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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 4 February 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: Fridays, 5–7 pm
Where: Eastman Lounge (across from the Office of the Registrar)

Topic for 5 Feb: Relativism

Contact us at:

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

Thursday 25 February 2016
3:30 pm
Liberal Arts A205

Jon Tresan
(University of Rochester)

“Communal Motivational Internalism is the Real Deal: a Defense”

Motivational internalists say, roughly, that there’s no moral thinking without moral caring. For example, an internalist might say that one cannot genuinely think that one ought to do something without being motivated to do it. If true, internalism seems to reveal something profoundly interesting about the nature of moral thinking. However, most philosophers now reject it as false because of apparent counterexamples: people who seem to have moral views but be totally unmoved by them (e.g., some psychopaths). This paper defends a fall-back position, which concedes that individuals can indeed be totally unmoved by their moral thoughts, but insists that their moral thinking is necessarily parasitic on the moral thinking of those who are moved. I defend two claims about this fall-back position. First, it is far more plausible than standard versions of internalism. Second, what it reveals about the nature of moral thinking is just as profoundly interesting as what those standard versions would reveal if they were true.

Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Thursday 10 March 2016
4:00 PM
Eastman 2000

Adam Rosen-Carole

“Lovers’ Knowledge: Sexuality as Practical Freedom”

Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Thursday 31 March 2016
4:00 PM
Eastman 2000

Ryan Johnson
(Elon College)

“The Importance of the Philosopher’s Beard”

In Ancient Rome, how a philosopher lived his or her life was often considered to be more important thanwhat a philosopher said or wrote. Back then, a philosopher was not someone who wrote books or papers that were disconnected from the conduct of a life. Rather, a philosopher embodied a form of life that expressed certain goals, values, motivations, and perspectives. One was identified as a Stoic, for example, because he or she lived a Stoic life. The philosophical scene of ancient Rome was thus characterized by a vibrant community of various ways of living, e.g., as a Stoic, as an Epicurean, as a Skeptic, etc. This talk will attempt to breathe new life into that ancient practice of philosophy and thereby allow us to re-conceive and re-evaluate the contemporary philosophical scene.

Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Friday 1 April 2016
Louise Slaughter Hall 2230-2240

7th RIT Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Keynote Speaker:

Charles Scott
(Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus and
Research Professor of Philosophy,
Venderbilt University, and
Professor of Philosophy, Penn State University)

Call for papers:

  • Any topic in philosophy.
  • Max 3000 words.
  • Due: 1 February 2016.
  • Decisions made: 1 March 2016.
  • Submissions & inquiries to:
    Dr. Colin Mathers,

Wednesday 4 May 2016
Time and place: TBA

José Medina

Title: TBA

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

For further information on upcoming events, contact

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