The Philosophy Colloquium


The philosophy colloquium is the place where members of the Philosophy faculty, members of other departments, students, and invited speakers from other academic institutions meet to share and discuss works in progress.

Coming Up:

Friday December 5

in Mackinac Hall BL-L110 at 3:00PM

Azfar Hussain

(GVSU Liberal Studies)

Will be giving a talk entitled:

Philosophy, Politics, and Praxis:
Rereading Du Bois and Fanon in the Era of Late Capitalism and ‘Post-racial’ Racism

Abstract: The talk offers and mobilizes a re-reading of certain ignored aspects of the works of two major figures in what might be loosely called "Third-World Philosophy:" W.E.B. Du Bois, the African American philosopher-activist, and Frantz Fanon, the Caribbean philosopher-activist of decolonization.  And this re-reading is undertaken in the light of the Latin American philosopher Enrique Dussel's "philosophy of liberation" and the French philosopher Alain Badiou's "philosophy for the militants." Calling attention to the racism underlying the formation of the Western philosophical canon, while also arguing that philosophy itself cannot be politically and ideologically neutral in the final instance, the talk offers certain tentative propositions about the question of liberation in the service of anti-capitalist and anti-colonial struggles in Asia, Africa, and Latin America today.



All colloquia will be on Fridays in Mackinac Hall (MAK) BLL-110 from 3:00-4:30 pm (unless otherwise noted)

Contact Professor Andrew Spear ( with any questions.



Fall 2014 Schedule (pdf)


Winter 2014 Schedule


January 24


The Persistence of Agency Through Social Institutions and Caring for Future Generations

 Elizabeth Victor (GVSU Philosophy)



January 31


Robustness of Cosmological Simulations

Emre Keskin (GVSU Philosophy)




February 13


Hauenstein Center American Conversation Lecture,

7:00 PM Loosemore Auditorium (Downtown Campus):

Structural Conditions for Civility  

Deborah Mower (Youngstown State University)

February 14


Ritual as Cognitive Scripts for Moral Perception

Deborah Mower  (Youngstown State University)



March 14

Heidegger & Mereology

Tyler Klaskow (GVSU Philosophy)



21 & 22

2nd Annual Calvin-GVSU Undergraduate Philosophy Conference (Location: Kennedy Hall of Engineering Rooms 324/330 on GVSU’s Downtown Campus)

March 21 at (Time TBA) Keynote: The Incarnation and the Multiverse

Tim O’Connor (Indiana University)

March 22 at (Times TBA) Student Presentations

March 28

Skepticism, Realism, and Transactional Pragmatism

Frank Ryan (Kent State University)

April 4

Seneca’s Theoretically Practical Modes of Living

Peter Anderson (GVSU Classics)

April 11

The Actual Absolute and the Ideal Community of Inquirers: Peirce and Royce 100 Years Later   

Kelly Parker and Dwayne Tunstall (GVSU Philosophy)


Fall 2013 Schedule


September 20



Relativism without the Fancy Intensions

Gillian Russell (Washington University in St. Louis)


September 27


Atomic Poetry and the Philosophy of Lucretius

Gwen Gruber (GVSU Classics)



October 11


Topic: Metaphysics, Title: TBA
Wesley Cray (GVSU Philosophy)


October 18


Special Event in Honor of GVSU Philosophy Distinguished Alumnus Craig Reynolds, Associate Director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects at the University of Michigan.



Wednesday October 23

To Really Learn, Should I Quit Studying and Take a Test? The Role of Trying to Remember in Establishing New Knowledge  

Tom Carr (Michigan State University Psychology)

Co-sponsored meeting with GVSU Psychology Department, ROOM TBA


November 1


Topic: Accelerationism, Title: TBA

Steven Shaviro (Wayne State English)

Note: 4:30pm in Kennedy Hall of Engineering Rooms 324/330 on GVSU’s downtown campus.

Co-sponsored with GVSU College of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Office for Public Culture, and GVSU School of Communications


November 15

Does Autonomy have an Authenticity Component?

Jeffrey Byrnes (GVSU Philosophy)

November 22

The History of Philosophy vs. The History of Ideas

David Vessey (GVSU Philosophy)


Winter 2013 Schedule

January 18


Teaching Practice on the Chinese Traditional Culture for Foreigners

Xiaohua Wang

(Zhejiang Gongshang University & Visiting Scholar at GVSU)

January 25

Are Atheists Normal? Reflections on the Cognitive Science of Religion

Kelly Clark

(Kaufman Interfaith Institute & GVSU Philosophy)



February 8


Pediatric Assent versus Adult Consent

Eric Chwang

(University of Colorado at Boulder)

February 15

No One Freely Causes Harm

Debra Nails

(Michigan State University)


March 22


Charles Hogg

(GVSU Philosophy

April 12


Lambert Zuidervaart
(Institute for Christian Studies of Toronto)


Fall 2012 Schedule


October 4---6

Society for Ethics Across The Curriculum 14th Annual Conference hosted at GVSU (Downtown)



October 5


Picturing Human Life

Michael Slote

(University of Miami)



October 12


Humility: From Sacred Virtue to Secular Vice?

David McNaughton

(Florida State University)


October 26


Intentionality and Indexicality: Content Internalism and Husserl’s Logical Investigations

Andrew Spear

(Grand Valley State University)



November 9


Vainglory (full title TBA)

Rebecca DeYoung

 (Calvin College)


November 16


Yuhu Yu

(Xiamen University)


November 30

Contextualizing Exploitation

Hallie Liberto

(University of Connecticut)


December 7

Ethics, the Theory-Action Gap, and the Promise of Activist Pedagogy

Lisa Kretz

(Grand Valley State University)


Winter 2012 Schedule



 February 3



Nietzsche and Blanchot on the Eternal Return of Finitude

Matt Sanderson

(West Shore Community College)




February 10


Co-Sponsored with GVSU East Asian Studies

Interpreting Lao Zi’s view on Dao through a close reading of the line 'It goes everywhere yet is never in peril’ in chapter 25 of Dao De Jing

Li Ruohui

(Fudan University)




March 16


Analytic Moral Functionalism and its Permutation Problem

Michael Byron

(Kent State)



March 23



Cristina Lafont

(Northwestern University)



March 30


Robust Flickers of Freedom

Michael Robinson

(GVSU Philosophy)



April 13


Talking Virtue Without Character: A Response to Empirical Challenges to Virtue Ethics

Brian Robinson

(GVSU Philosophy)





Fall 2011 Calendar




September 15



The Lost Art of Democratic Debate? A Panel Discussion

(GVSU Professors Charles Pazdernik, John Uglietta, Kathleen Underwood, and Darren Walhof)




Thursday September 22


GVSU Fall Arts Celebration Distinguished Lecture:

Justice: What’s the Right thing to Do?

Michael Sandel (Harvard)

Time & Location: 7pm on the 2nd floor of the Eberhard Center GVSU Downtown Campus


October 14


What is Sellars’ Theory of We-Intentions?

Ronald Loeffler (GVSU)



October 28


Jackson’s Dual Stipulation: The Incoherence of the Description of Mary

GVSU Philosophy Distinguished Alumni Noel Boyle

(Belmont University)



November 4


A Prior Puzzle About the A Priori

Christina Van Dyke (Calvin College)



November 11




Adorno’s ‘Culture Industry Reconsidered’ Reconsidered

Sarah McGrath (GVSU)



December 2

Advocacy and Listening in Feminist Ethics

Melissa Mosko (GVSU)


Winter 2011 Calendar

February 11
“Why Philosophy?: A Panel Discussion on the Nature, Uses and Relevance of Philosophy”
(GVSU Professors Stephen Rowe, Maria Cimitile and David Vessey)
February 18   
“Can a Bad Guy have Good Gongfu?—Gongfu and Ethics”
Peimin Ni (GVSU Philosophy)

February 25   
“Unequal Human Worth: a Philosophical Challenge from China (or Confucianism)”
Donald Munro (University of Michigan)
Co-sponsored with GVSU East Asian Studies Program.

March 18
“Existential Trust: Understanding Trust as an Existential Mood” Jeffrey Courtright (GVSU Philosophy)

Laura Arcila (GVSU Philosophy)

April 8   
"Nature, Self, and Artifice: the Somatic Arts and the Aesthetic Appreciation of Nature.”
Brian Bruya (Eastern Michigan University)
Co-sponsored with GVSU East Asian Studies Program.

April 15   
“The Perils of Persuasion: Logic, Agency and Pluralism”
Scott L. Pratt (University of Oregon)

April 22
Celebrating the Examined Life
A Recognition Symposium for Senior Philosophy Majors at GVSU
Friday April 22 at 3:00pm in Mackinac Hall BLL-110

Unless otherwise noted, all colloquia are in

BLL-110 Mackinac Hall, 3:00 - 4:30pm


Fall 2010 Calendar



September 10



“If a world with liberal education isn’t affordable, can we afford a world without it?” 

A panel discussion based on Martha Nussbaum’s “Education for Profit, Education for Freedom.”

(A LIB 100 Event)


October 1


Aaron Simmons (GVSU Philosophy)

“Do Embryos Have Interests?  Why Embryos Have Future Adult Lives But Still Are Not Harmed from Death."


October 15


Sarah McGrath (GVSU Philosophy)

“Public Freedom and Difference: Why Diversity Matters for Democracy”


October 22


Doug Kindschi (GVSU Mathematics & Philosophy)

“The Role of Mathematics in Philosophy: Plato to Russell (Reflections on the 100th Anniversary of the Publication of Principia Mathematica, Volume I)


November 5


Danielle Lake (GVSU Philosophy & Liberal Studies), “Diversity and Sustainability: the Need for Integration”

(A LIB 100 Event)


November 12


Mathias Brochhausen (Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science at Saarland University, Germany & Visiting Scholar at the University at Buffalo)

“The Relevance of Philosophy to Applied Ontology”


November 19


James Beebe (University at Buffalo)

“Recent Work in Experimental Epistemology”




Unless otherwise noted, all colloquia are in

BLL-110 Mackinac Hall, 3:00 - 4:30pm


Past Guest Speakers


James Campbell (University of Toledo)

Ted Cohen (University of Chicago)

Fred Dallmayr (Notre Dame University)

Kyla Ebels-Duggan (Northwestern University)

Mylan Engel (Northern Illinois University)

Chris Gauker (University of Cincinnati)

Sanford Goldberg (Northwestern University)

David Hoekema (Calvin College)

Nick Huggett (University of Illinois, Chicago)

David Ingram (Loyola University, Chicago)

Dale Jamieson (New York University)

Mark Lance (Georgetown University)

Chris Latiolais (Kalamazoo College)

Jerrold Levinson (University of Maryland)

Christian Lotz  (Michigan State University)

Charles Mills (Northwestern University)

Martha Nussbaum (University of Chicago)

Jamie Tappenden (University of Michigan)

Page last modified December 1, 2014