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Philosophy Day SP18

May 11, 2018 @ 12:00 pm - 5:45 pm

Come join us at the eighth Philosophy Day Symposium at Cal State Long Beach, as we celebrate our students and the end of the academic year.
There’s another great line-up of speakers for our SP18 event, leading off with Keynote speaker Amy Kind. The event will take place this coming Friday May 11th 2018, from 12:00–5:45, in USU–304 (3rd floor of Student Union).


12:00pm–1:45pm: Keynote Presentation
Amy Kind (Claremont McKenna)
‘Bridging the divide: imagining across experiential perspectives’
  • Abstract: Can one have access to experiential perspectives vastly different from one’s own?  Can one know what it’s like to live a life very different from one’s own?  These questions are particularly pressing in contemporary society as we try to bridge racial, ethnic, and gender divides. Yet in both popular culture and in philosophical contexts, we see considerable pessimism in this regard, i.e., it is often thought that the gulf between vastly different experiential perspectives cannot be bridged.  In this paper, I explore the case for this pessimism, and I also explore whether and how reliance on imagination might lead us to a more optimistic conclusion.
2:00pm–2:30pm: Undergraduate Student Research Presentation
Richard Link (Cal State Long Beach)
‘Luminosity and its limits’
  • Abstract: The principle of luminosity states that a condition, α, is said to be a luminous one if whenever α obtains for an individual, they are in a position to know that α obtains. In his book, Knowledge and Its Limits, Timothy Williamson presents a paradox which aims to show that the principle of luminosity is incompatible with knowledge. I will examine his claims and argue that the problem Williamson’s paradox picks up is not a problem with the principle of luminosity but rather has to do with the diversity of our phenomenal states and our ability to categorize them into concepts.
2:30pm–3:00pm: Undergraduate Honors Showcase
Cameron Stein (Cal State Long Beach)
‘Foucaults’s Discipline and Punish: an exposition of its argument’
  • Abstract: Michel Foucault is one of the most cited figures in the humanities, and Discipline and Punish one of his most cited works. However, many of its central concepts, though well known, are misinterpreted, while others are neglected. My aim is to provide a more thorough and comprehensive interpretation of Discipline and Punish than is customarily found in the literature. In doing so, I argue that Discipline and Punish is intended to spark an engagement with the present by investigating the formation of mechanisms of power through history. Emphasis should not be placed on a condemnation of the modern prison system. Rather, we should take Foucault’s project as a guide for critical engagement with the mechanisms of power dispersed throughout society.
3:15pm–4:00pm: Graduate Student Research Presentation
Vincent del Prado (Cal State Long Beach)
‘Necessary and proper objects of moral concern: on the land ethic reconsidered’
  • Abstract: Aldo Leopold’s influential work ‘The land ethic’ presents an argument for why we should expand the realm of moral concern so as to include land (waters, soils, plants, and animals). Charles Starkey defends the land ethic from two important objections by arguing that it is a theory of moral development and ecological rationality. I argue that this defense of the land ethic cannot be grounded in the claim that land should be included in the realm of moral concern because of a necessary connection to proper objects of moral concern (uncontroversially humans, and plausibly many animals as well). I then address the potential objections to my argument and shape a full theory akin to the land ethic accordingly.
4:15pm–5:45pm: Faculty Presentation
Alex Klein (Cal State Long Beach)
‘The curious case of the decapitated frog: on experiment and philosophy’
  • Abstract: Physiologists have long known that some vertebrates can survive for months without a brain. This phenomenon attracted limited attention until the 19th century when a series of experiments on living, decapitated frogs ignited a controversy about consciousness. Pflüger demonstrated that such creatures do not just exhibit reflexes; they also perform purposive behaviors. Suppose one thinks, along with Pflüger’s ally Lewes, that purposive behavior is a mark of consciousness. Then one must count a decapitated frog as conscious. If one rejects this mark, one can avoid saying peculiar things about decapitated animals. But as Huxley showed, this position leads quickly to epiphenomenalism. The dispute long remained stalemated because it rested on conflicting sets of intuitions that were each compatible with the growing body of experiments. What eventually resolved it is that one set of intuitions supported a research program in physiology that came to seem more fruitful on the whole. So my case study suggests an alternative model for experimental philosophy as compared with more recent practice. Rather than using experiment to bolster our philosophical intuitions directly, we should explore how our philosophical intuitions might bolster (or block) fruitful experimental inquiry in science.
6:30pm: Dinner at local restaurant
Speakers, participants, and guests invited!


May 11, 2018
12:00 pm - 5:45 pm


Nellie Wieland


CSULB University Student Union
Long Beach, CA 90840-2408 United States
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