Suffolk County Community College

State University of New York

Ammerman Campus

Lowell Kleiman

Professor of Philosophy


The revered Columbia University philosopher, Ernest Nagel, once said that there were only two classes he enjoyed teaching, beginning courses in philosophy and advanced graduate seminars. Except for the advanced seminars, Nagel would have enjoyed teaching at Suffolk Community College. Our philosophy students consistently demonstrate enthusiasm for the subject and the commitment to succeed. Some excel and go on to gain advanced degrees at major universities. Even those whose reading and writing skills are wanting often find in philosophy a subject they can sink their teeth into especially in the give and take of classroom debate. The challenge is formidable, the rewards satisfying.
Since I first arrived at SCCC, the offerings in philosophy have grown exponentially in response to student demand. Beginning with Logic and Issues in Philosophy, our curriculum now includes Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Critical Thinking, Biomedical Ethics, Business Ethics, History of Philosophy, Philosophy of the Arts and World Philosophy, as well as a variety of special topics courses including Philosophy of Science, the Ethics of Scientific Research, Philosophy of Law and the Philosophy of Rights. These courses not only satisfy the needs of our Humanities students but help to support curricular in other areas, such as the Nursing and Business Programs, the International Studies Program as well as programs in the performing arts and the sciences.
In addition to reaching out to more and more of our students, we have attempted to bring SCCC philosophy to the surrounding community and beyond. In the spring of 1997, we hosted a conference as a memorial tribute to Marx Wartofsky, internationally renown philosopher. The event attracted participants from Philadelphia to Boston. Enquiries and well wishes arrived from around the world. In the spring of '98, we sponsored the Long Island Philosophical Society, one of the oldest philosophical organizations on the east coast and only one of a handful of professional groups dedicated to bringing together philosophers of varied backgrounds and interests.  In 1999, we sponsored a conference on Being Philosophical About Freud,  which attracted scholars from Long Island and other areas throughout the country, and have hosted conferences every spring semester since, featuring internationally known members of the profession, inlcuding Mary Mothersill, Virginia Held, and Tom Regan.
Philosophy at Suffolk Community College has grown since the early 60's when the first philosophy course was offered. In the following pages, I  review my own academic growth, my recent publications, my work on behalf of the College and the Ammerman Campus Philosophy Department.  From the beginning, I served as advisor to the Philosophy Club and, more recently, performed with the college concert and jazz bands. (Clarinet and tenor saxophone!) These activities, too, are described below.

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