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Hanh Nguyen – “How Bigotry Begins”

In this talk, I discuss how different groups of humans have been “animalized” as a means to justify their exploitation throughout history, and how being treated “like an animal” to this day is synonymous with the highest level of insult to one’s dignity.

The exploitation of humans and non-human animals has often gone hand in hand, enabling the most oppressive legacies of human history, such as colonialism. Then I explain how the same mindset exaggerating differences serves to create arbitrary social categories and hierarchies.

Finally, given science’s progress in understanding the inner lives of non-human animals and rendering obsolete their use for food, clothing, etc., I ask whether a commitment to social justice and equality means extending rights and protections to nonhumans as well.Hanh Nguyen

​​​Call for undergraduate papers

Ephemeris, Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy

We are extending the due date to FEBRUARY 20th.

(We thank those who have submitted work — our review process is commencing.) ​ Ephemeris is an undergraduate journal of philosophy that is student-run and dedicated to publishing exceptional undergraduate writing grounded in the distinct value and interest of the philosophical endeavor.

Contributions: Contributions are solicited in all areas of the philosophical discipline. Contributions should take the form of essay, article, or short note. Review articles are welcome. Please include a short abstract describing the thesis of the paper and main conclusions.


​ Ephemeris 2018 wIll include a special section on the topic whether it is justifiable in a democracy to implement public policy motivated by personal conviction with an eye to such topics as whether religious citizens and politicians may vote or legislate their religious convictions, whether the state may subsidize religious schools and related topics. We will publish the three best papers we receive in this field.

Submission: Be sure to include your name, postal and email addresses, and the university or college in which you are enrolled as an undergraduate.

​Please send your work and any correspondence to
Submission Deadline:

Extended to February 20th, 2018

​For more information about Ephemeris and submission guidelines, please visit our website.

Dr. Cody Gilmore – UC Davis

Open to the Public

All Welcome: geared towards Philosophy students and Faculty

All Welcome: geared towards Philosophy students and Faculty

Dr. David Chalmers- New York University

The Philosophy Department at Boise State in cooperation with Idaho Humanities Council is pleased to present a free public lecture by internationally known philosopher David Chalmers entitled “The Virtual and the Real: The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality.”   The lecture will take place this
coming Tuesday, March 14 from 6pm-8pm at the Community Library in Ketchum, Idaho

Many of Dr. Chalmers’s public appearances and television appearances can be seen on YouTube. For example, he participated in the 2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation? (hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson):

He also be seen here giving a TED Talk on consciousness:

and here being interviewed on the same topic on the PBS series Closer to Truth:

Dr. Brie Gertler- University of Virginia

Does your mind extend beyond your body?

Open to the public & campus community


Open to the public & campus community-

Friday 24th February

3:30pm – 5:15pm  in Education Building 110

van-dyke-jpegDr. Christina Van Dyke – Calvin College

Open to the public & the campus community-

Friday, November 11th


Multipurpose Classroom Building (MPCB) – Room 106

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.’



Students and faculty of Philosophy and students in other interested disciplines — please join the Philosophy Department for a discussion:

Saturday, November 12th


Interactive Learning Center (ILC) – Room 303

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.