May 22, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Philosophy and Modern Languages

This department has three independent academic programs.  The main contact person is listed below for each academic program.

Philosophy Jason Winfree, Ph.D., Program Director and Department Chair
Modern Languages Manuel Murrieta Saldivar, Ph.D., Director


Jason Winfree, Ph.D., Program Director and Department Chair

Professors: Broin, Tuedio, Young, Winfree
Assistant Professors: Radzins,Turner, Zangeneh
Lecturers: Brown, Albright, Nagel, Pack, Troxa

Office: Science 1 - S103
Phone: (209) 667-3686

The Philosophy curriculum stresses development of critical reasoning skills at all stages of coursework. The Philosophy program cultivates the skills required to engage in the careful reading and analysis of original philosophical texts, and emphasizes the study of writings that have historical significance (drawing from the ancient Greek and modern European traditions).

The Philosophy curriculum focuses considerable attention on recent developments in Continental Philosophy (including phenomenology, hermeneutics, and postmodern approaches to philosophical genealogy and deconstruction).

Through a discussion of the guiding ideas in these texts, students gain historical perspective on the evolution of our cultural traditions. They also gain critical perspective on the operative assumptions that ground our sense of cultural and personal identity in a rapidly changing world.

Central issues raised in these courses concern the relation of judgment to moral evaluation, subjective perspective to the desire for objective understanding, language-games to discourses of power (including critical perspectives on metaphysical discourses), and critical approaches to the study and assessment of art, literature, and cultural values.

Many of our Philosophy courses focus on challenges and opportunities facing a multicultural society, including issues relating to self-development, cultural diversity, and the impetus to agree on shared principles as a basis for preserving or enhancing a sense of community. Philosophy also discusses the contingencies underwriting judgments that give privilege to some values over others, or serve to legitimize some voices at the expense of others.

Philosophy courses promote careful discussion of the relevance of intellectual ideas and positions. Philosophical study emphasizes the practice of sound reasoning techniques as a basis for discerning and defending philosophical positions. Philosophy also emphasizes reflective analysis of implications that follow from principled commitments.

Studies in Philosophy offer excellent preparation for advanced studies in Philosophy, Law, Literary Criticism, Counseling Practices, and Rhetoric Studies.


Modern Languages

Manuel Murrieta Saldivar, Ph.D., Director

Professors: Bargetto, Andrés
Associate Professor: Murrieta-Saldivar
Assistant Professor: Alvim
Lecturer: Garcia-Sanborn

Majors and/or minors in Modern Languages are designed to assist students as they plan careers. Some students anticipate teaching at the elementary or secondary level, while others are training to meet the challenges of advanced studies in language and literature. A growing number will discover that foreign language ability and sensitivity to other cultures are important assets, especially in career choices such as social sciences, the foreign service, international finance and banking, and international business.

As today’s students gain knowledge and understanding of other languages and cultures, they inevitably develop greater appreciation of their own. In the process, they find themselves better equipped to succeed in our modern society where multilingual and multinational interests are becoming swiftly and inexorably part of our daily lives.


International Pathways Off-Campus to the Spanish Major

In line with the University mission of global awareness and diversity, the Spanish program will continue to integrate study abroad programs into its curricula and to support and develop innovative international opportunities. To allow students an understanding of the target language and culture beyond the classroom and campus life, the Spanish Program offers three study abroad programs. These programs differ in focus but all seek to increase global awareness of the Hispanic speaking world.

  1. CSU International Program (IP) has 19 sites in Spanish speaking countries by which students study two semesters abroad. This program is offered at all the CSU campuses. Students must apply by February 1 and be invited to an interview in order to be selected to study abroad. Students depart sometime in August. It is a competitive program based on academic merit. A minimum of four semester of language study is required to participate in the program. Upon arrival to the host country, all students take an oral and written exam and are placed in appropriate courses. A minimum of 15 units of credits are taken each semester. Students receive resident credit.

  2. University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC) based out of University of Nevada, Reno in which students study either one semester or one summer abroad. In terms of numbers this is our most popular program; in 2009 there were 22 students that went abroad with USAC (5 in the spring, 10 in the summer, & 7 in the fall).  Students receive resident credit for courses successfully completed abroad. There is no language requirement. There are sites in 23 Hispanic countries and the deadlines dates are flexible as students can apply up to one month before departure.
  3. Bilateral agreement with the Querétaro campus of the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey.

Program Learning Outcomes

Philosophy Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Improve logical thinking and argumentation;
  2. Improve critical ability to read and interpret primary texts, and to analyze and write effectively about philosophical problems; and,
  3. Cultivate knowledge of the history of philosophy.

Modern Languages Program Learning Goals and Outcomes

Program Goals

  1. To assist students in perfecting their foreign language skills (all courses are taught in the target language);
  2. To deepen their knowledge of language and the humanities by introducing them to representative authors and ideas; and,
  3. To acquaint them with the culture and traditions of the people whose languages they have chosen to study.

Program Learning Outcomes

In substance, the Department of Modern Languages provides its students the opportunity to achieve, at the very least, the following:

  1. Proficiency in listening and reading (receptive skills) at an “Advanced” level (3) commensurate with the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Proficiency Guidelines;
  2. Proficiency in speaking and writing (productive skills) at an “Intermediate” level (2+) commensurate with the FSI Proficiency Guidelines;
  3. An understanding of the linguistic components of the target language (i.e., language analysis.);
  4. Fundamental knowledge pertaining to the cultural institutions, patterns of behavior, history and geography of the target culture(s) and how these affect values and traditions;
  5. The ability to adapt both linguistically and culturally to different settings associated with the target language;
  6. Demonstrate respect, understanding and sensitivity for the cultural traits, values, perspectives and contributions of the language’s native speakers;
  7. The ability to understand and critically interpret a variety of works of literature in their specific cultural and historic context; and,
  8. A general knowledge of the nature of language in general, its acquisition, and its use in human interaction.