Department of Philosophy

Philosophy student
What We Do

The Department of Philosophy pursues questions in every dimension of human life. Its techniques apply to problems in any field of study or endeavor.

Contact Information
Department Chair

Glenn Rawson

Jeffrey W. Farland
Higher Education Administration Assistant II

The B.A. in philosophy provides a general background in the historical, logical, analytical and normative perspectives from which fundamental questions concerning mankind and its predicament in the cosmos can be considered. Emphasis is on developing skills and attitudes attendant to critical thinking, including conceptual analysis, logical argumentation, precise articulation of ideas and a humane receptivity to the ideas of others. This program is tailored to the pre-professional needs of each student.​

Passing of Dr. Aaron Smuts

It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you about the tragic and untimely passing of Dr. Aaron Smuts of the Philosophy Department. He passed away Wednesday night, March 23, at the age of 46, after a protracted battle with illness. He had been a member of the faculty at Rhode Island College since 2010 and was looking forward to many more good years here, including a proposal for a new course and a draft of a new book. On behalf of the administration, I would like to offer my most sincere condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, students, and all those affected by his passing. He will be missed. 

Passing of Dr. Katherine Rudolph-Larrea

It is with a heavy heart that I once again write to inform you of the unfortunate and untimely passing of another member our faculty, Dr. Katherine Rudolph-Larrea of the Philosophy Department. Dr. Rudolph-Larrea has been an esteemed member of the RIC community for more than 20 years, though she has been on medical leave since January 2020. She began teaching at RIC in 2000 and was promoted to Associate Professor of Philosophy in 2005. She regularly taught courses in the history of philosophy, aesthetics, and philosophical issues of gender and sexuality. She published articles about St. Augustine, Descartes, and recent Continental Philosophy and brought a feminist perspective to her work.

Dr. Rudolph-Larrea was a fighter. She valiantly battled multiple sclerosis, halting its progression years ago through hard work and special treatments for which she traveled abroad. Unfortunately, on April 30 she lost her battle against metastatic breast cancer while seeking treatment in Vienna with her family.

Her family remains in Vienna and will have her memorial there on June 10. They invite you to share condolences and memories here:


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Rhode Island College is an exclusive member of the Common Application. All students applying for undergraduate admission must complete the Common Application​. This includes freshmen, transfers, second degree students, readmits and international applicants.

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