Lots and Lots of Talks!
This year marked a resurgence of public lectures hosted by the department, along with record-setting attendance. Our Bodaken Philosophy Symposium series included a presentation from Asta (Duke University), “What Are Sex and Gender and What Do We Want Them to Be?” in December and in the spring we welcomed back CSU alumnus Bryce Huebner (Georgetown University). Huebner’s lecture wove together philosophical themes of social ontology found in horror films and country music.
In February, we kicked off the Bernie Rollin Memorial Lecture in Animal Ethics with a timely presentation and discussion on the ethics of predator re-introduction, including wolves, with Clare Palmer (Texas A&M University). We also welcomed Kyle Whyte (University of Michigan) as the inaugural Distinguished Lecturer in Environmental Ethics with a discussion of progress and action needed on indigenous environmental justice movements.
Our newest faculty member, Collin Rice, launched his first Epistemology of Science workshop in April that brought eight scholars from around the country, including CSU, to present and discuss their research with our faculty and science colleagues across campus. Along with his reading group, this workshop marked the start of his long-term collaborative project at the intersection of philosophy, science, communication, and education.
We also welcomed friends of the department for presentations on their latest research, including Robert Audi (University of Notre Dame) on moral value, Julia Bursten (University of Kentucky) on scientific reasoning and nanoscience, and Christopher J. Preston (University of Montana) on public philosophy.
The department welcomes Emma Cleveringa as our newest department member! Emma joined the philosophy department in January 2023, bringing with her over ten years of experience in office administration. Spending most time in the medical world, her previous administrative roles include home health, hospice, and physical rehabilitation clinics. She and her family (husband Aaron, son Logan) moved from Northwest Iowa in 2009 and have enjoyed all that Fort Collins and Colorado have to offer. Emma is excited to continue growing into her role at CSU as Assistant to the Chair in the Philosophy department.
Neely Santeramo is the Academic Success Coordinator for Philosophy and advises Communication Studies and Journalism and Media Communication students as well. In Spring 2023, she received the Jack E. Cermak Advising Award in recognition of her work with students. In summer 2023, she celebrated ten years of service at CSU. In addition to advising students full time, Neely has been pursuing her second bachelor’s degree in theatre with a concentration in musical theatre. In the fall, she made her acting debut as Soccer Mom in The Wolves and this past spring she played the role of Mother in Machinal. She’s looking forward to working with incoming and returning students this fall as well as taking Acting III.
Last summer, Addison Phillips (MA 2018) was promoted to the VP of Philanthropy position at Colcom Foundation. He oversees an annual grantmaking portfolio of $20 million. Colcom Foundation’s grantmaking is focused on environmental and community-focused initiatives in southwestern Pennsylvania and on the environmental impact of human population growth in the United States. Colcom Foundation measures the success of its environmental grantmaking in terms of addressing the Sixth Mass Extinction crisis.
Aram Sahakyan (BA 2020) reports that he spent hours and hours buried in books this year and successfully completed his 1L year at George Mason Law School. This summer he worked as a legal intern for his local county’s department of affordable housing.
Maeve Marley (BA 2021) completed a master’s degree at Virginia Tech this spring. Her thesis was on statistical evidence and epistemic risk. She argued that epistemic risk rather than moral encroachment explains what’s wrong in cases like racial profiling. She’s considering applying to PhD programs in the fall but for the coming year has a full-time position in student affairs at Virginia Tech.
Andre Archie completed his latest book project this year. The Virtue of Color-Blindness is set to be published by Regnery Gateway in January 2024.
The abstract for Andre’s forthcoming book: The Virtue of Color-Blindness shows that color-blind principles are based on a rich, historical struggle to rise above the natural but base human tendency to be selfish, parochial, and tribal. Humans naturally sort themselves into groups by excluding and marginalizing others. The perverse and obscene instances in history, such as American slavery and the Holocaust, show that such exclusion never leads to anything good. Humans have the intellectual and moral ability to progress beyond tribalism unless we choose to promote perverse institutional and societal incentives. Anti-color-blind pedagogy (and the race consciousness that it cultivates) caters to our base natural tendencies, and it does so in the same manner as all racialist ideologies.
The powerful ideal of color-blindness is more relevant than ever. The virtue of this approach gets at the foundations of many of the arguments about race taking place today in the public square. But it’s not simply about race and how Americans discuss it. No, the virtue of color-blindness is at the heart of the American identity. We cannot remain a country without it.
The two highlights of Ashby Butnor’s academic year were the teaching of a first-year seminar on Happiness as part of the new Green & Gold Initiative at CSU and a study abroad trip to Ghana over winter break. She traveled with CLA colleagues Caridad Souza and Grace Gallagher and a dozen students for a two-week adventure in transnational solidarity that included a weeklong Ghanaian dance intensive, a multi-day workshop with feminist activists, and a photography project with local children. Additionally, Ashby served on an AUCC assessment committee which culminated in a TILT conference presentation on sustainable, equitable, and meaningful assessment practices. She was also elected as co-chair of the executive board for Women’s and Gender Studies.
This year, Phil Cafaro published papers with Swedish coauthors Frank Götmark and Pernilla Hansson in Biological Conservation, and Italian coauthors Lucia Tamburino and Giangiacomo Bravo in Sustainability. He also managed to get through ski season without any broken bones and delivered an invited address at Dallas Earth Day.
Paul DiRado participated in several community discussions about the use of ChapGPT and other LLMs in academia. He also wrote a chapter for the Cambridge Critical Guide to Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy. Paul again served as the faculty advisor for both the Philosophy Club and our Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) chapter and helped MAP organize its first undergraduate philosophy conference.
Eric Easley continued the department’s collaborative teaching with the Computer Science department in teaching PHIL 201: Ethical Computing Systems. He finds the experience to be rewarding, insightful, and fun, affording new opportunities to engage with applied ethical issues and pedagogical perspectives. In addition, Eric co-authored a forthcoming paper to be published in the SI: Ethics in Computing issue of IEEE Design & Test, “Five Years Teaching Ethics and Computing,” with Craig Partridge, Moti Gorin, and Jesse Gray. Eric continued to coach the Ethics Bowl team. The team did not advance past the regional competition this year, but they did win a Spirit Award, acknowledging the team’s positivity, collegiality, and competitive spirit.
Moti Gorin spent sabbatical in Maine with his family doing research on topics at the intersection of ethics and pediatric medicine. This year, he published a paper about his experience teaching the interdisciplinary computer ethics course: “Five Years Teaching Ethics and Computing” in IEEE Design & Test with Craig Partridge (in computer science), Eric Easley, Jesse Gray (our former MA student). He also published a book review of Holly Lawford-Smith’s Gender Critical Feminism in The Philosophers’ Magazine. Moti continues to serve as Associate Chair of CSU’s Social, Behavioral, and Educational Institutional Review Board.
Eirik Harris spent the last year learning the ropes of his new role as director of graduate studies. In addition to teaching a new iteration of World Philosophies, he designed a capstone seminar on Utopianism and Political Realism. Over the past year, he gave talks at UC Boulder, the Pacific APA conference, and NYU-London, and his partial translation of Han Feizi appeared this spring in the new edition of Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy. Eirik and his wife Thai spent the first part of the summer exploring the mountains of southern Kazakstan and the architecture of Uzbekistan, and they’ll be spending the rest of the summer in Vietnam enjoying the food.
Changing careers after 17 years, Alyson Huff shifted focus to spending more time with family and expanding her contributions to CSU. This year she has enjoyed volunteering regularly at her daughter’s school and getting some camping in. Her family adopted a new furry friend, a rescue kitty named Lenny, and enjoyed summer travel in Scotland.
Jeff Kasser gave a talk at the Central APA on Peirce and zetetic epistemology; that talk will be published in a special issue of the Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society. He hopes to finish a series of papers on probability and epistemology in Peirce soon because he misses his William James project. He also misses not being Director of Undergraduate Studies; he is embarking upon his fifth (and final!) year of a three-year term in that position. Kasser no longer misses teaching epistemology and philosophy of religion, however. With the recent appointment of Collin Rice, Jeff no longer has to teach all philosophy of science all the time.
In summer 2022, Matt MacKenzie published “Enactivism and Gender Performativity,” with Ashby Butnor, in Feminist Philosophy of Mind (Oxford University Press). In spring 2023, he published “A Post-Reductionist Buddhism?” in Reasons and Empty Persons: Mind, Metaphysics, and Morality: Essays in Honor of Mark Siderits (Springer) and “Emotion, Self-Knowledge, and Liberation in Indian Philosophy” in Emotional Self-Knowledge (Routledge). He also participated in an author meets critics session on his book, Buddhist Philosophy and the Embodied Mind (Rowman & Littlefield) at the Pacific APA in San Francisco. He continues to plug away at his second book, Consciousness in Indian Philosophy, and an edited volume, Thinking without Borders, both with Bloomsbury Academic. He is now in his fifth year as department chair. When not hauling his kids to various activities, he enjoys spending time with family, getting outdoors, practicing jujitsu and karate, and seeing live music.
Nathalie Morasch presented “Conceptual Amelioration and Transnormative Terms” at the Central APA in Denver this past February.
During his first year at CSU, Collin Rice published an article in Synthese titled “Modeling Multiscale Patterns: Active Matter, Minimal Models, and Universality” and an article in American Association of Philosophy Teachers, Studies in Pedagogy titled “The Epistemic Benefits of Diversity in Introductory Philosophy Classes.” Collin also gave talks at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Toronto.
While teaching a grad seminar on the topic of how to communicate the role of idealization, values, and social structures to the public and politicians, Collin organized an “Epistemology of Science” workshop focused on those topics that took place at CSU in April. He’s been working on two papers about multiscale modeling and the problem of variable choice in addition to writing various collaborative grants with CSU faculty in the sciences. When he’s not doing academic things, Collin has really enjoyed riding his bike around Fort Collins, camping in Colorado and Utah, and hiking in Lory State Park as often as he can.
Domenica Romagni kicked off the year at the Clifftop Appalachian String Band Music Festival, a five-day mountaintop gathering of musicians and friends in West Virginia, with her partner Morgan. COVID hampered plans to present work in Copenhagen in September. However, Domenica more than made up for it with a plethora of international talks this summer, including a presentation on Kepler’s philosophy of mind at the Workshop on Non-Cartesian Philosophies of Mind at the University of Oulu, Finland, a talk on 17th century music theory and the metaphysics of sensory perception at a conference on the Mechanization of Nature (1300-1700) at Stockholm University, Sweden, an invited keynote lecture on Kepler’s epistemology at the 13th NYC Workshop in Early Modern Philosophy at Technion University in Haifa, Israel, and a research trip to Oxford University, UK to work on a project on Descartes and the Stoics.
Closer to home, Domenica gave the plenary lecture at the Traveling Early Modern Philosophy Organization (TEMPO) annual conference in St. Louis and accepted an invitation to be a member of the board. She also presented at our Epistemology of Science Workshop. She published “Of the octave the relation 2:1”: how an exemplary case of formal causation turned against the Neo-Aristotelians” in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy and has a paper forthcoming in Southwest Philosophy Review.
Kenneth Shockley was on sabbatical during the spring. He did manage to take a Wilderness First Responder course, redesign a bit of yard irrigation, and do a bit more trail running. But he was somehow still around most of the time.
Ken spent much of the academic year finishing a series of papers on vulnerability and environmental harm, and pushing a book project, Narrative Ground: Reacting and Responding to Environmental Harm, toward publication. He gave several talks, including a keynote address at the annual meetings of the American Fisheries Society, and papers at Harvard’s Kennedy School, the University of Washington, and the Central Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association. Ken’s published work this year include a paper on radical hope, a paper on the role of place in climate change policy, a coauthored book chapter on environmental mismanagement, and a review of Simon James’ How Nature Matters.
Ken continues to develop and promote the Mountain Campus Program in the Environmental Humanities and serves on the President’s Task Force to reimagine the future of the Mountain Campus. In addition, he has enjoyed working with three CSU-based research collaborations: the Global Wildlife Values Project, the Center for Human-Carnivore Coexistence, and the Climate Adaptation Partnership. He also serves as board member and contributor to the recently launched CSU Human-Animal Policy Center. Finally, Ken is a co-author and co-PI on grants funded by CSU’s OVPR and Warner College, one for the development of climate adaptation research and outreach at CSU and the other to develop a transdisciplinary approach to human-wildlife coexistence.