Skip to main content


Dr. Heather Battaly – University of Connecticut

“Closed-mindedness and Arrogance”

Friday, February 21, 2020, 3:30-5:15 p.m. ILC Room 203

Are closed-mindedness and arrogance the same thing? Or, are they different things that are usually found together but sometimes come apart? Here, I propose analyses of closed-mindedness and arrogance that allow them to come apart, while also explaining why they are so often found together. Section I identifies closed-mindedness with being unwilling to engage seriously with intellectual options or unwilling to revise one’s beliefs. Section II identifies arrogance with under-owning one’s cognitive shortcomings and over-owning one’s cognitive strengths. Section III focuses on a sub-set of cases in which closed-mindedness and arrogance come apart. Examples include academics, who engage with flat-earthers, and activists, who engage with white supremacists, while being unwilling to revise their own beliefs that the earth is round and that people are people. The final section explains why we should nevertheless expect closed-mindedness and arrogance to be found together.

“Quitting, Procrastinating, and Slacking Off”

Saturday, February 22, 2020, 11:00-12:45 p.m. ILC Room 203

This chapter focuses on the traits of quitting, procrastinating, and slacking off, which are different ways to lack the trait of intellectual perseverance. The first section draws on recent work in virtue epistemology to provide an account of intellectual perseverance.  It distinguishes between the trait of intellectual perseverance and the virtue that goes by the same name, arguing that the trait of intellectual perseverance is not a virtue when one has it to excess—roughly, when one doesn’t know when to quit. Sections II through IV propose working definitions of the traits of quitting, procrastinating, and slacking off, as deficiencies of, or ways of lacking, the trait of intellectual perseverance. I examine why these traits are intellectual vices when they are, while leaving open the possibility that they sometimes fail to be intellectual vices and might even be intellectual virtues.

Morning Tea with a Philosopher

Bronco Welcome!

Please join us in our new location on the 6th floor of the Education building, room 643 for Morning Tea with a Philosopher. Enjoy great conversation, tea, coffee, and donuts.

Dr. Julia Staffel – University of Colorado

“Unsettled Thoughts: A Theory of Degrees of Rationality”

Friday, October 4, 2019, 3:30-5:15 p.m. ILC Room 302

“Pro Tem Rationality”

Saturday, October 5, 2019, 10:00-11:45 a.m. , ILC Room 302

Philosophy’s Bronco Welcome!

  • Friday, August 31, 2019
  • 11:00-2:00pm
  • Philosophy Booth on the Quad
Bronco Welcome banner

Do you have free will? Does God know your whole future? Does God even exist? Could everything around us be part of an elaborate Virtual Reality computer simulation? Could we ourselves be mere characters in such a simulation? Will you go on existing after the death of your body?

These are some of the “Big Questions” you might have about reality and our place in it.

If you have your own Big Questions, or would like to try out your answers to the Big Questions on a real-life philosopher, come to the Philosophy Department’s Booth in the Quad on Bronco Welcome day.

Just look for the sign that says “The Philosopher is in.”

The Philosopher is In


Philosophy Club Gathering

  • Papa Joe’s Italian – Capitol Boulevard (across from campus)
  • Thursday, February 21, 2019
  • 7:00 pm
  • Join us for discussion of Thomas Nagel’s “The Absurd”!
  • All philosophiles welcome! (And don’t be absurd, of course future philosophiles are welcome too!)
  • Read Thomas Nagel’s ‘The Absurd’

Kripke’s Puzzles

Flyer for Kripke's Puzzles Event

You are invited to come listen to Boise State University alum Trevor Adams as he delves into Saul Kripke and his puzzles.

Gender in Research and Creative Activites

Flyer for the
  • Thursday, April 5th
  • 3-5:30 pm
  • Albertson’s Library, room 201C
  • More info here

A Talk with Lisa King

The Walking Dead as normalizing & bio-political nightmare: a discussion with Lisa King

  • Friday, April 6th
  • 12:00 pm
  • The SUB, Bishop Barnwell room
  • A critique of The Walking Dead using Foucault on normalizing & biopower to rethink race, gender, class, and human community
Flyer for the Lisa King Event

Hanh Nguyen – “How Bigotry Begins”

  • Friday 23rd February
  • ILC 202
  • 3:30-5:00pm

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 non-humans as well.

​​​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

Personal Identity and Theories

Dr. Gilmore Friday talk

of Fission

Dr. Cody Gilmore,
Philosophy Department
UC Davis

Friday 10th Nov.
Farnsworth Room,
Student Union
Sponsored by ASBSU & The Philosophy Club

Open to the Public

Ternary Orders in Temporal Topology, Personal Identity, & Theory of Ground

Dr. Gilmore Saturday talk

Dr. Cody Gilmore,
UC Davis

Saturday 11th Nov.
Farnsworth Room,
Student Union Building

*All welcome; geared towards Philosophy faculty and students.

Sponsored by ASBSU & The Philosophy Club

Dr. David Chalmers- New York University

The Philosophy Department at Boise State in cooperation with Idaho

The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality

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?

Friday, February 24. 3:30 to 5:15pm
Education Building 110

Most of us rely on our smartphones for a variety of tasks, and carry them with us for most of our waking hours. Some philosophers and futurists argue that, given the way we now use such devices, they are no longer merely convenient tools: they are literally parts of our minds. This means that our minds extend beyond the limits of our bodies. Dr. Brie Gertler from University of Virginia evaluates this argument, and claims that our minds may actually be less extended in this way than we might normally assume.

*Philosophy faculty and majors are invited to “Dualism vs Physicalism, a fresh look at the debate”on Saturday, February 25 at 10:30 am to 12:15pm in ILC 202.

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.