Annual Student Philosophy Conference

The CSUN Student Philosophy Conference is one of the most anticipated department events of the year. For a full day, students present their work in a professional setting, along with outside speakers, who share their own stories about the value philosophy has added to their lives. The conference ends with lots of food and celebration. Professor Abel Franco, who initiated the tradition, oversees the conference organization.  

At the beginning of the Spring semester, students are invited to present an abstract of a talk they wish to present (link to abstract specifications) at the beginning of the Spring Semester. The faculty select among the applicants, and a program is devised around the selections. Here is the 2015 conference program: 



Fri., April 17, 2015

Whitsett Room (SH 451), CSUN campus





8:45-9:00   Coffee

9:00-9:05   Conference Opening

                Prof. Adam Swenson, Associate Chair, Philosophy, CSUN

9:05-9:10   Welcome

Josh Dolin, President, CSUN Student Philosophy Society


9:10-10:10   PANEL I [Ethics]:  Norms, Rules and All That: Autonomy and


Chair:  Taylor Hawking (Philosophy, CSUN)


      9:10-9:25           Ryan Cook (Philosophy, CSUN):

    “Autonomy and Normative Authority: An Argument Against    

                                    Relational Autonomy”

      9:25-9:40           Cesar Bernal (Philosophy, CSUN):

    “Ethics of Placebos and Informed Consent with Respect to   


      9:40-9:55           Commentary by Prof. Adam Swenson (Philosophy, CSUN)

      9:55-10:10         General discussion

10:10-10:20   Coffee break

10:20-11:20   PANEL II [Metaphysics]: The Real and the Identical

 Chair:  Thea Manalang (Philosophy, CSUN)


     10:20-10:35        Pedro Melchor (Philosophy, M.A. Program, CSULA): 

“Compositions as Identity: A Defense Via Similarity of Relations”

     10:35-10:50        Cleopatra Doyle (Philosophy, CSUN):

    “A New Way of Approaching Panpsychism”

     10:50-11:05      Commentary by Prof. Julie Yoo (Philosophy, CSUN)

     11:05-11:20      General discussion

11:20-11:30   Coffee break

11:30-12:30   PANEL III [Epistemology/Mind]:  Affective States in Truth

and Art

  Chair:  Cory Benz (Philosophy, CSUN)


     11:30-11:45        Pablo Gómez Forero (Music/Psychology, CSUN):

    “Brain, the Music Machine: Neurocognitive Perspectives of  

     Music and Implications in Attributed Musical Emotions”

     11:45-12:00      Josh Dolin (Philosophy, CSUN ): “The Ergon and Telos of

      Inquiry: A Defense of Affective Epistemology” 

     12:00-12:15        Commentary by Prof. Abel B. Franco (Philosophy, CSUN)

     12:15-12:30        General discussion


12:30-1:00    Lunch

1:00-1:45    Faculty Keynote Speaker:

              Chair:  Clarissa Delgado (Sociology, CSUN)


     1:00-1:30     Prof. Brian Burkhart (American Indian Studies, CSUN):

“Radical Empiricism in Indigenous Philosophy"    

     1:30-1:45    General discussion


1:45-1:50      Break 


1:50-2:30     Letters From Abroad: Philosophy in Otherland

                Chair:  Raul Velez (Philosophy, CSUN)


     1:52-2:00            Prof. Nicholas W. Dungey (Political Science, CSUN)

     2:00-2:07            Prof. Douglas W. McLaughlin (Kinesiology, CSUN)

     2:07-2:15            Prof. Ranita Chatterjee (English/Liberal Studies, CSUN)

     2:15-2:30            General discussion


2:30-2:35      Break 


2:35-2:45    Luckenbach Award Presentation

                                Prof. Tim Black (Chair, Philosophy, CSUN)s


2:45-3:15    Alumnus Keynote Speaker

                Chair:  Prof. Tim Black (Chair, Philosophy, CSUN)


     2:45-3:05    Nima Rajamand (B.A. Philosophy; B.A. Linguistics, CSUN, 2012):

“The Devil's Advocate or Modern Cleric? My Perspective As Dante in the World of Law”

     3:05-3:15    General discussion       


3:15-3:20   Break


3:20-3:25   Final Remarks

Anjinette Barker (B.A. Philosophy, CSUN, 2014)


3:20-3:30   Thank-Yous and Good-Byes

                                Prof. Abel B. Franco (Philosophy, CSUN)            


3:30-5:00   Barbecue (Northridge Park and Recreation Center)

10058 Reseda Boulevard; Northridge, CA 91325



For more information: Prof. Abel B. Franco (CSUN, Philosophy)