Collage of photos from the Department of Philosophy at CSU

Together, we examine and apply

In the Department of Philosophy, together we lead, connect, and engage. From community marches to community service to better understanding our relationship to the natural world, the students and faculty are applying theory to practice.

Together, we advance the human experience.

Ken Shockley teaching Environmental Ethics at the CSU Mountain Campus


Philosophy professor Ken Shockley and students of Environmental Ethics, sit on the shores of Beaver Creek and discuss the feeling of awe and the often conflicting values of the natural world that are inspired by that feeling. Shockley explains the importance of being in nature with his students, “Experiencing these environments and developing these relationships are not only thrilling aspects of being out in ‘the wilds.’ They present us with obligations that come with learning that these environments are part of who we are, wherever we are.” Shockley is teaching his course PHIL 345 Environmental Ethics at the CSU Mountain Campus this summer.

Learn more about the two-week philosophy course offered on Environmental Ethics.


First-year students in Ashby Butnor’s Key Seminar participate in service-learning projects throughout Fort Collins. In the classroom, they study the ethics of global poverty and consider our obligations to the world’s poor. Outside the classroom, they support local non-profits, like Sproutin’ Up, an urban farm addressing food insecurity, and Larimer County Food Bank. They also explore the bike trails and natural areas around campus, picking up litter and trash along the way. First-year student Carson Black loves the experience: "Being able to help those in need, even in small ways like this, has been the coolest part of my experience in college so far!"

Leaders of the March for Unity: Roderick Green, Aram Sahakyan, and Audra Koopman


In June 2020, the Fort Collins community marched peacefully in solidarity to condemn injustice and racism, and to promote unity. Recent philosophy alumnus Aram Sahakyan, spurred by the prevalence of police violence and the killing of George Floyd, took action as a key figure in the organization of the march.

Read more about how Aram organized major Fort Collins marches in 2020 and his future career plans.


The Bodaken Philosophy Symposium is a multi-year series of events sponsored by philosophy alumnus Bruce Bodaken. Through large public lectures, scholarly workshops, and student-focused discussions, the Symposium encourages dialogue between scholars and the larger community on issues of both philosophical and social significance. Bodaken committee chair Moti Gorin finds the Symposium events meaningful because they “contribute to the generation of important and timely ideas.” Recent Symposium topics include species extinction, ethics and the internet, and social and economic inequality.

Guests attending a Bodaken Philosophy Symposium event in 2019