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


Copyright ©2008–2015
Department of Philosophy,
Rochester Institute of Technology

Last updated 28 April 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.

When: Friday, 5–7 pm
Where: Eastman Lounge (in front of the ID office)

Topic for 29 April: Is the examined life worth living?

Contact us at:

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

Friday 29 April 2016
10:00 – 5:30
Student Innovation Hall

Symposium on Bhutan’s Philosophy of Happiness
and its Relevance for Western Society

  • 9:30 – 10:00 Coffee, tea, pastries
  • 10:00 – 10:30 Opening Remarks
  • 10:30 – 11:30 Film: Taking the Middle Path to Happiness
  • 11:30 – 12:15 Bret Kanpu Davis (Loyola University Maryland), “Pursuing the End of Happiness: Lessons from Bhutan”
  • 12:15 – 1:15 Lunch and Conversation
  • 1:15 – 2:00 Jason Tetsuzen Wirth (Seattle University), “Bhutan and Earth Democracy”
  • 2:00 – 2:45 Erin Jien McCarthy (St. Lawrence University), “Reflections on Buddhism, Gender, and Gross National Happiness in Bhutan”
  • 2:45 – 3:00 Break
  • 3:00 – 3:45 Brian Shudo Schroeder (R.I.T.), “Happiness, Death, and the Bhutanese Mask Dance”
  • 3:45 – 4:45 Film: Happiness
  • 4:45 – 5:30 Open discussion: “What Can Western Society Learn From Bhutan?”


Saturday 30 April 2016
9:30 am – 11:30 am
Skalny Room (lower level of the Center for Religious Life, S.A.U.)

Zen Meditation
with teisho (Dharma talk) by the Rev. Kosho Itagaki (Abbot of Eishoji Zen Temple)

For more information contact:

Wednesday 4 May 2016
3:00 PM
Eastman 2000

José Medina
(Vanderbilt University)

“No Justice, No Peace:
Racial Violence, Epistemic Death and Insurrection”

Protesters against the killing of Michael Brown in 2014 were accused of disturbing the peace. But what peace? One of their slogans was “No Justice, No Peace”, which expressed how there was no peace to begin with. “Peace” was the harmful illusion of a privileged few, sheltered from the violence in which the black majority of Ferguson lives: systematic police brutality, extreme poverty, high unemployment, lack of representation in public institutions. Denying these realities, that itself is a form of violence, epistemic violence. Appeals to this illusory peace reenact the violence by pretending that those being silenced have equal voice, equal representation, equal access to institutions. Epistemic violence can rise to the level of killing someone as a subject of knowledge, what I call epistemic death. I will discuss the different phenomena involved in epistemic death: killing voices, rendering their meanings unintelligible, undermining trust, etc. Building on my analysis of epistemic death, I offer an argument for epistemic insurrectionism, according to which strategies of disobedience, resistance and disruption have to be mobilized to fight against oppressive epistemic dynamics.

Thursday 12 May 2016
4:00 PM
Eastman 2000

Katie Shilton
(College of Information Studies, University of Maryland)

“ ‘I’m very concerned regarding the privacy of my users’: Influences on Privacy as a Professional Practice in Mobile Application Development”

Privacy is a critical challenge for mobile application development. Mobile applications are easy to build and distribute, and can collect diverse personal data. US policy approaches to data protection in the mobile ecosystem rely on privacy by design: approaches that encourage developers to proactively implement best-practice privacy features to protect sensitive data. But we don’t know what factors motivate developers to implement privacy features when faced with disincentives such as longer development timelines, markets for personal data, and tensions between data protection and data-enabled services. This project begins to identify these factors by investigating how mobile developers talk about and deal with privacy challenges. Interviews with developers and analysis of posts on developer forums reveal that developers are actively grappling with privacy issues. This talk will describe how developers define and legitimate privacy, and describe how knowledge of how to approach privacy problems is disseminated. Understanding the development of privacy as a professional practice can help us shape better guidelines for privacy by design, and broach challenges to the widespread adoption of privacy by design principles.

Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Friday 13 May
12:00 – 1:00
McKenzie Commons
(Liberal Arts)

Despina Tzimoula
(Malmö University)

“The Feminist Movement:
the Scandinavian Model”

Sponsored by:

Women’s and Gender Studies Program
Department of Philosophy
International Education and Global Programs

17–18 October 2016

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

Call for papers. The intent of the conference is to attract scholars who work in all periods of the history of philosophy, including contemporary, in order to advance the important and continuing relevance of the philosophies of Plotinus and Neoplatonism in general.

Submission deadline: 1 August 2016.

Please see this conference poster for more information.

For further information on upcoming events, contact

Professor Silvia Benso, Chair
Department of Philosophy
Office: 1118 College of Liberal Arts
Phone: (585) 475-4116