Florida
Moderator of the New Westminster Philosopher's Cafe
Director, Institute for Ethics and Global Justice, Douglas College


BA (Stanford); PhD (British Columbia) 
Philosophy of religion, metaphysics, theory of knowledge, ethics, environmental ethics and critical thinking
604 777 6109
Office: B3153, Coquitlam 


Metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of religion, history of philosophy and critical thinking

Principal publications

  • Wittgenstein on Universals, 1988 (Peter Lang Publishing)


BA, MA (University of Calgary), PhD (UBC)
Social Epistemology (especially issues of trust, expertise and objectivity) and metaphysics (especially with regards to personal identity.)

604 527 5210, New Westminster
604 777 6324, Coquitlam
Office:  N3315, New Westminster
Office:  A3171, Coquitlam

Areas of interest

Science and society, philosophy of science (including feminist philosophy of science), existentialism, history of modern philosophy and critical thinking.

Selected Publications:

  • Categorically not Cackling:  Duty, Moral Fiction and Witchcraft" in Terry Prachett and Philosophy, Jacob Held and James South, eds. Palgrave MacMillan. Publication Date:  December 2014
  •  "Downstream of the Experts:  Trust-building and the Case of MPA's" Social Epistemology  Vol. 27, July 2013 Pp. 1 - 21.

Taught previously at SFU, Quest University and UBC.  

For more information, please visit Jill's website at:


BA (British Columbia), MA (Wales), PhD (British Columbia)
Also attended

  • City University of New York Latin/Greek Institute
  • Lampeter Summer Workshop in Greek and Latin

604 527 5170, New Westminster
Office: N3318, New Westminster

Areas of specialization

Ancient Greek philosophy, ethics, critical thinking

Additional areas of philosophical interest

Epistemology and metaphysics, philosophy of love, philosophy of therapeutic recreation


  • "Beauty and Science" in PHILOSOPHY NOW, Issue 17
  • Review of R.A. Sharpe's book, The Moral Case Against Religion, in PHILOSOPHY NOW, Issue 19
  • Review of Dialogues with Plato in PHILOSOPHY IN REVIEW (February 1998 edition)


BA (Brock); MA (Guelph); PhD (Waterloo) 
Continental philosophy, existentialism, social and political philosophy, value theory, history of philosophy, business ethics and critical thinking
604 527 5420, NW
604 777 6011, Coq.
Office: A3184, Coquitlam

Areas of specialization

Contemporary continental philosophy, especially Nietzsche and Heidegger

Areas of competence

History of philosophy, ethics, social and political philosophy, aesthetics, Eastern philosophy


  • Essays on Husserl, Nietzsche, Heidegger, literary theory, Taoism, education

Current research areas

Critical Thinking: A Primer (a textbook for first-year college students); Heidegger and the history of philosophy; philosophical counselling

Philosophical counselling

Since 1987, Robert Nicholls has been pursuing the practice of "philosophical counselling." For the most part, this practice is restricted to one-on-one logotherapy based in Dasein analysis and the broader school of existential psychotherapy, although Dr. Nicholls has also participated in some group therapy sessions. His approach to philosophical counselling is influenced by a number of theoreticians and practitioners, but especially by the work of Ludwig Binswanger and Irwin Yalom. Dr. Nicholls has developed his own approach to self-understanding, which is grounded significantly in Heidegger's notions of "autonomy, freedom and authenticity." In addition, he studied extensively the work of Carl Jung with the late Professor Paul Seligman, long-time honourary member of the Jungian Society. Further, Dr. Nicholls has himself completed psychoanalysis with a Freudian practitioner.

The idea of philosophical counselling is based upon the conviction that the possibility of well-being is inseparable from the project of self-understanding, and that these notions need not be taken up only in the context of pathology, where a model of "health and disease" dominates, but should be pursued in the broader, life-long context of the individual's Weltanschauung. 

Existential psychotherapy is concerned thematically with several aspects of human existence, including death and dying, anxiety, freedom and responsibility, selfhood, willing and resolution, isolation, meaninglessness, sexuality and gender, and transformation. Clients are not engaged contractually, nor are there any requirements to undertake specific behavioural practices. Because of Dr. Nicholls' teaching commitments, he has very limited availability and sees only a few clients at a time. However, anyone wishing to pursue private counselling with Dr. Nicholls may contact him at the email address above.


BA (Nanjing); MA (Fudan); MA, PhD, (Alberta) 
Philosophy of law, logic, theory of knowledge, philosophy of science, ethics and critical thinking
604 527 5201

Areas of specialization

Philosophy of law, logic, epistemology, philosophy of science, ethics, critical thinking


  • Contemporary Philosophical Anthropology, Liaoning. Liaoning People's Press, 1986, 146 pp. [This book provides a comprehensive examination of the development of German philosophical anthropology after Max Scheler from biological, psychological, religious, cultural, environmental and social perspectives. It also discusses the theoretical relationship of philosophical anthropology with existentialism and phenomenology.
  • "Scientism, Technocracy" and Morality in China. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 30:2 (June 2003) 177-193
  • "Moral Responsibility of Business," p.160-190, Anthology of Frontier Thought in North America, San Wu Publishing House (Beijing and Hong Kong, 1999)
  • "Central Issues in Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy," pp. 18, Anthology of Frontier Thought in North America, San Wu Publishing House (Beijing and Hong Kong, 2000)
  • "Organizations and Agency," Legal Theory 1 (1995) 283-310. Co-authored with Roger Shiner
  • "Review of Practices of Reason: Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics by C.D.C. Reeve," Review of Metaphysics, September 1994
  • "Review of From Africa to Zen: An Invitation to World Philosophy, ed. by Robert Solomon and Kathleen Higgins," Canadian Philosophical Reviews. Vol. XIV, No.2, April 1994, p.141-44
  • "Critical Note: Playing by the Rules - A Philosophical Examination of Rule-based Decision-Making in Law and in Life by Frederick Schauer," Alberta Law Review, Volume XXXI, No.2, June, 1993, pp.443-53

Courses taught in Vancouver, Michigan, Alberta and Shanghai

Critical Thinking, Symbolic Logic, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science, History of Western Philosophy, Ethical Theory, Applied Ethics, Professional Ethics, Introduction to Liberal Studies, Social and Political Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, Philosophy of Social Sciences, and Chinese Philosophy 


PhD, Massachusetts Institute Of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1993 
604 527 5068 NW
604 777 6281 Coq.
Office: N3308J, New Westminster 
Office: A3142, Coquitlam


BA (Ottawa); MA, PhD (Western Ontario)

Early Modern Philosophy, History of Ethics, Applied Ethics

604 527 5319, New Westminster

Office: N3308G, New Westminster


My published work so far has focused on the history of philosophy (especially John Locke). Currently, my research is focused on issues concerning ethics and economics, particularly the historical evolution of the concept of human work and how an understanding of this evolution can inform contemporary discussions of the future of work and technology.

For more information on my research and teaching, please visit Elliot Rossiter’s home page at:


BA (hons), MA (Alberta); PhD (British Columbia) 
Social and political philosophy, ethics, biomedical ethics, nursing ethics, environmental ethics, humanities and critical thinking 
604 527 5207
Office: N3454, New Westminster


BA, MA (Calgary); PhD (Alberta)
Philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophy of mind, social and political philosophy, applied ethics and critical thinking
604 527 5784 NW
604 777 6324 Coq.
Office: N3317, New Westminster 
Office: A3171, Coquitlam  

BA (Double Honours, Philosophy and German - Acadia), MA (Queen's), PhD (Dalhousie)

604 527 5867 NW
604 777 6324 Coquitlam
Office:  N3321 NW
Office:  A3171 Coquitlam


Applied Ethics, Business Ethics, Health Care Ethics, Feminist Theory and the Ethics of Care, Philosophy of Law.


I am currently working on three projects:  the ethics of lying to children, incorporating feminist ethics into business ethics, conceptual and ethical analysis and finally, examining the conditions under which a mistaken belief in consent should be considered a legitimate defence against a charge of sexual assault.


"Can Corporations Care?" Forthcoming in an anthology published by the Canadian Society for the Study of Practical Ethics. 

"Feminist Reflections on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Canada", co-written with Dr. Susan Sherwin.  The Price of Compassion:  Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. Ed. Michael Stingl. Peterborough:  Broadview Press, 2010.

"Multiculturalism and Liberalism:  A Problem with Neutrality," Eidos. June, 1999.


BA (Simon Fraser), MA, PhD (University of Oslo)
604 527 5867 NW
604-777-6281 Coq.
Office: N3321, New Westminster
Office:  A3142, Coquitlam

Areas of specialization

Ancient philosophy, ancient ethics

Areas of competence

History of philosophy, modern and applied ethics, critical thinking


Ancient views on pleasure, virtue and happiness or the good life; modern views on happiness and welfare

Principal publications

Includes papers on Aristippus, the Cyrenaics, Socrates, Callicles, Plato, Xenophon, Epicurus and Nietzsche 


BA (University of Saskatchewan), MA (Dalhousie), PhD (Columbia)
604 527 5783, NW
604 777 6324, Coquitlam
Office: N3319, New Westminster
Office: A3171, Coquitlam



PhD (University of Ottawa)
Office: N3322, New Westminster


Existentialism, German idealism, political theory, philosophy of art, environmental ethics, Indigenous philosophy, philosophy of social movements.


I am currently writing a book about Jacques Rancière, Simone de Beauvoir, and antifascism. My long-term project, called Unsettling Existentialism, involves rethinking the work of Sartre, Beauvoir, and other existentialists through the lens of anticolonial and decolonial—that is, Africana, creole, and Indigenous—frameworks.


• Egalitarian Moments: From Descartes to Rancière (Bloomsbury, 2016)

• Freedom and Nature in Schelling’s Philosophy of Art (Bloomsbury, 2010).


• "Politics That Does Not Command: Reconsidering Rancière’s Opposition Between Politics and Policing,” Parrhesia (2019)

• With Veldon Coburn, “The Real ‘Justice’ Denied Colten Boushie,” Policy Options (February 15, 2018).

• With Veldon Coburn: “Renewing the Status Quo: The Colonial Politics of Recognition in Trudeau’s ‘Renewed’ Relationship with Indigenous Nations” E-International Review (September 7, 2017). Parrhesia (2019)

• “Disagreement and Recognition between Rancière and Honneth” (A review of Axel Honneth and Jacques Rancière, Recognition or Disagreement), Boundary 2 Online (March 13, 2017)



BA (McGill); MA, Philosophy; MA, Creative Writing and Theatre; PhD, Philosophy (British Columbia) 
Philosophy of religion, mysticism, ethics, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, Asian philosophy, philosophical counselling, meta-philosophy, and critical thinking

Areas of interest

Philosophy of religion, mysticism, meditation, analytic philosophy, ethics, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, Asian philosophy, critical thinking (A Format for Multifactoral Reasoning), philosophical counselling, and secular wisdom cultivation

Principal publications

  • The Silence of the Mystic, 1983 (Philosophy in Canada Monographs)
  • How to Build a Conscious Machine, 1989 (Westview Press)
  • Enlightenment East and West, 1994 (SUNY Press)
  • Incident After Antietam and Isadora and GBS, 1976 (Playwrights Union of Canada)
  • The Unveiling, 1982 (PUC)
  • Eleanor Marx, 1984 (PUC) 


BA, MA (California, Riverside); ABD - Philosophy (British Columbia)
Philosophy of mind, metaphysics, theory of knowledge, modern philosophy, ethics and critical thinking
Director, Institute for Ethics and Global Justice, Douglas College

Special interests

Metaphysics, philosophy of mind, meditation, modern philosophy, ethics and critical thinking. 

Contract faculty

Mazen Guirguis

Sarah Hogarth Rossiter