Faculty Notes: An Overview of the Year’s Activities

Andre Archie is working on a book manuscript on Plato’s political theory. He continues to enjoy teaching within the Honors Program each spring semester and developing this significant campus partnership. His newly developed Honors seminar, “Friendship: Ancient and Modern, East and West,” broadens the traditional discussion of friendship by incorporating non-Western philosophical sources and more women philosophers.

Phil Cafaro has been working on population issues and has spent time in Sweden with his research partners. With Frank Gotmark and Jane O’Sullivan, Cafaro is co-writing an article on aging societies, which will appear in the prestigious science journal TREE (Trends in Evolution and Ecology). He also attended a small interdisciplinary conference, including philosophers, demographers, and family-planning advocates, in Stockholm. Cafaro was joined by his graduate student, Addison Phillips, who is writing a thesis on immigration ethics.

Moti Gorin debuted a new course, PHIL 322: Biomedical Ethics, the only undergraduate course at CSU dedicated to exploring ethical issues in biomedical research, clinical practice, and health policy. It is aimed not only at philosophy majors and minors but also at pre-med and pre-vet students and students studying the life sciences. Gorin also chaired the Bodaken Philosophy Symposium Committee (joined by Phil Cafaro and Ken Shockley) and oversaw its inaugural, and highly successful, lecture this spring. He continues to serve on the university’s Institutional Review Board, along with colleagues Bernie Rollin and new member Dave Williams.

Jeff Kasser has spent the last year on a restful sabbatical. His article “Genuine Belief and Genuine Doubt in Peirce” has just appeared in the European Journal of Philosophy, and “Naturalism and Normativity in Peirce” is forthcoming in Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society. He enjoyed his participation in a spring meeting of The Veritas Forum, entitled “Is Belief in God Irrational? A Christian and a Secular Philosopher Discuss.” He continues to advise scientists and statisticians through his decade-old Great Course on the philosophy of science.

This past year, Matt MacKenzie published a journal article, “The Yogācāra Theory of Three Natures: Internalist and Non-Dualist Interpretations,” in Comparative Philosophy, and a book chapter, “Buddhism and the Virtues,” in The Oxford Handbook of Virtue. He also has in-press four more book chapters, including “Enactivism and Gender Performativity” in Feminist Philosophy of Mind (Oxford University Press), co-written with colleague Ashby Butnor.

In August 2017, MacKenzie presented a paper on the Buddhist philosopher Śāntarakṣita’s philosophy of mind at the International Association of Buddhist Studies conference in Toronto. In March 2018, he spent three days as a visiting scholar at Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine. MacKenzie also supervised four MA thesis students and served as second reader for a fifth student, was promoted to the rank of Professor of Philosophy (along with Katie McShane and Beth Tropman), and will serve as a Global Teaching Scholar on the Fall 2018 voyage of Semester at Sea.

Ken Shockley has some new publications this year, including “The Great Decoupling: Why minimizing humanity’s dependence on the environment may not be cause for celebration,” in the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, and a forthcoming chapter, “The Ethical Dimensions of Stream Restoration” (with Alan Rabideau), in the Routledge Companion to Environmental Ethics. In the spring, Shockley was a Resident Fellow with the School of Global Environmental Sustainability (SoGES) at CSU and an active participant in the SoGES project, “Reacting and Responding to Environmental Crises.”

Last fall, Shockley presented “Place, Security, and Flourishing in the Anthropocene” at the Environmental Justice 2017 – Looking Back, Looking Forward conference at the University of Sydney. It was one of the most significant environmental justice events in recent years. Related to his SoGES fellowship, Shockley gave a keynote address, “The Environmental Moral Problem: Reacting and Responding to Environmental Harm,” at the Texas Ethics workshop, presented on narrative unity at the Pacific APA, and participated in an author-meets-critic discussion of Ben Hale’s The Wild and the Wicked at the International Association of Environmental Philosophy Annual Meeting in Memphis. Early in the summer of 2018 he taught a section of PHIL 345: Environmental Ethics at CSU’s Mountain Campus and enjoyed witnessing the great success of his students and the course.

Bernie Rollin is completing the final touches on a new 29-chapter book, The Welfare of Cattle (CABI, 2019). It is a first-of-its-kind work that covers both beef and dairy cattle. Rollin has published numerous papers over the past couple of semesters on topics ranging from agriculture to animal research to genetic engineering. Also, he was the keynote presenter at the annual meeting of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, as well as at the annual convention of the animal research community in North Carolina.

Rollin was also actively involved in a number of animal welfare projects. For example, he was part of a group of philosophers who submitted a brief to the New York State Court system, arguing for the application of habeas corpus to two chimpanzees who are confined under very poor conditions. He is also serving on two national committees, one to address the treatment of animals shipped by air, in light of recent appalling cases, and the other to regulate the film industry in regard to animal use and representation.

Emeritus Professor Holmes Rolston is happy to report that a volume of his collected essays has just been published in French: Terre objective : Essais d’éthique environnementale. There are eight essays, featuring Rolston’s arguments about the objective value of natural landscapes, and how this is needed, beyond resource values for people, in environmental ethics. This past spring Rolston gave the keynote lecture, “Wonderland Earth in the Anthropocene Epoch,” at “Wild Places, Natural Spaces,” the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Environment, Space, and Place, at the University of Mary Washington. He also spoke at a Symposium, “After the Death of Nature,” honoring Carolyn Merchant at UC Berkeley in May.

Beth Tropman has two new publications. “Intuitionism in Moral Epistemology” appeared in the Routledge Handbook of Metaethics, and “Formulating Moral Objectivity” was published in Philosophia.

Dustin Tucker had three papers accepted for publication this year: “Variable Priorities and Exclusionary Reasons in Input/Output Logic” in the Journal of Philosophical Logic, “Paradoxes and Restricted Quantification: A Non-Hierarchical Approach” in Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, and “Paradoxes and the Limits of Theorizing about Propositional Attitudes” in Synthese. Tucker also presented a paper at the AMANDE – Argument Strength Workshop, held at the Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse (IRIT), Université Paul Sabatier, in France.

New instructor Laura Arcila Villa taught a two-week seminar on Wittgenstein´s philosophy of psychology at Ibague University in Ibague, Colombia in summer 2017. This summer, she participated in the Summer Institute in American Philosophy at the University of Dayton and presented “Pragmatic and Theological Understandings of ‘Liberation.’”