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Philosophers In Action

Philosophy students attend 23rd Annual Pac U Conference

Philosophy students at the 23rd Annual Pac U Undergrad Conference, April 5-6, 2019

Boise State Philosophy students and faculty attended  23rd Annual Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference in Forest Grove, Oregon April 5-6, 2019












Dr Cortens being a cowboy at the Ranch Metaphysics Conference

Chair of the Philosophy Department, Dr Cortens, attends the Ranch Metaphysics Conference in Tuscon, Arizona where he tries his hand at cutting cattle!

Dr Cortens Horse riding 2

Dr Cortens

Dr Cortens Horse riding

Dr Cortens


Bronco Welcome at the Philosophy Department


Philosophy Professors and students along with prospective philosophy students

Philosophy faculty and current philosophy students along with prospective students

This Wednesday the Philosophy Department hosted a chili lunch as the Bronco Welcome for prospective  Philosophy students.








Dave McKerracher

Our very own Dave McKerracher is graduating!

Congratulations to Dave – the first in his family to graduate from college. He was also chosen as the marshal for the College of Arts and Sciences at the Winter Commencement on December 17th in the Taco Bell Arena, and will carry the banner to represent the college.






McKerracher and Honors Dean Andrew Finstuen


Dave attended the Honors College Winter Gathering and Graduation Ceremony on  December 1st where Honors students who are graduating are recognized. Dave is graduating with Distinguished Honors in Philosophy.






Dr. Christina Van Dyke was a Fall colloquium speaker on Friday, November 11th. Her talk was open to the public and campus community and drew a good crowd for the event.  Dr. Van Dyke came to us from Calvin College located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. To learn more about her, please visit her home page



Abstract: Adding Fuel to the Fire? Orthorexia and Gendered Eating

Orthorexia is an obsession with maintaining the perfect diet for optimal health. Whereas people with anorexia are obsessed with the quantity of the food they eat, people with orthorexia are fixated on the quality of the food they eat. In contrast to anorexia, which disproportionately affects young women, orthorexia appears to affect men and women at roughly equal rates. At the same time, gendered eating norms play into the manifestation of orthorexia. Ideals of health are different for men and women: health for men is linked to strength and endurance, while for women it is equated with attractiveness (i.e., thinness) and competence. These differences are important when asking why the quest for a healthy diet might turn destructive. I suggest that the root answer to this question lies in philosophical traditions that seek to transcend (rather than embrace) the body. In short, orthorexia is just the newest manifestation of body-loathing. This recognition gives us strong reason to resist cultural assignations of certain foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and to push hard against the force those terms acquire in the endless quest for ‘healthy living.’


Saturday, November 12th, 10:30-12:15pm, Interactive Learning Center (ILC) – Room 303

Abstract: God in Us- Emotion, Embodiment, and Medieval Mysticism

Mystical experiences are often seen as the highest form of religious experience, as they are taken to involve unmediated contact with the Divine. At the same time, as highly uncommon experiences with no means of external verification, mystical experiences are often viewed with suspicion. Together with other factors, this suspicion has produced a definition of ‘mystical experience’ in analytic philosophy of religion that explicitly excludes affective and embodied experiences. Appealing to the medieval affective tradition, I argue that we should believe the testimony of the vast number of contemplatives who report that they have had physical and sensory mystical experiences giving them a real connection to an incarnate God. I conclude by offering a proposal in analogy with the familiar Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief: the sort of union with God focused on in current discussions is just one of a number of valid mystical experiences that comprise the mystic’s life. Although this does not leave us with a technical definition of mystical experience, I suggest that the quest for such a definition might hinder understanding of the mystic’s life.


Neil Sinhabubu pic


Dr. Neil Sinhababu, Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore, will be offering a ‘The Value of Philosophy in the Age of Google’ to the general public and the campus community.

Friday, August 26th at 3:30pm  in MultiPurpose Building Room 106.

No reservation required.  Please join us.

Abstract:  Technology makes it easy to do complex calculations, store information, and transmit this information to the world. While technology reduces the need for human calculation and memorization, it increases the value of developing the conceptual foundations for new knowledge, which can then be more easily discovered and transmitted. Developing these conceptual foundations often requires combining premises from different domains in reasoning, developing and clarifying concepts, and expressing ideas clearly. These abilities are central to philosophy.

To learn more about Dr. Sinhababu here below are links to his Homepage and Blog:


Dr. Andrew Cortens and his Hankerin’ for Cowboy Philosophy

Andrew Cortens on horseback at the Metaphysics Workshop held at White Stallion Ranch, Tucson AZ in January 2016

Cortens contemplates cowpoking in January in Tucson, Arizona

Dr. Andrew Cortens attended the 2016 annual Ranch Metaphysics Workshop January 27-31 at the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona.

Dr. Alex Jackson Talks About Civility

Alex Jackson at City Club of Boise speaking on Civility

Dr. Alex Jackson and Dr. Stephanie Witt lead a discussion on civility January 28, 2016 at the City Club of Boise.

Dr. Alex Jackson (Philosophy) and Dr. Stephanie Witt (Public Policy and Administration), and Dr. Steve Shaw (Political Science at NNU) lead the discussion on civility on Thursday, January 28th in Boise State University’s downtown space at the Collier Building for the City Club of Boise in January.

Listen to the discussion.

Philosophy Department, Dr. Reina Hayaki, Eric Torres Photos

Dr. Reina Hayaki of U. Nebraska-Lincoln, gives talk on Nov. 13th, “Is Sherlock Holmes Real?”

Dr. Reina Hayaki Gives Talk

Boise State students (Philosophy, English linguistics, etc.), faculty and community members attend Dr. Reina Hayaki’s presentation, “Is Sherlock Holmes Real?” on November 13th in the Multi Purpose building.

Dr. Hayaki’s areas in philosophy are metaphysics, philosophy of language and philosophical logic. To learn more visit Dr. Reina Hayaki, University of Nebraska-Lincoln at UNL.

Philosophers on the move! Picture of Nietzsche as Superman

Christopher Bower, former philosophy student (and former vice-president of the Philosophy Student Club) was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship  starting Fall 2015 in Tajikistan. We are so proud of him!

Dave McKerracher, philosophy student, spent three weeks in Thailand in June 2015 teaching disadvantaged students English and life skills. What a fabulous experience.

Jim Stockton, lecturer, presented a paper, Alasdair MacIntyre’s Participation in the Oxford University Socratic Club, to the 9th annual International Society for MacIntyrean Enquiry conference held at St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri  July 23-25, 2015.

Dr. Alex Jackson, philosophy assistant professor, delivered a peer reviewed paper at the Joint Sessions of the Aristotelian Society and Mind Association conference held at Warwick University, England July 10-13, 2015.