Lawrence Fike Passport.jpg


Larry (Lawrence Udell Fike, Jr.) is a philosophical generalist with wide-ranging teaching interests and experience. He has taught World Civilization from Ancient Mesopotamia to 1990, Ethics in the Delivery of Health Care, Environmental Ethics, Values in Technology and Society, Ancient Philosophy, the American Political System, and upper-division courses in Modern Philosophy, 18th Century Ethics, and Literature and the Self. He once team-taught a course titled, "Good Earth" with a biologist. 

He is especially interested in thought experiments, and the ways in which these are capable of revealing to students the contents of their own minds. Once these contents are apparent, students are freed to think about the thinking that is occurring within them. This is often a focus in his introductory courses (Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Ethics, Introduction to Logic, Critical Thinking, and Ethics and Society).

Educated at Cerritos College, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, UCLA and Columbia University, Larry empathizes with those who are trying to find their way through environments in a manner that will clarify and enhance their long-term objectives.

  • Read an interview with Larry Fike that was written after viewing the creepy, reality-challenging thriller, “ExistenZ.”

  • Read a story about cults for which Larry Fike was consulted.

  • Listen to Larry being interviewed on Bill Murray’s talkshow, “Stop Child Abuse Now.”

    Larry Fike likes Joshua Tree, modern art, literature, Eastern philosophy and New York City.  He teaches at Cypress College, El Camino College, Fullerton College, and Long Beach City College.  He was born on the day the Peace Corps came into existence.  His ego can be heard on “MoFo.” He can most readily be contacted at

Curriculum Vitae






Master of Philosophy, May 1990, Philosophy, Columbia University, New York, New York.  (Moral Philosophy; Political Philosophy; Aesthetics; French.)

Master of Arts, May 1989, Philosophy, Columbia University.  (Logic; Philosophy of Logic and Language; Philosophy of Science; German.) 

Bachelor of Arts, December 1986, Philosophy with Departmental and School Honors, UCLA.

      Areas of Expertise

            Adam Smith's, The Theory of Moral Sentiments; ethical theory.

      Areas of Competence

            Consciousness; Critical Thinking; Existentialism; Free Will & Determinism; History of Ethics; Philosophy of Language; Philosophy of Mind; Political Philosophy.



Cypress College, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, 9200 Valley View Street, Cypress, California 90630.  Practical and Theoretical Ethics; Critical Thinking; Introduction to Philosophy.  August 1997-June 1999; August 2018-Present.

El Camino College, Department of Philosophy, 16007 Crenshaw Boulevard, Torrance, California 90506. Ethics and Society; Critical Thinking and Discourse; Introduction to Philosophy.  August 2017-Present.

Fullerton College, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, 321 East Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, California 92832.  Critical Thinking and Writing; Introduction to Philosophy.  January 2017-Present.

Long Beach City College, 4901 East Carson Street, Long Beach, California 90808.  Critical Thinking, Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Ethics.  August 1997-June 1999; August 2014-Present.

Crafton Hills College, Yucaipa, California.  Logic; Introduction to Philosophy.  January 2007-December 2007; August 2011 - March 2012.

San Bernardino Valley College, San Bernardino, California.  Introduction to Philosophy (hybrid course).  March 2007-December 2007.

California State University, Los Angeles.  Environmental Ethics (upper division); Symbolic Logic; Philosophy, Literature, and the Self (English/Philosophy Departments); Critical Thinking; Introduction to Philosophy.  September 2005-June 2006.

University of California, Los Angeles.  Modern Philosophy (upper division).  July-September 2005.

California State University, San Bernardino.  Moral Choices in Life; Introduction to Philosophical Issues:  Knowledge and Reality.  January-March 2006.

Yakima Valley Community College, Yakima, Washington.  Department Chair, Philosophy.  Introduction to:  Philosophy, Logic, Existentialism, Ethics, and World Philosophy (Religion).  Curriculum re-written; two new courses developed; Interactive Television Instruction; August 1999-June 2005.  Tenured February 2002.

California State University, Fullerton.  Rationalism & Empiricism (upper division), Introduction to Philosophy, Argumentation & Reasoning.  January 1997-June 1999.

Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, California.  Introduction to Philosophy; Introduction to Humanities; Critical Thinking.  September 1995-December 1997.

Mount St. Mary's College, Los Angeles, California.  Contemporary Moral Problems (upper division).  September 1996-December 1996.

City College of the City University of New York.  Critical Thinking; Introduction to Philosophy; World Civilization (in the History Department).  September 1991-July 1993.

New York Institute of Technology, New York, New York.  Problems of Philosophy; Technology, Society, and Values; Political Science (The American Political System).  September 1990-May 1991.

Iona College, New York, New York.  Ethics in the Delivery of Health Care; Critical Thinking.  September 1990-January 1993.

Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York.  Classical Philosophy.  February 1990-June 1991.

Columbia University, New York, New York.  Philosophical Classics; Enlightenment Ethics (upper division).  January 1990-May 1990.



Piker:  A Memoir of Child Abuse, Academic Disillusionment, and Familial Redemption.  (Create Space, 2011.)

Unheard Tick of Time:  Poems in the Healing Mode .  (Create Space, 2012.)

Obstinate Air:  Poems on Beating the Wind, 2nd Edition.  (Create Space, 2012.  First published by Plowman Press, Whitby, Ontario Canada, 1996.)



Book review. The Sage and the Second Sex:  Confucianism, Ethics, and Gender edited by Chenyang Li (La Salle, Illinois:  Open Court, 2000) in Essays in Philosophy:  A Biannual Journal, Volume 3, Number 2.

Article.  "Technology, Posture, and Practice:  Value as Maker's Knowledge in Education, Rhetoric, and Work-Play" in Twentieth Century Values, F. T. Cust, editor, 1998.  Link needs locating.

Chapbook. Obstinate Air:  Poems on Beating the Wind. Whitby, Ontario Canada:  Plowman Press, 1996.  ISBN 1-55072-488-6.

Article.  "Deconstructing the Myth of Power," Essay Magazine, page 1, February 1992.

Book review. "David O. Brink's Moral Realism and the Foundations Of Ethics" (book review), International Philosophical Quarterly, 1992, pages 435-439.

Poem.  "New York Snow" in The Nebraska Review, Volume XVI, Number 2, Spring/Summer 1988, page 21.

Op/Ed.  "Questioning Spike Lee." The Christian Science Monitor, August 17, 1989.



Session Chair, APA Pacific Division Meeting, San Francisco, April 2, 2016.  Paper: “From Moral Disagreement to Non-Cognitivism?” (Kristen Irwin).

Session Commentator, APA Pacific Division Meeting, San Diego, California.  April 22, 2011.  Paper:  "Dialectical Difficulties in Understanding Why We Should Regard the Principle of Alternative Possibilities as Worth Entertaining" (David Palmer).

Mentor Teacher, California State University, Los Angeles.  Spring 2007.

Session Chair, APA Pacific Division Meeting, Portland, Oregon.  March 22, 2006.

Co-chairman and organizer, "Raymond Carver Comes Home:  A Conference on Raymond Carver," Yakima Valley Community College, January 30-31, 2004. 

Producer/Organizer, "John Wesley Harding:  A Concert."  Pete's, Yakima, Washington, November 6, 2003.

Session Chair, Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference, University of Idaho, April 27-29, 2001.

Socrates Cafe founder and host, Inklings Bookshop, Yakima, Washington.  Cafe meetings held on the third Monday of each month from 7-8 p.m.  2000-2005.

Commentator, Northwest Philosophy Conference, Pacific University, November 11, 2000.

Producer/Organizer, "An Evening with John Wesley Harding and Larry May," YVCC Kendall Auditorium, April 22, 2000.

Session Chair, Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference, University of Idaho, March 24-26, 2000.

Session Chair, 27th Conference on Value Inquiry, Central Missouri State University, April 1999.

Commentator, APA Pacific Division Meeting, Berkeley, California, March 1999.

Facilitator, Alumni, California State University, Fullerton Annual Philosophy Symposium, "Democracy and Self-Interest."  December 1997-March 1997.

Organizer, Saddleback Liberal Arts Reading Series, Borders Books, March 1997. 

Judge, 13th Annual Writing Contest, Saddleback College, 1997-1998.

Judge, 12th Annual Writing Contest, Saddleback College, 1996-1997.

Academic Senator, Saddleback College, 1995-1996.



“The Philosophical Significance of Contemplation.”  Invited Speaker, Pasadena City College, April 22, 2015.

Invited guest, KCDZ 107.7 FM, Joshua Tree, California.  With songwriting partner Larry May.  "How Poetry Is Transformed Into A Song on Network Television."  August 22, 2010.

"Larry/Larry:  A Night with Larry May and Larry Fike," Hi-Desert Playhouse, Joshua Tree, California.  (Music, Poetry, Comedy, Philosophy.)  July 31, 2005.

"What Would Plato Do with His Existence Today?  Idols and Icons," Washington State Community and Technical Colleges Humanities Association Annual Conference, Vancouver, Washington.  October 24, 2003.

"How (Not) To Teach Ethics to Students of Business," Washington State Business Education Association, invited speaker, Yakima Washington.  Summer 2003.

"Science, Religion, and Our Other Values," YVCC Faculty Lecture Series.  April 17, 2002.

Poetry - part of YVCC English Department Faculty Lecture Series performance.  February 2, 2001 and March 14, 2001.

"Comments on James Bertreaux's, 'Can There Be Race without Racism,'" Northwest Philosophy Conference, Pacific University, November 11, 2000

Poetry - featured reader.  "In This Space: 50 Minutes in Dream Time" plus new poems.  Jeremy's Beatnik Cafe, November 5, 2000.

Poetry - featured reader.  New poems as well as selections from both Obstinate Air and Unheard Tick of Time. Borders Books Music & Cafe, Mission Viejo, California.  No open reading.  August 11, 1999.

"Technology, Teleology, and Toys:  Value as Maker's Knowledge in Education, Rhetoric, and Work-Play." 27th Conference on Value Inquiry, Central Missouri State University, Center for Applied & Professional Ethics, Warrensburg, Missouri, April 22-24, 1999.

"Comments on 'Hobbes and the Book of Job' by Gordon Hull." American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meeting, Berkeley, California, March 31 - April 3, 1999.

"In This Space:  50 Minutes in Dream Time."  (Performance Art.)  The Space, 2218 East 4th Street, Long Beach, California.  December, 1998; March 12, 19, and 20, 1999.

"Some Thoughts on Self- and Other-Regard:  Avoiding (Ascriptions of [Attitudes of] Blame."  Southern California Philosophy Conference, University of California, Irvine.  October 24, 1998.

"Response to Kurt Norlin's, 'Sociobiology and the Uncertain Future of Moral Philosophy,'" Southern California Philosophy Conference, University of California, Irvine.  October 24, 1998.

"Enhancing Student Interest through Website Construction and Use for Multi-Campus Part-Time Instructors,"

California State University, Long Beach, New Media Center Regional Conference, Learning and Instructional Technologies in Higher Education, Sponsored by the University of California, Los Angeles, and California State University, Long Beach.  Tuesday, October 20, 1998.

"Response to Michelle Grisat's Critique of Judith Butler."  California State University, Fullerton, Annual Philosophy Symposium, March 21, 1998.

"Philosophical Reflections on Recent U.S. Trends in Education, Technology, Diversity, and the Workplace."  Invited speaker, Landeszentralbank in Hessen, Bundesbank Deutschland.  January 5-9, 1998.

"Actively Imagining Freedom from Resentment."  Colloquium given at the Department of Philosophy, California State University, Fullerton.  November 17, 1997.

"Some Remarks on Value and Communication Technology," Bundesbank, Frankfurt, Germany.  Colloquium presented to all English-speaking members of the Bundesbank.  January 8, 1998.

"Why Write Poetry?"  Reading with other Saddleback College faculty members, Borders Books, Mission Viejo, California.  March 1, 1997.

"New York, New York/Larry, Larry:  A Night of Folk Rock & Poetry."  Performance at ARK Studio & Gallery, Long Beach, California, with singer-songwriter Larry May.  April 22, 1995.



Windrift Songwriting Competition Winner:  "Seeing Double."  First aired on the CBS show, "NCIS," May 2005.

Great American Songwriting Contest Distinguished Achievement Award, Pop Category, 2002 ("Yellow Bird").  Aired regularly on television's "One Life to Live" (clip).

Songs have also appeared on "Summerland," "The Days of Our Lives," "General Hospital," and "The Young and the Restless."



Most Outstanding Advanced Graduate Student, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University, 1992-1993.

President's Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University, 1988-1990.

John Dewey Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University, 1987-1988.



The moral imagination is fueled through our use of language, rhetoric.  Hume recommended at the end of the Treatise that moral philosophers act as painters, depicting morally desirable states of affairs, the justification for which is the sentimental identification experienced by agents who listen to the rhetoric.  My dissertation is an attempt to embody, through careful use of language, the very ethic that it espouses.  I view what I say within it as a possible, realizable social world, and one very different from the one in which we currently live.



Joshua Tree, California

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