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Department of Philosophy
College of Liberal Arts
Rochester Institute of
92 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester NY 14623-5604


Copyright ©
Department of Philosophy,
Rochester Institute of Technology

Last updated 23 September 2016

Coming Events

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

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Philosophy Club

Philosophy Club

Taking a philosophy course and want to know more about what this philosophy thing is about? Simply interested in philosophical discussion? Join us for informal conversation and student presentations. Our goal is to make philosophy inclusive and accessible to all levels of experience… newbies and seasoned philosophers alike.

Fridays 5:00–7:00
Eastman lounge

(in front of the ID office)

Topic for 23 September: Free will vs. determinism
Topic for 30 September: Existentialism

If you wish to stay up to date with the club, here is our Facebook group:

Thursday 29 September 2016
Bamboo Room

James Walker (DePaul)

“Decolonizing Conflict Narratives:
Towards a Phenomenology of Peace”

For centuries, those interested in the moral analysis of the use of military force — in particular the question of jus ad bellum — have relied upon a conceptual framework known as “just war theory”. It is the contention of this paper that this framework ultimately presupposes a manner of narrating conflict that dehumanizes those subjects living within the boundaries of those situations the ethicist aims to analyze from that theoretical perspective. Just war theory forces us to view the situations we are attempting to analyze in a manner that smuggles in problematic colonial presuppositions about subjects and the essential power relations that are fundamental to conflict and the struggle for peace in the lived world. After teasing out the problematic colonial presuppositions of just war theorizing, this paper will begin sketching an alternative manner of engaging in the moral conceptualization of war that relies on a phenomenological analysis of peace that emphasizes the strategizing and maneuvering of subjects “on the ground” as they live within the complex web of power relations that is fundamental to those subjects’ notions of self and place in the world. In developing these points, cases from the web of conflicts that has continued to engulf the Great Lakes Region of Africa will be utilized.

Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

17–18 October 2016

Conference on
“Plotinus and Neoplatonism:
Continuing Influence and Contemporary Relevance”


Friday 28 October 2016
Liberal Arts A205

Simon Blackburn

Title TBA

Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and
the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Thursday 10 November 2016
Golisano (Bldg 70) 1400

Alison Simmons
(Harvard University)

Alison Simmons

“Descartes: Old or New?”

Descartes’s Meditations is perhaps the greatest stealth operation in the history of European philosophy. It sets out to turn a 2,000 year Aristotelian tradition on its head. And it succeeds in changing the very concepts through which we think about ourselves and the world around us. But how? What is old and what is new? How does Descartes effect this transition? And what features of the Meditations have had a lasting impact?

Interpreters will be provided.

Thursday 23 February 2017
Room TBA

Benjamin Banda (R.I.T.)


Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Wednesday 1 March 2017
3:30 pm
Student Innovation Hall (USC, 87-1600)

Jill P. Gordon
(Charles A. Dana Professor of Philosophy, Colby College)

“Myth, Memory, and Homecoming:
A Reading of Phaedo

Thursday 23 March 2017
Room TBA

Richard Dees (University of Rochester)

Primum Non Nocere Mortuis:
Bioethics and the Interests of the Dead”

Despite the apparently paradoxical nature of the claim, I will defend the idea that we can harm the dead. Positing that the dead have interests both makes sense of our practices, and it accords with the ways that we create value in our lives. Moreover, I argue that the reasons we can harm the dead shed light on many issues in bioethics, including organ donation, posthumous reproduction, end-of-life decisions, and advance directives for dementia.

Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Thursday 20 April 2017
Room TBA

David B. Suits (R.I.T.)

Title: TBA

Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Friday 28 April 2017
Innovation Hall (Simone Center)

8th R.I.T. Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

More information and call for papers TBA.

For further information on upcoming events, contact

Professor Silvia Benso, Chair
Department of Philosophy
Office: 1305 College of Liberal Arts
Phone: (585) 475-4116