Gary Ortega

Gary R. Ortega


Professor Ortega received his BA and MA in philosophy from Cal State, LA, and an MSLS from USC. Having been an adjunct at SMC since 1970 he has taught the introductory philosophy course as well as ethics, logic, and courses in history of philosophy in regular session. During that time for a 19-year span, from 1980 to 1999, he also conducted a philosophy class each semester for Santa Monica College’s Emeritus and acknowledges “I probably learned more from those very generous students than they did from me.”

Professor Ortega believes that students can be expected to take their learning responsibly only if they are themselves treated with respect during the process. By giving each the direction and attention needed to complete the academic demands of higher education they can discover what further needs they have and how to develop their abilities to meet those needs in order to achieve their educational goals. This includes learning how to learn within a well-defined academic agenda, and, being a member of a class (not as islands unto themselves), engaging in disciplined writing exchanges enabling them to recognize their obligations both to others, their classmates, as well as to themselves. In the end, as Aristotle might phrase it, this enables each to appreciate the educational objectives of not only their own chosen pathway but the different pathways of others.

Specialty Areas

  • History of Philosophy

  • Logic

  • Ethical Theory

  • Metaphysics (philosophy of mind and philosophical theology)