Symposium on Living Philosophers

Symposium on Living Philosophers

Click here for a printable PDF of this year's poster of events.
Click here for a printable PDF of this year's poster of events.

Most people associate Philosophy with the study of dead white men. At Siena College, we challenge this view, and offer our students a unique opportunity to engage directly with world-famous living philosophers. Imagine spending a year reading the works of a famous thinker and then present your research to them in person. Imagine being able to ask “What did you mean when you wrote this?” or “Why do you think this is the best position?” and have the thinker in question respond to you directly. Imagine receiving feedback on your final paper from the very thinker who you wrote it on. Sound daunting and exciting? Then the Symposium on Living Philosophers is for you.

In 2015-2016, we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Symposium. Our featured thinker will be our first from outside the United States: Adriana Cavarero, who teaches political philosophy at the University of Verona in Italy, is a renowned interlocutor of philosophers such as Plato and Kant, playwrights such as Sophocles and Shakespeare, political thinkers such as Hobbes and Arendt, and a strong voice in contemporary debates about the nature of birth, narration, violence, and embodiment.  For a discussion of how Adriana Cavarero's work helps us think about the role of narration in our lives, see this article by Laurie Naranch, co-director of the 2015-2016 Symposium.

This Year's Events Include:

September 24, 2015 at 5pm in Maloney Great Room
Adriana Cavarero, University of Verona

“Horrorist Violence from the Holocaust to our Present"
For video footage of this event, click here.
For full news coverage of this event, click here.

October 29, 2015 at 5pm in SAR 243
Rachel Jones, George Mason University

“Towards a Politics of Non-Equivalence: Resisting Neoliberalism with Adriana Cavarero and Jean-Luc Nancy”

March 17, 2016 at 5pm in RB 202
Rita Charon, Columbia University Program in Narrative Medicine

“'Really, universally, relations stop nowhere': A Crossing of Adriana Cavarero and Henry James toward Relational Health Care"

April 14, 2016 at 5pm in Maloney Great Room
Adriana Cavarero, University of Verona

"The Pleasure of the Ear: Listening to the Voice of Others"

April 15, 2016 in Boland Room
Student panel with Adriana Cavarero
Violence, Horrorism, and Bodies
Narration, Politics, and Voice

"Symposium Brings Classwork the Life"

Philosophy News

  • Symposium Brings Classwork to Life

    The Siena College Symposium on Living Philosophers brings philosophy to life for Siena Saints. This unique yearlong course immersed students in the works of a famous thinker before allowing them the opportunity to come into both intellectual and personal contact with the Philosopher they are studying. Read More

  • Philosophy Professor Featured in Huffington Post

    Dr. Raymond Boisvert featured in Huffington Post review. Read More

  • World-Renowned Philosopher Adriana Cavarero Featured at Symposium’s Tenth Anniversary

    Siena College was honored to have Adriana Cavarero as the key guest speaker for the 2015-2016 Symposium on Living Philosophers. Hailing from Italy, Cavarero was the first international philosopher to be featured in the Symposium. Read More

Department Chair

Josh Alexander

Joshua J. Alexander

Associate Professor of Philosophy

412 Siena Hall

(518) 782‑6715