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Mitch Avila, chair and associate professor of philosophy, flanked by photos of philosophers who delivered lectures at some of Cal State Fullerton’s annual philosophy symposium over the decades. Photo by Karen Tapia

Phenomenal at 40

Cal State Fullerton Marks 40th Annual Philosophy Symposium with Focus on Phenomenology, Embodiment and Race

May 4, 2010

By Mimi Ko Cruz

A Bit of Philosophical Humor

Jokes often told and enjoyed by philosophers:

  • Descartes walks into a bar and orders a drink. Near closing time, the bartender asks “Want another one?” Descartes replies “I think not” and disappeared.
  • What is the difference between a philosopher and an economist? About 75,000 a year.
  • What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor? “Make me one with everything.”
  • Do you know how George Berkeley died? His girlfriend stopped seeing him.
  • A young man was going on his first date. Because he was nervous, he asked his father for some advice about what to talk about. His father replied: “There are three sure-fire conversation topics: food, family and philosophy.” So, the boy goes on the date and sure enough there is a lull in the conversation. He remembers his father’s advice — food, family and philosophy — and asks his date, “Do you like potato-pancakes?” She replies, “No.” Again, the conversation lulls. So, the boy takes up the next topic: “Do you have a brother?” Again, his date replies, “No.” The date is going poorly, so remembering his father’s advice, he asks one last question: “If you had a brother, would he like potato-pancakes?”

— Submitted by Mitch Avila

Cal State Fullerton marked its 40th annual Philosophy Symposium this year with an in-depth look at phenomenology, embodiment and race.

One of the hottest new areas in philosophy is "embodiment," the study of the subject as embodied, challenging the mind and body dualism, said Emily S. Lee, assistant professor of philosophy and an event organizer.

“The topic — race and embodiment — could not be more apropos for our campus,” said Mitch Avila, chair and associate professor of philosophy. “The importance of this year’s topic to students and the campus in undeniable. We sometimes forget that Cal State Fullerton is on the cutting edge of bringing students of color and women into the academy. We have one of the most diverse philosophy programs in the country with one of the most diverse student bodies. This presents opportunities to discuss race and embodiment in ways that rarely present themselves in other contexts.”

The symposium, which was held on campus April 8 and 9, featured the following philosophers and their papers:

  • Linda Martín Alcoff, of Hunter College, City University of New York, on “Whiteness in a Rainbow Society.”
  • David Kim, of University of San Francisco, on “Race Assimilation and Self-Evaluative Emotions.”
  • Donna-Dale L. Marcano, of Trinity College, on “The Particularities of Race/Gender and the Philosopher’s Body.”
  • Charles Mills, of Northwestern University, on “Materializing Race.”
  • Mariana Ortega, of John Carroll University, on “Hometactics: On Belonging and Becoming.”
  • Gail Weiss, of George Washington University, on “Pride and Prejudice: Ambiguous Racial, Religious, Ethnic Identities of Jewish Bodies.”
  • George Yancy, of Duquesne University, on “White Microtomy and Black Volatility: Where Is My Body?”

Materializing Race

Attendants at Cal State Fullerton’s 40th Annual Philosophy Symposium in April. Photo by Karen Tapia

In Mills' address, he argued that race is a "material" and he questioned when it would "make sense to say some things are material and some things are not."

Mills reviewed a Marxist theory on racism. He said the late German philosopher Karl Marx, whose ideas were credited as the foundation of modern communism, argued that "we should understand society and its members in terms of a social ontology."

Materialism, Mills said, claims that the only things that exist are physical entities.

"There are no souls, no minds outside of the thinking brain, and no God," Mills explained. "Marxism is not unique in affirming such a view."

Though he presented other views and accounted for such things as class, society and economics, Mills concluded that "race is indeed material."

A transcript of his address is available for download.

Students Respond

As part of the symposium, students were invited to respond to the speakers' talks.

Responding to Mills' presentation was Erica A. Nieblas, a philosophy and English major who is graduating this year.

"Professor Mills marks a distinction between two senses of materiality: the natural sense, and the sociopolitical sense," she said. "The natural is strictly physical material, while the sociopolitical denotes the social relations between human beings, their interactions with the physical and the products that result from this interaction. Race would then be material in the socio-political sense."

Race and racism, she concluded, "are 'materials' we don’t need and yet continue to reproduce. It is a material production that historically has done more harm than good and, truthfully, I would like to hear more about how understanding race as material helps us understand its historical salience."

Philosophy, psychology and political science major Hector Ramos responded to Alcoff's talk, which focused on white identity.

"Whiteness has always been viewed as separate from the rest of the ethnic rainbow," Ramos said. "When we describe someone as a person of color, we are certainly not talking about a white person. So, there is a dichotomy between people of color and white people. There is a rainbow of black, brown, yellow and red with different shades of each, and then, we have white people.

"Professor Alcoff explains that most theorists argue that a positive transformation of whiteness is impossible. They say that 'racism is the founding moment of whiteness,' and thus, will be its dying grasp. Whiteness must disappear, they argue," Ramos added.

He said Alcoff's example of black identity transformation illustrates how the opposite can be true.

"The meaning of blackness has changed from its origins in slavery into solidarity, strength, cultural brilliance and coolness," Ramos said. "If this radical transformation was possible for black identity and has also been the case for others, why would it be impossible for white identity? It can be done. It will take time and effort, but it is possible....If we want society to change and improve, then we need to change and improve as a society."

Through The Decades

The following is a list of the past 39 symposiums, their themes and the philosophers who delivered talks:

1st — 1971 — Bertrand Russell

“Russell’s Views on Belief” by John Vickers, an address in honor of Lord Russell by David Harris, “With Russell at the Archives” by Jack Pitt, “The Fact-Value Dichotomy in Russell’s Ethics” by Stanley Malinovich, “The Possibilities of Enforcing the Laws of War” by Jon M. Van Dyke, “Russell on the Place of Religion in Daily Life” by Jack Pitt, and “Russell: An Over-View” by all program participants.

2nd — 1972 — Political Action and Psychology

“Sociological Aspects of Praxis” by San Farber, “Political Science and Praxis” by Bruce Wright, “Behaviorism” by Willard Day, “Psychological Admissions as Retroactive Quasi Referent Speech Acts” by J. Michael Russell, “Marxism and Praxis” by Richard Lichtman and “Teleological Explanation” by John Moore

3rd — 1973 — The Role of Values in Psychological Theory and Practice

“Moral Psychology: Mutterseelenallein – Das l´åßt man sich nicht” by Richard L. Smith, “Madness: Description or Assessment” by A.R. Louch, “Person and Professional – The Twain Should Always Meet” by Allan Gerson, “Commentary on The Transparent Self” by Sidney Jourard, “On the Impossibility of a Pure Description” by Majorie Weinzweig, “Norms and the Normal” by Ronald de Sousa, "Alienation” by Lloyd Reinhardt and “Sanity, Personality, Community” by Herbert Fingarette.

4th — 1974 — My World, Your World, Our World, or No World

“Solipsism, Fideism, and Progressive Individualism” by Frank G. Verges, “A Feminist Perspective” by Marcia Keller, “There’s A New World Coming” by Marcia Keller and Sue Williams, “Kierkegaard on Subjectivity and Objectivity in Religion” by Robert Adams, “Objectivity and Concepts” by Hubert Schwyzer, “Perceptual Consciousness” by Wilfrid Sellars, “Anthropology and the ‘Language of the Other’” by Susan Parman, “Towards a Copernican Reading of Hume” by Francis Dauer, “The World as Prior to My World: The Rejection of Husserlian Subjectivity in Heidegger’s Being and Time” by Herbert Dreyfus and “Actualization Therapy, A Philosophical Therapy" by Everett Shostrum

5th — 1975 — Equality Under The Law

“The History of the Concept of Equality in the Constitution” by Carmon Hardy, “The Adversary System” by Martin Golding, “The Jury System” by John Van Dyke, "Constitutional Guarantees of Equality in the Courts” by Arthur Goldberg, “Can We Afford Liberty” by Arthur Goldberg, “Racism and Sexism in the Law” by Richard Wasserstrom, “Plea Bargaining” by Dino J. Fulgoni, “Affirmative Action” by Jill Jakes and “The Latino View of Justice” by Antonio Rodriguez and Miguel Garcia, “Special Admissions Programs and Equal Protection” by Harold Horowitz and Kenneth Karst

6th — 1976 — On Being Responsible

“Sartre, Therapy, and Expanding the Concept of Responsibility” by J. Michael Russell, “Individual and Social Responsibility in Sartre’s Philosophy” by Donald S. Lewis, “Responsibility and the Preservation of the Human Species” by G. Eric Massey, “A Kantian View of Moral Responsibility” by Thomas E. Hill, Jr., “Friendly Defiance: Civil Disobedience and Responsibility" by Karen Johnson, “Heroes and Traitors: The Concept of Historical Responsibility” by Cheney Ryan, “On Being Responsible for the Consequences of Our Actions” by Edward Quest, “If Knowledge Were Power” by Ian Hacking, “Irrationality and Irresponsibility: The Attribution of Mental Illness as a Tactic of Psychiatric Dehumanization” by Thomas S. Szasz, “On the Responsibility of Intellectuals: An Informal Discussion” by Herbert Marcuse, “The Morality of Euthanasia” by Philippa Foot and “Selfhood, Time, and Fiction: Some Thoughts on Imagination and Responsibility” by Frederick A. Olafson

7th — 1977 — The Understanding of Art

“On Giving Works of Art a Face” by Roger A. Shiner; “Pornography and Respect for Women” by Ann Garry, “Roles and Images of Women in World War I Propaganda” by Michelle J. Shover; “Truth and Poetry” by Petra Von Morstein; “Women Artists In Our Society” by Victoria Kogan; “Canonical Language and Pictorial Representation” by Bruce Vermazen; “Modernity and After” by James Drew, Keith Neilson, Alexander Sesonske, Vic Smith and Lloyd Rogers; "Wine Aesthetics for the Guzzler, the Bibber, and the Taster” by Allan Shields; “Against the Legitimization of Pop Culture” by Charles Wuorinen; “The Movies” by Terrence Malick; and “The Illusions of Art” by Guy Sircello

8th — 1978 — Education In a Disillusioned World

“The Impact of Urbanization on Minority Children” by Diane Watson, “Desegregation” and “The Integration Process”: Presentation and Commentary on Two Filmstrips Exploring the Desegregated School" by Dennis Hicks, “Santayana and Dewey on the Life of the Mind in America” by Cynthia Anderson, “Comparative Axiology: Helping Our Schools Choose” by Robert B. McLaren, “Maintaining Civilization in a Technological Society” by Tad Alan Beckman, “The Intellectual Rights of Children and Pre-College Philosophy” by Tora Kay Bikson, “Cognitive Development: Perplexities and Perspectives” by D. C. Phillips, “Government and the Teaching Power” by Joseph Tussman, “‘Learning How to Learn’ as an Educational Aim” by Stanton M. Teal and John M. Schulte and “False Needs and False Consciousness: Residue of Idealism” by James E. McClellan Jr.

9th — 1979 — The Greeks and the Good Life

“The Concept of the Good Life” by Steven Smith, “Knowledge and the Good Life” by Georgios Anagnostopoulos, “Plans of Love, Beauty, ant the Good” by Gerasimos X. Santas, “Aristotle and the Concept of Happiness” by Merrill Ring, “Aristotle on Virtue and Pleasure” by Eugene Garver, “… and Ethics” by Diamandopoulos, “… for a Successful Living in Ancient Greece” by Julius Moravcsik, “Epicurean Ethics: Sensuality and the Good Life” by David Glidden, “Marx, Hegel, and the Greek Ideal” by Phillip Kain and “Nietzsche: Megalopsychia and Übermensch” by Bernd Magnus

10th — 1980 — Modern Moral Philosopy

“Justice Without Benevolence” by Gary Watson, “Moral Philosophy: Some Waymarks" by R.M. Hare, “Future Individuals: The Paradox” by Gregory S. Kavka, “Paradoxical Status of Rule Principles” by Yutaka Yamamoto and Mark C. Overvold, “On Respecting Human Beings As Persons” by Carl F. Cranor, “Moral Objectivity” by Warren S. Quinn and “Importance Of the Concept Of A Moral Right" by Richard B. Bradt

11th — 1981 — Religion, Mysticism and Knowledge

“The Epistemology of Religious Beliefs” by Alvin Planinga, “Religious Experience and Religious Belief” by William P. Alston, “St. John of the Cross Analytic Comprehensions As Sources of Knowledge” by Nelson Pike, “Relativism, Religious Experience, and Knowledge of God” by Joseph Runzo, “The Epistemology of William James and Early Buddhism” by David J. Kalupahana, “Towards An Epistemology of Religion” by John Hicks and “Religion and Rationality” by Kai Nielson

12th — 1982 — Is Empiricism Dead? The New Philosophy of Science

“Empiricism and The Mind/Body Problem” by Ronald Rubin, “How To Revise Empiricism” by Harold I. Brown, “Observation and Knowledge” by Dudley Shapere, “Empiricism, Apriorism, and Judgement” by Maurice A. Finocchiaro, “Pure Pragmatics and Philosophical Analysis” by Brian Skyrms and “If Empiricism Is Dead, Can Our Conception of Scientific Progress Survive?” by Gerard Doppelt

13th — 1983 — Biology and Philosophy

“How Does Biology Mean? An Orientation to the Themes of the Symposium” by David Depew and Bruce Weber, “The Metaphysics of Aristitilian Biology” by Montgomery Firth, “Future Causality: An Emergent Property of Biological Organization” by John Campbell, “Fitness Interactions: Is Population Genetics Correct?” by Francisco Ayala, “Problems of Reduction in Biology” by Francisco Ayala, “Reflections on the Function Literature” by Larry Wright, “Development of A Simple Nervous System” by Gunther Stent, “Hermeneutics and the Analysis of Complex Biological Systems” by Gunther Stent, “The Oldest Fossils and What They Mean” by J. William Schopf, “How Biology Differs From The Physical Sciences” by Ernst Mayr, “Philosophy of Biology 1983: Problems and Prospects” by Majorie Grene and “Visible Nature and Open Secrets: Goethe’s Vision of Organic Nature” by Morton Beckner

14th — 1984 — The Self in Contemporary Psychoanalysis

“Contemporary Perspectives of Psychoanalysis” by Larry Hedges, “The Self in Contemporary Psychoanalysis” by J. Michael Russell, “Cognitive Informational Models of the Self in Psychoanalysis” by Ronald De Sousa, “Adam: The First Self-Deceiver” by Larry Hedges, “Psychoanalysis, Passions and Plumbing” by Robert Solomon, “The Analytic Dyad In Transitional Space: Incompleted Mourning in An Addictive Personality” by Harriet Kimble Wrye, “Toward A Psychoanalytic Science of Human Experience” by Robert Stolorow, “Alternative Philosophical Conceptualization of Psychotherapy” by Hubert L. Dreyfus, “The Conceptions of the Self in Contemporary European Literature and Philosophy” by Fred Hage, “Freud and Perversion” by Jerome Neu and “Fiction and Personality Development” by Jay Martin

15th — 1985 — Philosophy of Women

“Introduction: Ethical and Conceptual Ideas” by Betty Stafford, “Gender and Moral Philosophy” by Sharon Bishop, “The Feminist Challenge to Western Political Theory” by Allison M. Jaggar, “Bodies and Souls/Sex, Sin and The Senses in Patriarchy: A Study In Applied Dualism” by Sheila Ruth, “Feminism and The Social State” by Nancy Fraser, “The Feminist Standpoint: A Matter of Language” by Terry Winant, “Maternity Leaves, Comparable Worth and Concepts of Equality” by Majorie J. Weinzweig, “Through A Glass Darkly: Paradigms of Women’s Equality and The Search for a Feminist Jurisprudence” by Linda J. Krieger, “Wrong Rights” by Elizabeth H. Wolgast, “Improper Behavior: Imperative For Civilization” by Elizabeth Janeway and “The New Men’s Studies: From Feminist Theory to Gender Scholarship” by Harry Brod

16th — 1986 — Philosophical Issues in Journalism and the Media

“Foundations of News Media Responsibility” by Deni Elliot, “Responsible Journalism: The Role of Ombudsman” by Pat Riley, “Newspaper Codes of Ethics: Unenforceable and Impractical” by Rick D. Pullen, “The Six O’clock Presidency: Patterns of Network News Coverage” by Fred Smoller, “Manipulating The Press and The Public” by Tom L. Beauchamp, “The Taming of The Press” by Peter Boyer, “Whistleblowing: The Reporters Role” by Fredrick Elliston, “Freedom of Expression: Philosophical Themes & Contemporary Issues” by Fred R. Berger, “Examining Contemporary Issues In The Media” by Robert Scheer and “The Ethics of Controversy in The Public Media” by Mark Pastin

17th — 1987 — Ordinary Language and Recent Philosophical Practice

“The Dialectic Implicit in Ordinary Language” by Virgil Aldrich, “The Methods, Powers and Limitations of Linguistic Analysis” by J.F.M. Hunter, “Was Wittgenstein an Ordinary Language Philosopher?” by Al Louch, “Linguistic Facts and Philosophical Truths” by John Fisher, “Wittgenstein and Privileged Concepts” by Robert Fogelin, “Wittgenstein and ‘Mainstream’ Contemporary Philosophy” by Hubert Schwyzer, “Wittgenstein on Grammar and Metaphysics” by Newton Garver, “Signaling and Representing” by John Searle, “Three Forms of Ordinary Language Philosophy” by John Cook, “Prichard, Davidson, and Ordinary Language Accounts of Action” by Don Gustatson and “What happened in the Past Twenty-Five Years?” by Francis Dauer and Keith Ornnellan

18th — 1988 — Moral Reasoning in China: East/West Dialogue

“Chinese Moral Philosophy: An Overview of the Symposium” by Craig K. Ihara; “Language and Moral Reasoning in China” by Alfred Bloom; “Universabillity and Chinese Moral Reasoning” by Ting Lei; “The Problem of Moral Reasoning in Confucian Ethics” by A.S. Cua; “Virtues and Vices: East & West” by Richard Bosley; "Universalism vs. Love with Distinctions” by David B. Wong; “Moral Reasons in Confucian Ethics” by Kwong-Loi Shun; “Mo-tzu: A Third Kind of Utilitarian” by Chad Hansen; and “Panel Discussion: Reflections on Moral Philosophy—East & West" by Richard A Brandt, A.S. Cua, Kwong-Loi Shun and David B. Wong

19th — 1989 — Japanese Morality: An East/West Dialogue

“Intimacy: A Key to Understanding Japanese Values” by Thomas P. Kasulis; “Japanese Metaphors of Self: Constructions and Representations” by Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney; “Individual and Social Morality in Japan and the U.S.” by Robert N. Bellah; “Buddhist Views of Suicide/ Euthanasia” by Carl B. Becker; “Death, Honor and Loyalty: The Bushido Ideal” by G. Cameron Hurst III; “The virtue of ‘Sincerity’ in Japanese Literature” by Paul Reasoner; “Japanese Morality Etiquette and Aesthetics as Ethics” by John Stevens; “Inter-Group and Intra-Group Morality in Japan” by Yutaka Yamamoto; and “Japanese Morality: Beyond Good and Evil” by Robert J.J. Wargo

20th — 1990 — Philosophy and American Culture

“Philosophy in America: An Intro" by David Depew, “The American Philosophical Strand: A Perilous Bequest” by John J. McDermott, “Radical Pragmatism" by Joseph Margous, “Pragmatism, Jewish Intellectuals, and Justice Holmes: The Making of an American Icon” by David Hollinger, “The Continuity of Philosophical Inquiry” by Amelie Rorty, “American Philosophy and its Public” by Bruce Kukuck, “From Positive to Negative to Common Sense” by Murray G. Murphey, “Pragmatism: Theory and Politics” by Cornel West and “Richard Rorty on Pragmatism, Politics and Education” by Robert Hollinger

21st — 1991 — Environmental Ethics

“Environmental Ethics Today” by Eugene Horgrove, “Environmental Ethics in the Soviet Union” by Anton Struchkov, “The Animal Rights Approach to Environmental Ethics” by Susan Finsen, “The Duty to Prosperity and the Motivation Problem” by Norman Care, “Species Diversity and Ecosystems Integrity” by Bryan Norton, "The Land Ethic Today” by J. Baird Callicott, “The State of the World: Now & into the 21st Century” by Stephen Schneider, “Deep Ecology” by Bill Devall, “Values in Nature” by Holmes Rolston, “Anthropocentrism: Mankind as the Measure” by Tibor Machan, “Population, Resources and the Future Environment” by John Huldren, “Panel: Ethical Issues in the Management of the Sothern California Environment” by local environmental managers and activists

22nd — 1992 — Philosophy and Economics

“Is There Economic Knowledge Beyond Persuasion?” by Donald McCloskey and John Murray, “The Epistemic Status of Micro-Economics Theory” by Alexander Rosenberg, “Selfishness, Rational Choice and Utility Maximization” by Colin Wright, “I Don’t Care What You Say Actually, as Long as You Pronounce it Properly” by Murray Wolfson, “The Moods of Economy” by Charles Dyke, “Long Run Economics” by Norman Clark, “The Role of Experiment in Economics” by Alan Nelson and “Justice and Efficiency in the Law” by Jules Coleman and John A. Garner

23rd — 1993 — Rationality and Spirituality

“Where Are the Gods Now?” by D.Z. Phillips, “Kierkegaard’s Job Discourse: Getting Back the World” by Edward Mooney, “Rationality and Spirituality: Religious Experience as Data for Theology” by Nancy Murphy, “The Search for Ultimate’s: A Sherlockian Inquiry” by John Warwick Montgomery, “Spirituality and Rationality: The Case of Liberal understanding and Modernist Buddhism” by Ninian Smart, “Ecological Postmodernism: A Grounded Spirituality” by Charles Sprotnak, “Amazon Philosophy: A Radical Feminist Politics of Metaphor” by Emily Culpepper and “Presentation of New Book: Outercourse” by Mary Daly

24th —1994 — Insiders and Outsiders: The Cultural Turn in Historical Explination

“Community, Patriarchy and Individualism: The Politics of Chicano History and the Dream of Equality” by Ramon Gutierrez, “The Great Multicultural Debate” by Gary Nash, “Politics and Popular Culture: The Case of John Lennon” by Johnathan Weiner, “Feminist Dilemmas of Difference” by Georgia Warnke, “Teaching Thomas Kuhn to Teach the Cold War Vision of Science” by Steve Fuller, “History, Science and Language: A Big Picture or Cultural Fragmentation” by James E. McGuire, “Visualizing Ideology: Politics, Class and the Rise of Hollywood” by Steven J. Ross and “Alien Voices: The Dialogic Dimension of Early Modern Jesuit Historiography” by Carlo Ginzburg

25th — 1995 — Beyond Human Beings: Demarcating Moral Subjects

“Moral Consideration as a Virtue” by Kenneth Goodpaster, “Debunking Corporate Agency” by Manuel Velasquez, “On Exploiting Inferiors” by Steven Sapontzis, “Animal Rights and the ‘Folk Theory of Reference’ ” by William Henry Hyde, “Slaves and Selves” by Elizabeth Wolgast, “A Moral Theory Based on the Tripartite Value of Individuals" by Susan Armstrong and "Representing Unborn Generations” by Christopher Stone

26th — 1996 — Making Moral Distinctions

“Highlighting the Issues” by Albert Flores, “Kant and the Ineliminability of Motives” by Marc Marenco, “Distinctions, Categories, and the Fragmentation and Reassembly of the World: A Legal Perspective” by Michael H. Shapiro, “Is It Futile to Define Futility?” by David M. Adams, “Medical Futility: Is It a Useful Concept?” by Alexander M. Capron, “Killing and Letting Die” by Tom L. Beauchamp, “Physician-Assisted Suicide, Physician-Assisted Death: Is the Distinction Morally Significant?” by Ronald B. Miller, “Is Liberty and Justice for All Possible in American Health Care?” by Jacquelyn Kegley and “Back to Reform: Dignity and Universal Access” by Charles J. Dougherty

27th — 1997 — Philosophical Reflections on American Higher Education

“Setting the Stage” by Merrill Ring, “Industry-University Partnerships and the Integrity of the University” by Gerald Doppelt, “Teaching Religion: The Unmassing of Mass Higher Education” by Bruce Hanson, “Media Literacy and Critical Pedagogy in a Multicultural Society” by Douglas Kellner, “Courage and Convictions” Reflections on Multicultural perspectives in Philosophy” by Wanda Teays, “Collaborative Learning and the Construction of Knowledge” by C. Richard Booher, “Why Academic Administrators Have Moral Obligations” by Rudolph H. Weingartner, “Neo-Pragmatism, Interdisciplinary and the Future of Philosophy” by George W. Shields and “Requiem for Philosophy” by David Glidden

28th — 1998 — Democracy and Self-Interest

“Capitalism and Self Interest” by David Schweickart, “Incentives, Self Interest, and Justice in a Liberal Democracy: A Rawlsian Reply to G. A. Cohen” by Sharon Lloyd, "Democracy and the Power of Liberal Rights” by Thomas Christiano, “Eudaimonism, Love and Friendship, and Democratic Community” by David Brink, “Why and How the Pursuit of Self-Interest Undermines Democracy" by Barry Schwartz, “Intellectual Activism: Butler on Ethical Subject Formation” by Rochelle Green, “A Society of Individuals” by David Gauthier and “Radical Democracy in a Performative Mode: Judith Butler’s Alternative to Identity Politics” by Michelle Grisat

29th — 1999 — Philosophy and Literature

“Epistemology And Literary Form in Plato and Descartes” by Jill Gordon; “Proust and the Philosophy of Time” by Jeff Mason; “No Escaping Bad Objects: A Psychoanalytic Look At Sartre’s No Exit” by J. Michael Russell; “Responding Emotionally To Literature” by Jenefer Robinson; “In The Beginning With The Word, Or, The Significance Of Poetry” by John Lysaker; “Reclaiming A Philosophy Of Female Heterosexual Erotics Through Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis” by Kay Stanton; “As You Like It Shakespeare Society Presents: The ‘O’ In Nothingness” by Christie Diep, Erin Murphy, Cindy Brady and moderator Carleen Ibrahim; “Coral Reefs, Metaphors, And The Literal: Nietzsche’s Philosophy Of Language" by Wanda Teays; “Laguna Women And The Ethnographic Striptease: Native American Women Writers And Philosophy” by Renae Bredin; “The Existential Kiss: Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor” by Susan Fleck and “Martha Nussbaum In Ethics and Literature: A Cool Place For Characters?” by D.Z. Philips

30th — 2000 — Alienation in Higher Education

Film Presentaiton: “University, Inc” by Kyle Henry; "Introduction to the University Machine Symposium 2000” by David J. Depew; “The University Machine in Control of Society: A Critique of ‘Reform’ at the State University” by Bruce Wright; “The Resistance to Cultural Studies” by John Carlos Rowe; “Feminist Voices, Alienation and the University” by Ann Garry; “Hear Here: Where Living is Preeminent” by Daniel Walker; “Philosophy: What’s the Use?” by Dasiea Cavers-Huff; “Liberal Education in a Multicultural Society” by Robert Hollinger; and “The University Machine: Alienation and A Good Ethics Class” by Sara Goering

31st — 2001 — Law, Ethics and Social Reform

“Some Moral and Legal Philosophic Issues in Regulating Toxic Substances” by Carl F. Cranor, “Intellectual Property Rights and Genetic Sequences” by Stephen R. Munzer, “Does Hate Deserve Punishment?” by David M. Adams, “Equality and Dependency” by Eva Feder Kittay, “Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System” by David Barlow, “Law and Social Engineering” by Margaret (Pearce) Newvine, “Five Questions about Drug Policy” by Douglas N. Husak and "Moral Intuitions" by James Q. Wilson

32nd — 2002 — How Do You Know? New Approaches in Epistemology

“Why a Reliability Epistemology Has to Be Feminist (and Anti-Racist, Anti-Heterosexist, Anti-Imperialist, and Otherwise Liberatory)” by Naomi Scheman; “Producing Scientific Knowledge: Should Accountability be Required in the Context of Discovery?” by Sandra Harding, “Truth’s Value” by Michael Lynch, “Two False Dichotomies: Foundationalism/Coherentism and Internalism/Externalism” by Ernest Sosa and “The Problem of Easy Knowledge” by Stewart Cohen

33rd — 2003 — Back to Plato’s Cave: Philosophical Reflections on Film

“Horror and Art Dread” by Cynthia Freeland, “Colorization Revisited” by Julie C. Van Camp, “Posthumanism in Kubrick/Clarke’s 2001” by Douglas Kellner, “Identification in the Cinema: A Conceptual Investigation” by Richard Allen, “Musicians in the Movies” by Flora L. Leibowitz and “A River Runs Through It: The Virtues of Narrative” by Joseph Kupfer

34th — 2004 — Scientism: Is Science the Stanard?

“The Limits of Cognitivism” by Meredith Williams, “Psychoanalysis and the Truth-Fairy” by J. Michael Russell, “Two Varieties of Scientism” by James Conant, “Value Judgments in Science (Revistied)” by Paul Tang, “Chimerical Colors: Predicting Novel Subjective Qualia from within Objective Physical Science” by Paul Churchland and “Explanation and Elimination” by Andrew Hsu

35th — 2005 — Philosophy of Emotion

“What’s so Bad about a ‘Negative’ Emotion?” by Robert C. Solomon, “Does Guilt Need Shame” by Michael Stocker, “What Emotions Are and How they Respond to Music” by Jenefer Robinson, “The Art of the Possible in Life and Literature” by Ronald de Sousa, “Caring about Characters: Three Determinants of Emotional Engagement” by Amy Coplan and “Do Our Emotional Responses to Fiction Involve us in Incoherence?” by C. Richard Booher

36th — 2006 — Intellectual Activism: Women Pushing the Boundaries of Philosophy

“Solipsism and the Relational Self in Beauvoir’s Wartime Philosophy” by Margaret Simons, “Getting the Beauvoir We Deserve” by Debra Bergoffen, “Arendt On Private And Public Connections With Others” by Shari Starrett, “The Relevance of Hannah Arendt” by Richard Bernstein, “Activist Trouble: Judith Butler And The Virtues Of Critique” by Annika Thiem and “Intellectual Activism: Butler on Ethical Subject Formation” by Rochelle Green

37th — 2007 — Confronting Torture: Perspectives and Moral Issues

“Perspective on Defining ‘Torture’” by Thomas Dosier and Phil McWilliams, “Interrogation Over Tea” (dramatic performance) by Hector Aristizabal and John Crigler, “A Utilitarian Argument against Torture Interrogation” by Jean Maria Arrigo, “The Indefensibility of Torture” by Thomas Hill Jr., “Ticking Bombs and Interrogation” by Claudia Card, “Stoic Equanimity in the Face of Torture” by Nancy Sherman, “Torture, Daoists and Quakers” by Pual Kjellberg, “Torture and Public Health Professionals” by Wanda Teays and “Deriving Hope from Ethics in the Media: The Problem of Torture” by Rochelle Green

38th — 2008 — Science Fiction, Philosophy and Human Nature

“Persistence in Personal Identity: Parfit and Science Fiction Puzzles” by Suzi Fleck, “In Case of Abrupt Climate Shift, Break Glass; or, Stabilizing the Future Greenhouse Earth—with Implication for Seti” by Gregory Benford, “Time Travel, Personal Identity, and Bodily Continuity” by Richard Hanley, “Whose Sciences? Whose Fictions” by Sandra Harding, “Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?” by James Van Cleve, “First Contact with the ‘Children of Tama’: Correlative and Analytic ‘Styles of Rationality’ in ‘Star Trek’ and Comparative Philosophy” by John Trowbridge, “More Human Than Human: ‘Blade Runner’ and the Philosophical Potential of Science Fiction Film” by Amy Coplan and “Third Millennium Decadence” by Jim Grimsley

39th — 2009 — Consciousness and the Self

“I Think I Think, Therefore I Am . . . I Think” by Fred Dretske, “Thinking and Talking about the Self” by John Perry, “Self-Unconsciousness” by Eric Schwitzgebel, “Waiting for the Self” by Jesse Prinz, “Personhood and Consciousness” by Sydney Shoemaker, “Knowing What I Want” by Alex Byrne and “Consciousness and Self-Knowledge” by David Chalmers

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