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College of Liberal Arts
Rochester Institute of
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Rochester NY 14623-5604


Copyright ©2008–2011
Department of Philosophy,
Rochester Institute of Technology

Department of Philosophy

Last updated 23 March 2015

Coming Events

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

Need a campus map?

Call for Papers

6th RIT Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

to be held at RIT

Friday 8 May 2015

  • Deadline for submission: 1 April 2015.
  • Papers (no longer than 3000 words) may be on any topic in philosophy.
  • Submit papers in MS Word format to Prof. Ryan Johnson,
  • Details on program, location and accommodations: TBA.
  • Questions? Contact Prof. Ryan Johnson,

Sponsored by
the Undergraduate Philosophy Club at RIT,
the Department of Philosophy,
the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics, and
the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts

Philosophy Club

Meets 4 PM Fridays
in the lounge area across from the RIT ID office
on the first floor of Eastman.

Next meeting: TBA

Everyone welcome.

Contact Club President, Nathan Saint Ours:

Thursday 9 April
3:30 pm
Eastman 1300

Golfo Maggini
(University of Ioannina/Greece)

“Phenomenological Aristotles: Heidegger Patocka”

Numerous are the studies which strive to investigate into the considerable impact of Aristotle’s ontology, practical philosophy, and rhetorics upon the formation of Heidegger’s phenomenological project. Given the number and quality of brilliant scholarly works on this issue, our aim in the lecture will not be to trace the multiple facets of Heidegger’s reading of Aristotle, but to question the necessity of such a reading for phenomenological thought. For that reason, Heidegger’s multi-faceted confrontation with Aristotelian philosophy will be viewed in the light of another great representative of the phenomenological tradition, who had also a vivid exchange with the history of philosophy through his interpretation of Plato and Aristotle, Jan Patocka. In his recently translated into French collection of essays entitled Aristote, ses devanciers, ses successeurs Patocka offers us an original, phenomenologically rigorous account of the way in which Aristotelian philosophy shaped modern Europe through the leading idea of the mathematization of movement. Thus, Patocka would agree with Heidegger’s much debated claim that Aristotle’s metaphysics is just as much physics as physics is metaphysics. Notwithstanding, while both Heidegger and Patocka acknowledge the significance of kinesis and the need for its adequate treatment with the aid of phenomenological method, their reception of Aristotle witnesses a number of significant differences. On the one hand, the early Heidegger is much closer to the late Patocka on how kinesis and energeia should be viewed in Aristotle; on the other hand, Aristotle’s alleged belonging to the history of metaphysics due to his productionist metaphysics is strictly opposed to Patocka’s interpretation of Aristotelian kinesis. The latter is made explicit in Patocka’s powerful reading of Aristotle’s confrontation with the Platonic heritage, especially with the theme of the movement of the soul in late Plato, and also in his use of Aristotelian kinesis for the phenomenological elucidation of the three movements of human existence.

Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Tuesday 28 April
3:30 pm
Campus Center Reading Room

Anne Schwan
(Edinburgh Napier University)

“Convict Voices: Women, Class, and
Writing About Prison in Nineteenth-Century England”

Co-sponsored by the Department of English and
the Department of Criminal Justice

Thursday 30 April
3:30 pm
Eastman 2000

Michael Brown

“Public History and the Public Interest:
Teaching the Ethics of Telling the Past”

To whom or what are public historians responsible when they interpret the past for audiences outside the academy? In its Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, the National Council on Public History states that “ethical practice” among public historians “implies a responsibility to serve the public interest”. As teaching controversial cases in American public history brings home, however, both publics and their interests are plural and contested. Rather than settling debates about how we ought to tell the past, the invocation of the public interest is itself an occasion for debate about which publics historians are responsible to and under what circumstances. By entering such debates themselves, students present diverse ethical approaches to public history that, in a culture often characterized as galloping toward the future, point to the ongoing moral significance of the past.

Sponsored by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Friday 8 May
Titles, times, and rooms: TBA

6th RIT Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy

Please consult the Call for Papers above.

Here is a PDF of the conference poster.

Friday 8 May
3:30 pm
Louise Slaughter, Rooms 2230 and 2240

RIT Undergraduate Conference in Philosophy Keynote Speaker


Karen Frost-Arnold
(Hobart & William Smith Colleges)

“Trust, Accountability, and Online Anonymity”

Wikipedia vandalism, Twitter pranks, and hoax blogs are now familiar features of our online lives. A common response to these perceived abuses maintains that mechanisms of accountability are necessary to ensure the epistemic value of internet communities. Some advocate for removing anonymity from online communication. Others demand more investigations into the real-world identities behind online personas. In this talk, I discuss some of the commonly overlooked pitfalls of such online accountability. I show that accountability mechanisms can damage communities’ ability to both disseminate true beliefs and weed out errors.

Sponsored in part by the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

For further information on upcoming events, contact

Professor Tim Engström, Chair
Department of Philosophy
Office: Liberal Arts 3106
Phone: (585) 475-2457