Symposia, Events, and Conferences

Symposia, Events, and Conferences

The Department of Philosophy features various events throughout the academic year, including colloquia to workshops, symposia, and conferences, as well as thesis defenses and events from the Student Philosophy Association Student Speaker Series [SPA]. The department also sponsors interdisciplinary events with other programs and departments, such as the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies [MRS] and CLA Scholarly Intersections [CLA].

The Applied Ethics Forum [AEF] (née ‘Center for Applied Ethics’) is housed in the Department of Philosophy, and is funded by a generous grant from the Andre Family Foundation. The forum sponsors a variety of speakers, conferences, and projects on various topics in applied ethics. Its mission, more generally, is to foster interdisciplinary work in practical and applied ethics among faculty and students and all other members of the at Cal State Long Beach community, to promote awareness of ethical issues in practical settings, and to create an expanded array of educational offerings in applied ethics at Cal State Long Beach.

Current Events



Previous Events



  • Thesis Defense: Alex Beard (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Absence causation in mechanistic explanation‘ • 19 Jun 2017, 1:00pm3:30pm, MHB–915
  • Symposium: SP17 CSULB Philosophy Day • 12 May 2017, 12:30pm5:00pm [For information, contact organizer Nellie Wieland.]  |  photos from the event
    Keynote: Brady Heiner (Cal State Fullerton), ‘Prosecuting race: mass incarceration and the unfinished project of American abolition’
    Faculty Speaker: Jason Raibley (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Virtue and the metaphysics of well-being’
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Justin Klockseim (University of Alabama Tuscaloosa), ‘Epistocracy: a wolf in wolf’s clothing‘ • 06 April 2017, 3:30pm5:00pm, PH1108
  • Panel Discussion: ‘Women and the law‘, featuring Amanda Trefethen • 05 Apr 2017, 6:00pm7:30pm, PH1140
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Molly Gardner (Bowling Green State University), ‘Doing right by future generations‘ • 09 Mar 2017, 3:30pm5:00pm, PH1135
  • Thesis Defense: Mitch Kaufman (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Direct versus indirect correspondence: dissolving the distinction‘ • 27 Feb 2017,10:00pm12:15pm, MHB–915
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Kristina Meshelski (Cal State Northridge), ‘Calexit from a social contract perspective• 23 Feb 2017, 3:30pm5:00pm, PH1108
  • Colloquium: Patrick Connelly (Iowa State University), ‘Locke’s epistemology and the metaphysics of relations‘ • 06 Feb 2017, 4:30pm6:00pm, FA1202
  • Intersections [CLA]: Rebecca Gordon (San Francisco State University), ‘Torture and ethics: US policy and practice in the age of terror’ • 03 Nov 2016, 4:00pm6:00pm, USU205 [Co-sponsored with Departments of Anthropology, Asian & Asian American Studies Religious Studies, and Sociology. For information, contact organizer Sam Coleman (AAAS).]
  • Thesis Defense: Nathan Lackey (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Scientific realism and the geometric structure of physical theories‘ • 30 Sept 2016, 8:30am10:30am, MHB–915



  • Symposium: 2015 CSULB Philosophy Day • 9:00am5:30pm, 24 Apr 2015, AS119 Anatol Center [For information, contact organizers Alex Klein & Jason Raibley.]
    Keynote: Adrienne Martin (Claremont McKenna), ‘Instantive morality’
    Guest Speaker: Michael Rings (Bellevue College), ‘Authenticity, self-fulfillment, and Revolutionary Road
    Guest Speaker: Andrew Howat (Cal State Fullerton), ‘What’s the use of truth? Pragmatism and conceptual analysis’
    Guest Speaker: Cailin O’Connor (University of California Irvine), ‘Modeling the evolution of guilt’
  • Colloquium: Nellie Wieland (Cal State Long Beach), ‘More to the story: quotation as broadly metarepresentational’ • 5:00pm6:30pm, 11 May 2015, LA3108
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Dale Dorsey (University of Kansas), ‘A good death’ • 3:30pm5:00pm, 09 Apr 2015, VEC113
  • Thesis Defense: Christian Weede (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Overcoming the present‘ • 11 Mar 2015, 5:15am–1:30pm, MHB–915
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Meghan Masto (Lafayette College), ‘Empathy, autism, psychopathy, and right action’ • 05 Mar 2015
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Megs Gendreau (Cal Poly Pomona), ‘Relocation, climate migration, and justification’ • 26 Feb 2015
  • Colloquium: Sam Newlands (Notre Dame), ‘Backing into Spinoza’ • 3:30pm5:15pm, 23 Oct 2014, AS119 [Karl Anatol Center]
  • Thesis Defense: Kevin Watson (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Persons and how we trace them: what Johnston got wrong’ • 09 Oct 2014, 3:00am–5:30pm, MHB–915


  • Thesis Defense: Emily Barrett (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Defending the doxastic conception of delusions’ • 05 Jun 2014, 10:00am–12:30pm, MHB–915
  • Symposium: 2014 CSULB Philosophy Day • 9:00pm5:30pm, 24 Apr 2014, LA1–304 [For information, contact organizers Wayne Wright & Marcy Lascano.]
    Keynote: Janet Levin (University of Southern California), ‘Is there a hard problem of consciousness?’
    Guest Speaker: Foad Dizadji-Bahmani (Cal State Los Angeles), ‘On the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics’
  • Colloquium [SPA]: Jeffrey Broughton (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Buddhist philosophy’ • 5:00pm6:00pm, 23 Apr 2014 in LA1300
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Alida Liberman (University of Southern California), ‘A promise/acceptance model of organ donation’ • 3:30pm5:00pm, 08 Apr 2014, LA5165
  • Colloquium [SPA]: Charles Wallis (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Do philosophers dream of Platonic sheep?’ • 5:00pm6:00pm, 27 Mar 2014 in LA1308
  • Thesis Defense: Philip Cross (Cal State Long Beach), ‘First causes and sufficient reasons: a defense of the cosmological argument’ • 14 Mar 2014, 12:00am–3:00pm, MHB–915
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Russ Shafer-Landau (University of Wisconsin), ‘The morality of the death penalty’ • 3:30pm5:00pm, 06 Mar 2014, LA5165
  • Colloquium [CLA]: John Corvino (Wayne State University), ‘The definition of marriage’ • 3:30pm5:30pm, 06 Feb 2014, AS119 Anatol Center [Co-sponsored with Departments of Political Science, Religious Studies, WGSS, and the Center for First Amendment Studies. For information, contact organizer Jason Raibley (AEF).] | flyer for the event


  • Thesis Defense: Dan Norton (Cal State Long Beach), ‘O’Connor’s agent causal theory of free will: an evaluation’ • 29 May 2013, 2:30pm–5:00pm, MHB–915
  • Symposium: 2013 CSULB Philosophy Day • 9:45am6:00pm, 03 May 2013 in AS234 [For information, contact organizers Marcy Lascano & Jason Raibley.]
    Keynote: Aaron James (University of California Irvine), ‘On the philosophical interest and surprising significance of the asshole’
    Guest Speaker: Kristen Irwin (Biola University), ‘Reason in Bayle and Leibniz’
  • Thesis Defense: Kristopher Gay (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Nietzsche’s great health: overcoming the Calliclean interpretation of the revaluation’ • 20 Mar 2013, 11:00am–2:00pm, MHB–915


  • Thesis Defense: T. Josh Folk (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Moral responsibility and manipulation’ • 06 Jul 2012, 11:00am–2:00pm, MHB–915
  • Symposium: 2012 CSULB Philosophy Day • 9:00am5:30pm 11 May 2012 in AS235 [For information, contact organizers Cory Wright & Alex Klein.]
    Keynote: Robin Jeshion (University of Southern California), ‘Dehumanizing slurs’
    Faculty Speaker: Max Rosenkrantz (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Bergmann, ontology, and the ideal language method’
  • Colloquium [AEF]: David Adams (Cal Poly Pomona) ‘Fairness, experimental research, and the desperately ill’ • 10 May 2012
  • Colloquium: Ken Brown (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo), ‘Virtual persons: lessons from Locke’ • 5:00pm7:00pm, 03 May 2012 in LA5–167
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Maria Svedberg (Stockholm University) ‘Free will and determinism: David Lewis’s local miracle compatibilism’ • 26 Apr 2012
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Harriet Baber (University of San Diego) ‘Freedom that matters’ • 11 Apr 2012
  • Colloquium: Eric Schliesser (Ghent University), ‘Spinoza and the Newtonians on motion and matter (and God, of course)’ • 3:30pm–5:30pm, 21 Oct 2011 in LA5246
  • Thesis Defense: Amy Massoud (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Dirty hands, virtue ethics, and consequentialism’ • 02 Aug 2011, 11:00am–2:00pm, MHB–915


  • Thesis Defense: John Clevenger (Cal State Long Beach), ‘The role of intuition in philosophical theory construction’ • 15 Jun 2011, 4:00pm–7:00pm, MHB–915
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Julie Tannenbaum (Pomona College) ‘The promise and peril of the pharmacological enhancer Modafinil’ • 14 Apr 2011
  • Colloquium: Jeremy Heis (University of California Irvine), ‘Kant on parallel lines’ • 5:00pm7:00pm, 07 Apr 2011
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Mohammed Abed (Cal State Los Angeles) ‘What is genocide?’ • 24 Feb 2011
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Steven Luper (Trinity University) ‘Retroactive harm’ • 17 Feb 2011
  • Colloquium: Sean Greenberg (University of California Irvine), ‘Occasionalism and human freedom in Malebranche: things that undermine each other’ • 5:00pm7:00pm, 24 Mar 2011 in CBA122
  • Conference: Pacific Society for Women in Philosophy (P-SWIP), Pacific Division Meeting [For information, contact organizer Nellie Wieland.]
    Keynote speaker: Talia Bettcher (Cal State Los Angeles), ‘Full frontal morality: transphobia, intimacy, and the LAPD treatment of transgender individuals’
  • Colloquium: Adam Swenson (Cal State Northridge), ‘Gnawing, searing, stabbing and throbbing: what pains might represent’ • 21 Sept 2010 in LA1304
  • Colloquium: Alex Klein (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Francis Galton’s experimental philosophy: the case against Berkeley on abstract ideas’ • 19 Sept 2010


  • Thesis Defense: David Glover (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Reconciling the doctrine of original sin with principles of moral responsibility’ • 18 Jun 2010, 3:00pm–5:00pm, MHB–915
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Jens Johansson (Uppsala University) ‘The philosophy of death’ • 13 May 2010
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Noell Birondo (Claremont McKenna) ‘Environmental ethics and the end of nature’ • 22 Apr 2010
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Michael Cholbi (Cal Poly Pomona) ‘A direct Kantian duty to animals’ • 13 Apr 2010
  • Thesis Defense: Kara Sutton-Jones (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Virtue theory and journalistic ethics’ • 24 Mar 2010, 5:00pm–7:30pm, MHB–915
  • Colloquium: Lex Newman (University of Utah), ‘Is sense perception direct? What we can learn from Descartes and Locke’ • 3:30pm5:30pm, 23 Mar 2010 in LA5–246


  • Thesis Defense: Saad Anis (Cal State Long Beach), ‘A defense of Mackie’s error theory’ • 19 Jun 2009, 12:00pm–2:30pm, MHB–915
  • Thesis DefenseJonathan Peto (Cal State Long Beach), ‘A defense of Donald Davidson’s dissolution of the problem of global skepticism’ • 12 Jun 2009, 1:00pm–3:30pm, MHB–915
  • Thesis Defense: Rick Fox (Cal State Long Beach), ‘The interpretive philosophy of Michael Krausz: a pragmatic application to the philosophical aesthetics of architecture’ • 15 May 2009, 6:00pm–8:30pm, MHB–915
  • Conference: Ethical and Social Scientific Perspectives on Well-being • 5–7 Mar 2009
    Neera Badhwar (University of Oklahoma), ‘Happiness: from subjectivity to objectivity’
    J. D. Trout (Loyola University Chicago), ‘Hard choices: paternalize or patronize?’
    Jason Raibley (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Health and well-being’
    Daniel Haybron (St. Louis University), ‘The proper pursuit of happiness’
    Erik Angner (University of Alabama Birmingham), ‘The politics of happiness: subjective versus economic measures as measures of social well-being’
    Golnaz Tabibnia (Carnegie Mellon), ‘Neuroeconomics and well-being’
    Valerie Tiberius (University of Minnesota), ‘Normative theory and psychological research: advantages of the value-based life-satisfaction theory of well-being’
    Charles Wallis (Cal State Long Beach), ‘The lazy eye of enactivism and other tales of horror from the bleeding edge of cognitive science’
    Michael Bishop (Florida State University), ‘What a theory of well-being might be’
    Randy Larsen (Washington University St. Louis), ‘Overcoming the hedonic treadmill: the role of positive and negative affect in psychological well-being’
    Georg Northoff (University of Magdeburg), ‘The brain and its self: empirical investigations and conceptual implications’
    Irving Biederman (University of Southern California), ‘The neural basis of perceptual and cognitive pleasure’
  • Colloquium: Julia Beauquel (Université Nancy), ‘Which definition for dance?’ • 3:30pm5:30pm, 12 Mar 2009 in MHB915
  • Colloquium: Julie Van Camp (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Yes, but is it vandalism? Graffiti, conceptual criminals, artists, and free speech’ • 3:30pm5:30pm, 25 Sept 2008


  • Colloquium [AEF]: Martin Gunderson (Macalester College) ‘Enhancing human rights: how the use of human rights treaties to prohibit genetic engineering weakens human rights’ • 13 Mar 2008
  • Conference: Horizons of Vision Research • 6–8 Mar 2008
    Melvyn Goodale (University of Western Ontario), ‘Acting without thinking: separate cortical pathways for visuomotor control and visual perception’
    Wayne Wright
    (Cal State Long Beach), ‘A hazard of looking to the world to explain color phenomena: the seductive appeal of argument ad pictorium’
    Kimberly Jameson (University of California Irvine), ‘There is much more to color than what meets the eye’

    Mohan Matthen (University of Toronto), ‘On the diversity of sensory objects’
    Russell Epstein
    (University of Pennsylvania), ‘Making a scene in the brain’

    Laurence Maloney (New York University), ‘Anthropocentric realism in three-dimensional scenes’
    Ronald Rensink (University of British Colombia), ‘Changing views of vision’
    Andrew Hollingworth (University of Iowa), ‘The visual representation of natural scenes’
    Jason Droll (University of California Santa Barbara), ‘How task demands and scene structure guide eye movements, visual attention and working memory’
    David Hilbert (University of Illinois Chicago), ‘Color blindness and basic sensible qualities’
    Irving Biederman (University of Southern California), ‘The perception of faces’
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Chris Heathwood (University of Colorado Boulder), ‘Personal identity and abortion’ • 21 Feb 2008
  • Colloquium: Eric Schwitzgebel (University of California Riverside), ‘[on the moral behavior of ethicists]’ • Nov 2008
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Laurie Shrage (Cal Poly Pomona), ‘Pro-choice or no-choice, and other alternatives’ • 8 Nov 2007
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Matt Zwolinski (University of San Diego), ‘The ethics of price gouging’ • 14 Nov 2007


  • Colloquium [AEF]: Edward Stein (Yeshiva Cardozo School of Law), ‘Etiology, mutability, and the law: a critique of biological and psychological arguments concerning lesbian and gay rights’ • 10 May 2007
  • Conference: Mirror Neurons and Cognition • 22–24 Feb 2007
    Charles Wallis
    (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Dual-use neural systems and theories of mental representation’
    Shaun Nichols (University of Arizona), ‘Mindreading and the problem of other minds’
    Alvin Goldman (Rutgers University), ‘Mirror systems, mental simulation, and mindreading’
    Amy Coplan (Cal State Fullerton), ‘tbd’
    Emily Cross (Dartmouth College), ‘Dance and the mirror neuron system’
    Remy Debes (University of Memphis), ‘Empathy, mirror neurons, and mistaken judgments about emotion’
    Colin Allen (University of Indiana), ‘Monkeys, minds, and mirror neurons’
    Antonia Hamilton (Dartmouth College), ‘The principle of mirroring: promises and limitations’
    Laurie Santos (Yale University), ‘tbd’
    James Blair (National Institutes of Health), ‘tbd’
    Marco Iacoboni (University of California Los Angeles), ‘Facing you: the neural basis of the intimacy of self and other’
    Jaime Pineda (University of California San Diego), ‘the functional significance of 8–13 Hz oscillations in sensorimotor cortex’
  • Colloquium: Julie van Camp (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Artist, get your gun’ • 11 Dec 2006
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Matt Zwolinski (University of San Diego), ‘Good folk gone bad: the moral psychology of unethical behavior at work’ • 2 Nov 2006


  • Colloquium [AEF]: Clare Palmer (Washington University St. Louis), ‘Animals, environmental ethics, and the importance of context’ • 4 May 2006
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Dale Jamieson (New York University), ‘The heart of environmentalism’ • 4 Apr 2006
  • Conference: The Epistemology of Natural and Artificial Systems • 23–26 Feb 2006
    Jennifer Cole Wright (University of Wyoming), ‘The moral epistemology of natural (virtuous) systems’
  • Conference [AEF]: Environmental Ethics, Aesthetics, and Education • 08 Nov 2005
    Jen Everett (Carleton College)
    Phil Cafaro (Colorado State University), ‘Gluttony, arrogance, greed, and apathy: an exploration of environmental vice’
    Ted Toadvine (University of Oregon), ‘The place of beauty in a world of fact: a phenomenology of environmental aesthetics’
    Brian Treanor (Loyola Marymount University), ‘Turn around and step forward: ideology and utopia in the environmental movement


  • Colloquium [AEF]: J. Angelo Corlett (San Diego State University), ‘Was 9/11 morally justified?’ • 10 Mar 2005
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Amy Coplan (Cal State Fullerton), ‘Caring about characters: four determinants of emotional engagement’ • 20 Apr 2005


  • Colloquium: Paul Churchland (University of California San Diego), ‘Chimerical colors: how to deduce predictions about subjective qualitative experience from objective scientific theories‘ • 11:00am–1:00pm, 28 Apr 2004, USU Sunset Lounge
  • Colloquium: Sara Goering (University of Washington), ‘The feminist relational self: who chooses, who controls?’ • 11:00am–1:00pm, 22 Apr 2004, AS–119
  • Colloquium: Richard Shusterman (Temple University), ‘Somaesthetics and self-cultivation’ • 11:00am–1:00pm, 14 Apr 2004, USU Sunset Lounge
  • Colloquium: David Chalmers (University of Arizona), ‘How can we construct a science of consciousness?’ • Mar 2004
  • Conference: Reasoning, Rationality, and Know How
    Franz-Peter Griesmaier (University of Wyoming), ‘tbd’
    Charles Wallis (Cal State Long Beach), ‘tbd’
    Mattihas Scheutz (University of Notre Dame), ‘tbd’

    Jennifer Cole Wright (University of Wyoming), ‘Is ethics a skill? towards a developmental account of ethical know-how’
    Geoff Gorham (Cal State Long Beach), ‘tbd’
    Alan Richardson (Cal State Long Beach), ‘Reason, logic, and history: logical empiricism and knowing how’
    Dan Chiappe (Cal State Long Beach), ‘tbd’
    Robert Cummins (University of Illinois), ‘tbd’
    Keith Stanovich (University of Toronto), ‘Rationality and evolution: the robot’s rebellion in the age of Darwin’
    Denise Cummins (University of California Davis), ‘tbd’
  • Conference [AEF]: Race, Social Justice, and the Professions • 19 Feb 2004 
    Naomi Zack (University of Oregon), ‘The reconstruction of race in higher education: hope now’
    Jorge L. A. Garcia (Boston College)
    Howard McGary (Rutgers University)
    David Kim (University of San Francisco)


  • Conference [AEF]: The Ethics of Stem Cell Research and Human Cloning • 5 Apr 2003
    Carol Itatani (Cal State Long Beach)
    Mary Mahowald (University of Chicago)
    Radhika Rao (Hastings College of Law)
    Bonnie Steinbock (SUNY Albany)


  • Conference: Cognitive Science in the New Millennium: Foundations, Directions, Applications, and Problems • 11–14 Apr 2002
    Joseph Cruz (Williams College), ‘How connectionism constrains some psychological explanations’
    Susan Schneider (Moravian College), ‘Direct Reference, Psychological Explanation, and Frege Cases’
    Ned Block (New York University), ‘tbd’
    Owen Flannigan (Duke University), ‘tbd’
    John Bickle (University of Cincinnati), ‘Lessons for methodology in cognitive neuroscience from a combined neurocomputational modeling/fMRI project’
    Chris Eliasmith (University of Waterloo), ‘Foundations of cognitive science: continuity, dynamics, and representation’
    Ronald Giere (University of Minnesota), ‘The role of computation in scientific cognition’
    William Ramsey (University of Notre Dame), ‘Are receptors representations?’
    William Bechtel (Washington University St. Louis), ‘Mechanism, dynamics, and visual experience’
    Franz-Peter Griesmaier (University of Wyoming), ‘On explaining phenomenal consciousness’
    Valerie Hardcastle (Virginia Tech), ‘tbd’
    Donald D. Hoffman (University of California Irvine), ‘tbd’
    Jorge Fernandez (Brown University), ‘Explanation by simulation’
    Irving Biederman (University), ‘tbd’
    Michael Bishop & J. D. Trout (Universities of), ‘Epistemology as philosophy of science’
    Mathew McCormick (Cal State Sacramento), ‘tbd’
    Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini (University of Arizona), ‘Internalist versus proceduralist approaches to decision-making’
    Denise Cummins (University of California Davis), ‘The evolution and development of social cognition’
    Robert Cummins (University of California Davis), ‘Cognitive evolutionary psychology without representational nativism’
  • Conference [AEF]: Challenging Democracy: Religious Diversity and Political Institutions on a Global Scale • 8 Mar 2002
    M. A. Muqtedar Khan (Adrian College)
    Matthius Lutz-Bachmann (Goethe Universitat)
    Andrew Wallace (Sonoma State University)
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Michael Pritchard (Western Michigan University), ‘Perception and imagination in engineering ethics’ • 26 Nov 2001


  • Conference [AEF]: Sequencing the Future: Ethical Issues Arising from the Human Genome Project • 21 Apr 2001
    Troy Duster (University of California Berkeley), ‘Behavioral genetics, genetic technology, and the problem of public understanding’
    Erik Parens (Hastings Center), ‘Symbolic concerns, public conversation, and the prospect of inheritable genetic enhancement’
    Anita Silvers (San Francisco State University), ‘Predictive genetic testing and genetic discrimination’
  • Conference [AEF]: Philosophy and Ethics in Children’s Literature • 21 Jun 2001
    Gareth Matthews (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Claudia Mills (University of Colorado Boulder)
    David Shapiro (University of Washington)
    Dale Turner (Cal Poly Pomona)
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Xinyan Jiang (University of Redlands), ‘Rational beings and moral agency in Xunzi’ • 16 Jun 2001
  • Colloquium [AEF]: Ann Davis (Pomona College), ‘Running faster but moving slower: information, technology, and the ambiguity of progress’ • 12 Apr 2000


  • Colloquium:  Susana Nuccetelli (St. Cloud State University), ‘Knowledge of semantic content’ • Mar 2000