Bodaken Philosophy Symposium

Workshops & Discussions

Bodaken Philosophy Symposium

A 1973 graduate of CSU’s Department of Philosophy, Bruce Bodaken has sustained through a highly successful life and career his fascination with philosophy that blossomed during his years as a philosophy major at CSU.  Bruce, who recently retired as President, Chairman, and CEO of Blue Shield of California, kindly has donated funds to the Department so that it may yearly, over the next five years, conduct a symposium that will engage not only department students and faculty in cutting-edge philosophical discussions but also attract community members to philosophical discourse that contributes to the betterment of our society.  The aim is to conduct a philosophy workshop in the fall semesters that centers on participation and contributions by Philosophy graduate and advanced undergraduate students and the offering of a thematically related public lecture in the spring semesters that will endeavor to engage a broad audience from across the CSU and Northern Colorado communities.  In each case, fall and spring, the department will engage leaders in their areas of specialization of philosophy from across the nation and world, bringing them to campus so that they may share their learning and insights relative to critical current issues with members of the local student, faculty, and professional communities.

The inaugural Bodaken Philosophy Symposium public lecture, held on March 26, 2018, featured renowned oncologist, professor, department chair, and vice provost at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who delivered a stimulating and thought-provoking lecture entitled “Why I (Still) Wish to Die at 75.” The lecture was held in the CSU Lory Student Center Theatre and was attended by over 500 individuals.

Spring 2020 Lecture

We are pleased to announce the speaker at the Spring 2020 Bodaken Philosophy Symposium Lecture is Jennifer Lackey, Ph.D. (Wayne and Elizabeth Jones Professor of Philosophy, Northwestern University). The lecture will be held on Tuesday, March 3rd, at 5:30 pm in the Smith Alumni Center Event Hall in Canvas Stadium.


Dr. Lackey will present “Echo Chambers, Fake News, and Social Epistemology.” 


Intense political polarization, the spread of fake news, and the degradation of democracy often are said to be caused or exacerbated by echo chambers—the term given to “one-sided” sources of information. Dr. Lackey will discuss why she does not think echo chambers are the real problem. Using social epistemology—a field devoted to understanding the social dimensions of knowledge—Lackey will analyze the harms of fake news and other distorting influences like social media bots.