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.

2020-2021: Environmental Ethics in the Anthropocene Epoch

The current Bodaken Philosophy Symposium focuses on two of the most pressing environmental problems in the world today: global climate change and mass species extinction. The Bodaken Philosophy Workshop took on a new format this year given pandemic restrictions for gathering and travel. The workshop was held online through Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 and brought together a dozen environmental philosophers from around the world who work on the topic of the ethics of extinction, along with CSU community members and graduate students. Participants workshopped their papers from a wide variety of philosophical perspectives on biodiversity loss and mass species extinction. The goal of this year's workshop was to further rigorous ethical exploration of humanity’s relationships and responsibilities toward other species.

Guest scholars included CSU Emeritus Professor Holmes Rolston, the father of environmental ethics, and two of his former students Clare Palmer (Texas A&M) and Christopher Preston (University of Montana), along with participants from as far away as Holland and Australia. Papers from the workshop will be published in a special issue of the journal Philosophia guest edited by Philip Cafaro (CSU) and Ronald Sandler (Northeastern University).

Stephen Gardiner
Stephen Gardiner, University of Washington

The annual Bodaken Philosophy Symposium lecture, originally scheduled for February, will be delivered this fall on October 14, 2021 by Stephen Gardiner, Professor of Philosophy and Ben Rabinowitz Endowed Professor of Human Dimensions of the Environment at the University of Washington, Seattle. The talk is entitled, "The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change: A Proposal for a Global Constitutional Convention."

Professor Gardiner is a leading writer on the ethics of climate change and author of A Perfect Moral Storm: the Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. As in past years, the goal of the lecture is to bring the university community together around philosophical exploration of an important issue in public policy.