Philosophy conference focuses on acceptance of fate, happiness and peace of mind

Philosophical teachings of Epictetus and Stoicism are subjects of April 26-27 event

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RIT hosts a free conference based on the teachings of the Greek philosopher Epictetus on April 26-27.

Greek philosopher Epictetus taught his followers that all events are determined by fate, rigorous self-discipline can control our actions, suffering occurs from attempting to control what is uncontrollable and, as human beings, we have a duty to care for our fellow humans.

To further enlighten the community about Epictetus’ life and work, RIT’s Department of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts is hosting the “Conference on Epictetus and Stoicism: Continuing Influences and Contemporary Relevance,” April 26-27, in various campus locations. The keynote address, “Taking the Same Things Seriously and Not Seriously,” will be delivered by Katja Vogt of Columbia University, 4–5:30 p.m. April 26, in Carlson Auditorium, Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science.

The conference features presentations by university researchers from across the country including Notre Dame, Villanova, Xavier, Fordham, University of Minnesota, State University of New York at Potsdam, Vanderbilt and Eastern Kentucky University. The event will also discuss topics related to Epictetus such as tranquility, fate, the “practical” philosophy of Stoicism, cosmic order and Epictetus’ influence on later thinking, for example.

The complete schedule can be found at For more information, contact David Suits at

The conference—free and open to the public—is sponsored by RIT’s College of Liberal Arts dean’s office, the philosophy department and the Hale Chair in Applied Ethics.