Contact Philosophy

Edward Haven (Department Chair)

Photo of Edward Haven
Phone: 925-473-7837 Office: CC2-237

Haven earned his A.A. degree from Sierra College in Philosophy and Liberal Arts, B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, Riverside and an M.A. in Humanities with a focus in Philosophy from the University of Chicago. As a child, Haven asked a lot of big questions; where did it all come from? Why are we here? What happens when we die? And never found an answers satisfactory. “I remember my very first philosophy class. I didn’t know that anyone else was asking these questions, and I was more surprised to find that you could study it and make a career out of it. I was hooked. I decided to teach philosophy because I believe in philosophy’s power to change minds and teach skills to live a meaningful life.”

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Their are so many philosophers that I love to teach. In particular I love teaching the philosophers that really stand up and challenge conventional thinking, philosophers that pull the rug out from under us and force us to re-evaluate where we stand on an issue. I like teaching David Hume because he challenges our concept of knowledge, existentialists like Sartre and Heidegger, challenge us to be honest about our lives and start taking responsibility for ourselves, and Foucault, because he masterfully deconstructs modernist thinking. Philosophy is often about comprehending and talking about things that our beyond our comprehension. So for some it can be scary, confusing or even seem pointless. When students can get past that and learn to accept the uncertainty, meaningful conversations can begin. There is a lot to gain from learning what we don’t understand, that we as a society have learned to shy away from. Philosophy guides us to live a more knowledgeable and authentic life for ourselves through that learning.

Jennifer SmithJennifer Smith

I received my M.A. in Philosophy, with my thesis: “Evil as an Unbalanced Emotion” from San Fransisco State. Before then I went to Berkeley and received my B.A. in Philosophy with courses emphasizing the study of ethics. When I was a student at Los Medanos College, I took an Introduction to Philosophy class and it was the first class I had taken where the instructor encouraged us to think for ourselves. I enjoyed the challenge of creating my own arguments. In the class, we read Sophie’s World and it opened my eyes.

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I learned to think about the whys in life and not just passively go through life. Philosophy is about looking at life and questioning everything about it. I enjoy introducing students to the works of Plato. I find Plato’s works to be the most engaging when it comes to having discussions. Balancing lecture time verses engaging in philosophical discussion however, I think this is something that changes with each class and each topic. I think of teaching as anything that I might do to encourage students to learn. I want to instill a love of learning. I consider the classroom environment engineered for learning and meant to engage students. Students at Los Medanos College love to be engaged in a good discussion. This is why I continue to teach LMC students, also they are fun. Philosophy allows people to open their minds and discover what is truly important in life. I know that for me, engaging in philosophical discussions with my students is what makes me truly happy. By allowing my students a safe environment to question everything, I am living philosophy.

Bequia Sherick Sherick Bequia

I​ ​have​ ​a​ ​B.A.​ ​in​ ​Philosophy​ ​from​ ​the​ ​University​ ​of Colorado​ ​at​ ​Boulder​ ​and​ ​an​ ​M.A.​ ​in​ ​Humanities​ ​with​ ​an​  emphasis​ ​in​ ​Philosophy​ ​from Dominican​ ​University.​ ​I​ ​have​ ​always​ ​loved​ ​asking​ ​questions,​ ​even​ ​if​ ​there​ ​are​ ​not definitive​ ​answers.​ ​Much​ ​of​ ​human​ ​life​ ​is​ ​lived​ ​in​ ​the​ ​grey​ ​areas​ ​and​ ​I​ ​always​ ​liked that​ ​philosophy​ ​and​ ​the​ ​humanities​ ​honored​ ​those​ ​grey​ ​areas.​ ​I’ve​ ​been​ ​interested, since​ ​I​ ​became​ ​an​ ​adult,​ ​in​ ​the​ ​best​ ​way​ ​to​ ​live​ ​life​ ​and​ ​questions​ ​surrounding purpose,​ ​the​ ​good​ ​life​ ​and​ ​virtue.​

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I​ ​find​ ​philosophy​ ​endlessly​ ​fascinating​ ​and​ ​also​ ​that it​ ​deepens​ ​my​ ​experience​ ​of​ ​life.​ ​ ​I​ ​believe​ ​self-reflection​ ​and​ ​contemplation​ ​has​ ​the potential​ ​to​ ​make​ ​us​ ​better​ ​people​ ​and​ ​to​ ​create​ ​a​ ​better​ ​society​ ​(if​ ​we​ ​put​ ​our​ ​ideals into​ ​action).​ ​I​ ​chose​ ​to​ ​teach​ ​philosophy​ ​because​ ​I​ ​want​ ​to​ ​share​ ​philosophy​ ​with others​ ​and​ ​because​ ​I​ ​believe​ ​in​ ​the​ ​medicinal​ ​potential​ ​of​ ​the​ ​field​ ​for​ ​both​ ​my students​ ​and​ ​our​ ​world.​ ​If​ ​I​ ​had​ ​to​ ​choose​ ​a​ ​few​ ​favorites​ ​I’d​ ​say​ ​Socrates​ ​and​ ​Soren Kierkegaard.​ ​Reading​ ​Plato’s​ ​Apology​ ​in​ ​which​ ​Socrates​ ​defends​ ​his​ ​life​ ​as​ ​a philosopher​ ​deeply​ ​inspired​ ​me​ ​when​ ​I​ ​first​ ​read​ ​it​ ​in​ ​college.​ ​He​ ​demonstrated​ ​a fierce​ ​commitment​ ​to​ ​truth-seeking​ ​that​ ​really​ ​got​ ​my​ ​attention.​ ​Socrates​ ​has​ ​always stood​ ​for​ ​someone​ ​for​ ​me​ ​that​ ​asked​ ​questions​ ​and​ ​pursued​ ​truth​ ​even​ ​in​ ​the​ ​face​ ​of resistance​ ​and​ ​persecution.​ ​The​ ​pursuit​ ​of​ ​truth​ ​isn’t​ ​always​ ​easy,​ ​but​ ​it’s​ ​absolutely necessary.​ ​Soren​ ​Kierkegaard​ ​is​ ​someone​ ​that​ ​I​ ​love​ ​teaching​ ​because​ ​he​ ​poses questions​ ​around​ ​authenticity​ ​and​ ​what​ ​it​ ​means​ ​to​ ​be​ ​yourself.​ ​ ​I​ ​apply​ ​philosophy​ ​by living​ ​my​ ​life​ ​in​ ​a​ ​way​ ​that​ ​aligns,​ ​as​ ​much​ ​as​ ​possible,​ ​with​ ​my​ ​ideals​ ​and​ ​values. And​ ​my​ ​ideals​ ​and​ ​values​ ​are​ ​often​ ​up​ ​for​ ​revision​ ​and​ ​questioning.​ ​The​ ​biggest challenge​ ​I​ ​face​ ​is​ ​helping​ ​students​ ​to​ ​see​ ​the​ ​relevance​ ​of​ ​philosophy​ ​for​ ​their​ ​own lives​ ​and​ ​in​ ​modern​ ​times.​ ​ ​Some​ ​people​ ​think​ ​of​ ​philosophy​ ​as​ ​too​ ​abstract​ ​or theoretical​ ​and​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​key​ ​challenges​ ​and​ ​duties​ ​that​ ​I​ ​feel​ ​I​ ​have​ ​as​ ​an​ ​instructor is​ ​to​ ​communicate​ ​to​ ​students​ ​that​ ​philosophy​ ​is​ ​deeply​ ​practical​ ​and​ ​important. Philosophical​ ​questions​ ​around​ ​the​ ​nature​ ​of​ ​the​ ​good​ ​life​ ​and​ ​the​ ​ideal​ ​of​ ​freedom​ ​for all​ ​shaped​ ​the​ ​society​ ​we​ ​live​ ​in​ ​today​ ​and​ ​made​ ​the​ ​whole​ ​experiment​ ​of​ ​the​ ​United States​ ​possible.​ ​Every​ ​day​ ​philosophical​ ​inquiry​ ​is​ ​shaping​ ​our​ ​world,​ ​for​ ​better​ ​or worse,​ ​and​ ​my​ ​hope​ ​is​ ​to​ ​help​ ​my​ ​students​ ​become​ ​thoughtful​ ​people​ ​and​ ​to​ ​use​ ​it​ ​to shape​ ​the​ ​world​ ​for​ ​the​ ​better.--I​ ​love​ ​teaching​ ​at​ ​Los​ ​Medanos​ ​College.​ ​I​ ​love​ ​the diversity​ ​of​ ​my​ ​students​ ​and​ ​the​ ​various​ ​points​ ​of​ ​view​ ​that​ ​I​ ​encounter.


Michael SudduthMichael Sudduth

Dr. Michael Sudduth earned his B.A. in philosophy (summa cum laude) at Santa Clara University where he also studied Latin and Religious Studies. He holds two postgraduate degrees from the University of Oxford, an M.A. in philosophical theology and D.Phil. in theology. Dr. Sudduth spent a year as a visiting graduate fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Religion at the University Notre Dame while completing his doctoral dissertation.

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Dr. Sudduth has been a philosophy professor at San Francisco State University since 2005, where he’s taught courses in philosophy and religion, as well as served as the coordinator of the Philosophy Department’s program in Religious Studies. Although specializing in western and eastern philosophy of religion, his interests range broadly over epistemology, philosophy of science, metaphysics, philosophy in literature and film, and the field of psychology. He has published on the topics of religious experience, rationality and belief in God, arguments for the existence of God, and life after death. For the past several years Sudduth has been focused on exploring philosophical themes through fiction and is currently finishing his first novel.

 Julius Ojewole


I had always heard the term philosophy thrown around but never knew what it was. Out of curiosity I decided to take a philosophy course my junior year of college with Michael Sudduth (yes this Michael Sudduth) and immediately fell in love with it. The topics that were covered were things I had always pondered about but never know was an academic field of study. Things like the existence of God, mind/body dualism, the meaning of life, and personal identity. I really love to teach about Aristotle because of he gets a lot of things right. His theory of Virtue Ethics I find to be ingenious and at the risk of being accused of chronological snobbery, I am always amazed someone at his time got so many things right.

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Philosophy is often used in my everyday life through critical thinking. I have come to believe that critical thinking, logic, and argumentation are forgotten skills in our culture as evidenced by things I have seen in the media and on Facebook. Statistics and other data are often thrown around and often do not confirm the interpretation of the data they are supposed to confirm. Philosophy has helped me to distinguish between good logic and argumentation and the lack thereof. One of my biggest problems I face in teaching philosophy is trying to show the relevance of these, at times, seemingly abstract concepts to life. Teaching here has been a great joy since as an east-bay native and for Los Medanos student, I feel I can relate with students and somewhat understand their mindset. I love being able to impart this invaluable information to students from my home. Although knowledge is very difficult to define here’s a list of a category of things I believe we can know: Theological (things about God), Perceptual (things we see), Historical, Morality (good and evil) Scientific, Mathematical, Introspection (Things going on in your mind), Memory, among other things.