Talia Mae Bettcher, Professor

Picture of Talia Mae Bettcher
College of Arts and Letters
Department of Philosophy
Office ET432

Research Interests

Trans Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, Decolonial Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Self  


Fall 2022 On Sabbatical 

Office Hours



I am an engaged philosopher who integrates critical reflection with tangible and meaningful action in our lived world. Much of my work in transgender studies flows from my personal experience as a trans woman and through being actively involved in trans community subcultures and grassroots organizing in Los Angeles for the past fifteen years. My philosophical investigations, even at their most abstract, aim to capture realities that are experienced by flesh and blood people and that can have political and practical consequences (see, for example, "Recommended Models and Policies for LAPD Interactions with Trans Individuals". Much of this policy was eventually adopted. Click here for more info). When traditional philosophy has failed me, I have even turned to performance art as a way to explore philosophical trans/gender issues in less conventional ways.  My hope is that others can gain real benefit from my philosophical work – if only as a challenge to think more deeply about gender and sex, and perhaps even as a new way of thinking about things.

I work as a Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Los Angeles. I served as chair of the Academic Senate (2020-2022), chair of the Philosophy Department (2012-2018), and director of the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities (2008-11). Some of the courses that I teach include Introduction to Transgender Studies, Introduction to Trans/Feminism, Philosophy, Gender, and Culture, Philosophy of Self, Early Modern Philosophy, The Philosophy of George Berkeley, and The Meaning of Life.

I am currently completing a monograph entitled Intimacy and Illusion: An Essay in Trans Philosophy (University of Minnesota Press).





Courses (online)
















Publications (SelectedFor access to some of my writings, see: https://calstatela.academia.edu/TaliaBettcher Also visit www.learningtrans.org

Books and Edited Collections

  • Transgender Studies and Feminism: Theory, Politics, and Gender Realities, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 24:3 (2009). Special issue co-edited with Ann Garry.
  • Berkeley: A Guide for the Perplexed, Continuum Press, 2009.
  • Berkeley’s Philosophy of Spirit: Consciousness, Ontology and the Elusive Subject, Continuum Press, 2007.

Articles, Chapters, and Entries

  • “Intersexuality, Transsexuality, Transgender,” in Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory, eds. Mary Hawkesworth and Lisa Jane Disch, Oxford University Press, 2015 (forthcoming)
  • “Trapped in the Wrong Theory: Re-Thinking Trans Oppression and Resistance,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 39:2 (Winter 2014).
  • “When Selves Have Sex: What the Phenomenology of Trans Sexuality Can Teach Us About Sexual Orientation,” Journal of Homosexuality 61:5 (2014), 605-620.
  • “Transphobia,” Transgender Studies Quarterly “Postposttranssexual Terms for a 21st Century,” 1:1 (2014), 249-51.
  • "Feminist Perspectives on Trans Issues," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2009/2014 revised),Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  • “Trans Women and ‘Interpretive Intimacy’: Some Initial Reflections,” in The Essential Handbook of Women's Sexuality (ed. D. Castenada), Praeger, 2013, 51-68.
  • "Trans Women and the Meaning of ‘Woman’” in Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings (Sixth Edition, eds., A. Soble, N. Power, R. Halwani), Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.  
  • “Full-Frontal Morality: The Naked Truth about Gender,” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 27:2 (2012), 319-337
  • “Trans Identities and First-Person Authority” in You've Changed: Sex Reassignment and Personal Identity (ed. Laurie Shrage), Oxford University Press, 2009
  • “Evil Deceivers and Make-Believers: Transphobic Violence and the Politics of Illusion,” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 22:3 (2007), 43-65.

Reprinted in The Transgender Studies Reader 2 (eds. Susan Stryker and Aren Z. Aizura, Routledge (2013).

  • “Gender, Identity, Theory, and Action” in Gender, Identity, Equity and Violence (ed. Geraldine Stahly), monograph series Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Enduring Societal Issues, Stylus Publications, 2007, pp. 11-24.