California State University
Long Beach

1250 Bellflower Boulevard

Long Beach, California




map to CSULB

Academic Services
Room 235 map to ACS 235


Robin Jeshion
Robin Jeshion (USC)
Max Rosenkrantz
Max Rosenkrantz (CSULB)
Michael Tiboris
Michael Tiboris (UCSD)
Neil Richmond
Neil Richmond (CSULB)
Curtis Lane
Curtis Lane (CSULB)


Josh Feng (CSULB)
Zien Halwani  Zien Halwani (CSULB)

organizers / contacts

Cory Wright
Cory Wright (CSULB)
Alexander Klein
Alex Klein (CSULB)

philosophy day symposium

may 11, 2012

about philosophy day

Philosophy is pleased to announce its first annual "Philosophy Day" symposium, which is primarily dedicated to providing all current and prospective majors and minors with an end-of-the year celebration of students' success and interests in the subject matter of Philosophy.

The event will feature talks and comments from undergraduate minors / majors, graduate students, and faculty. The keynote talk will be given by Robin Jeshion (University of Southern California) on the linguistic analysis of racial slurs and epithets.


10:00 a.m.
welcoming remarks: Drs Gerry Riposa & Mark Wiley (Deans)
introductory remarks: Dr. Wayne Wright (Department chairperson)
chairperson: Nasreen Atik (undergraduate student)
speaker: Neil Richmond (graduate student)
"Not Everyone has (is) a Story: Non-narrative Personal Identity and Issues in Clinical Ethics"
commentary: Zien Halwani (undergraduate student)
chairperson: Levon Parseghian (undergraduate student)
speaker: Dr. Michael Tiboris (faculty)
"What's Wrong with Adaptive Preference?"
12:15 p.m.
chairperson: Philip Cross (graduate student)
speaker: Dr. Max Rosenkrantz (faculty)
"Bergmann, Ontology, and the "Ideal Language" Method"
Coffee Break
chairperson: Amelia Flores (undergraduate student)
speaker: Curtis Lane (graduate student)
"Hull and Species"
commentary: Josh Feng (undergraduate student)
organizers' introduction: Drs. Alex Klein & Cory Wright (faculty)
keynote speaker: Dr. Robin Jeshion (faculty)
"Dehumanizing Slurs"


The "Philosophy Day" symposium is being held in the Academic Services building Room 235, which is the building located between the CSULB Library and the Mcintosh Humanities Tower.



Neil Richmond, "Not Everyone has (is) a Story: Non-narrative Personal Identity and Issues in Clinical Ethics"
I discuss the importance and relative strengths of two "phenomenological" conceptions of personal identity. This discussion is framed by several contemporary debates in clinical ethics that directly involve questions of personal identity as well as autonomy and appropriate epistemic (cognito-rational) status. These include: whether patients have the right-to-die, and what features of a patient's psychology, history, personality and, perhaps, personal narrative must be evaluated in progressing on this issue seriously; advanced directives and their applicability and/or moral warrant once the "narrative identity" of the agent has been seriously compromised or eradicated completely; the morality of deceit and manipulation in medical settings. I discuss narrative identity as conceived by several contemporary theorists in bio-clinical ethics and personal identity. I critique specific claims of universality made by narrative theorists, and contend that some individuals do not experience personal agency as narrative, but as loosely or closely related, sometimes temporally arranged, episodic clusters. I develop a preliminary sketch of "episodic personal identity," taking my lead from Galen Strawson's original notion.

Dr. Michael Tiboris, "What's Wrong with Adapative Preference?"
An adaptive preference is a desire formed in response to an agent's limited options.  Mostly, philosophers have argued against the value of adaptive preference formation on the grounds that it undercuts autonomy, or because it has been used as a tool of oppressive social regimes to encourage repressed groups to embrace their repression.  These are legitimate worries but, as I argue in this paper, they do not show that adaptive preferences cannot be valuable or support autonomy.  In response, I develop some ways in which adaptive preference formation can show a person to have exactly the kind of self-understanding we think of as central to rational self-guidance and autonomy.
Dr. Max Rosenkrantz, "Bergmann, Ontology, and the 'Ideal Language' Method"
In the mid-20th Century, Gustav Bergmann developed a distinctive conception of ontological analysis and a distinctive method (the ideal-language method) for pursuing it. This talk explains the conception and method and shows how they allowed Bergmann to respond to the Logical Positivists' charge that ontology was meaningless, while avoiding the three great failings of analytic philosophy: formalism, scientism and ahistoricism. 
Curtis Lane, "Hull and Species"
Building on the work on Michael Ghiselin, David Hull argues that species are individuals rather than natural kinds. Since Hull first argued for this thesis in the 1970s, his account of species has become the majority view in Philosophy of Biology. In this paper, I explore the link between lineage and temporal continuity in Hull’s account of species as individuals. While Hull’s argument treats lineage as necessarily connected with spatial coherence and temporal continuity, I argue that lineage and temporal continuity are conceptually separable. This conceptual separation poses a problem for the thesis that species are individuals.
Dr. Robin Jeshion, "Dehumanizing Slurs"
Slurring terms are expressions conventionally used to express contempt for groups of persons on the basis of their ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, gender, occupation, and various other socially significant categories. Familiar slurring terms include “Chink”, “Kike”, “dyke”, “queer”, “Spic”, “Nigger”, and “whore”. My primary ambition is to provide a general theory of the linguistic properties of slurring words. In this paper, I address two main questions: (a) What is the linguistic source of the offensiveness of slurs? (b) How should we explain slurs’ appropriation, i.e., the phenomena through which a slurring term’s offensive content is neutralized?


This event is sponsored by:

Student Philosophy Association College of Liberal Arts

CSULB Philosophy Department