STOICON is an annual meeting of people interested in exploring Stoicism as a philosophy of life. In 2015, the conference — aimed at a general public, not just academics — was held at Queen Mary University and was organized by Jules Evans. It is part of a series of public activities related to Stoicism, centered around the Stoicism Today and Stoic Week initiatives.
The 2016 edition of STOICON is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy of the City University of New York and the K.D. Irani Fund for philosophy. The event was held on Saturday, 15 October, in New York City, at University Settlement at Houston Street, 273 Bowery.
Gregory Lopez, the facilitator of the New York City Stoics meetup, and Amy Valladares, are helping me put together the conference. This page, as well as the Stoicism Today site, provides updates and announcements. Meanwhile, an in-depth commentary on last year’s edition can be found here (part I, II, III and IV).
What: annual STOICON gathering
When: Saturday, 15 October 2016
Where: New York City, specific location TBA
Full Program: here
Foremost Stoic scholar Lawrence Becker, author of A New Stoicism, will join us via Skype for a brief conversation about Stoic ethics-in-action. Larry’s work is mainly in the areas of ethics and social, political, and legal philosophy. He is the author of books and journal articles on justice, Stoicism, reciprocity, property rights, and metaethics. He was an associate editor of the journal Ethics from 1985-2000, and the editor, with the librarian Charlotte B. Becker, of two editions of the Encyclopedia of Ethics.
The writer Ryan Holiday will be our keynote speaker. Ryan is best known among Stoics for his book, The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph. The book draws its inspiration from Stoicism, the ancient Greek philosophy of enduring pain or adversity with perseverance and resilience. Stoics focus on the things they can control, let go of everything else, and turn every new obstacle into an opportunity to get better, stronger, tougher. As Marcus Aurelius put it nearly 2000 years ago: “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
Julia Annas, Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona. She received her A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard and has taught at Oxford, Columbia University, and the University of Arizona, where she is currently Regents Professor. She is the founding editor of the Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, as well as the author of a number of books, including: Intelligent Virtue, Plato: A Very Short Introduction, The Morality of Happiness, and Hellenistic Philosophy of Mind.
Cinzia Arruzza, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and subsequently studied at the universities of Fribourg (Switzerland), and Bonn (Germany), where she was the recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship. Her research interests include ancient metaphysics and political thought, Plato, Aristotle, Neoplatonism, feminist theory and Marxism. She is the author of Plotinus, Ennead II.5: On What Is Potentially and What Actually
Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis is a licensed psychologist (Australia), licensed mental health counselor (New York), and adjunct professor at Columbia University with a private practice in New York City. She is a presenter and writer, affiliated with several major psychological associations and societies. For years she worked with her husband, the renowned pioneer of modern cognitive therapies, Dr. Albert Ellis, giving public presentations and professional trainings in his approach of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), which was influenced by the ideas of Stoicism and in particular Epictetus. She is recognized as a world-renowned expert on REBT, and was featured in a DVD produced by the American Psychological Association (APA) demonstrating and discussing the approach. APA also published the book Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy that she co-wrote with her husband. She is the co-author of Albert Ellis’ autobiography.
Jules Evans, is interested in therapeutic practices from ancient philosophies and wisdom traditions, how individuals and organizations use them today, and how they inform public policy ideas about well-being, ethical resilience, flourishing and transcendence. His first book, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, explores how people are rediscovering ancient Greek and Roman philosophies and how Greek philosophy (particularly Stoicism) inspired Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Jules is now researching the history, philosophy and psychology of ecstasy and ecstatic experiences in modern culture, with an eye toward the role of non-rational or altered states of consciousness in emotional and physical healing.
Gabriele Galluzzo, Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Exeter, England. Gabriele’s research interests focus on the history of ancient metaphysics (with particular, but not exclusive reference to Aristotle and the Aristotelian tradition) and on its medieval reception. He has also been working on ancient theories of language and truth, and in particular on Augustine’s and Plotinus’ theories of truth and certainty, as well as on Neoplatonist interpretations of Aristotle’s theory of language against the background of the Hellenistic debate on the criterion of truth. He is the author of The Medieval Reception of Book Zeta of Aristotle’s Metaphysics.
Christopher Gill, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Thought at the University of Exeter, England. His research area is ancient philosophy or thought, especially ethics and psychology. His most recent books are Marcus Aurelius Meditations Books 1-6, translated with an introduction and commentary (Oxford University Press, 2013). His current main project is a book on Stoicism and its potential contribution to modern thought, supported in 2015-16 by a Leverhulme Emeritus Research Fellowship. In public engagement Chris focuses on the role of Stoic ethics as a source of life-guidance and, in collaboration with John Wilkins and others, the potential contribution of ancient (especially Galenic) ideas about healthcare to modern preventive medicine and self-care.
William Irvine, Professor of Philosophy at Wright State University. He is the author of A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, where he offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life. Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life.
Tim LeBon, is an experienced Cognitive Behavioral Therapist, psychotherapist, life coach, philosophical counsellor, author & tutor in private practice in Central London.
He specialises in helping people with depression, anxiety, decision-making, emotional issues, low self-esteem, stress, procrastination, creating a more meaningful life and relationships. Tin’s background – studying philosophy at Oxford and London universities – followed by training in psychology, psychotherapy, CBT and coaching means he brings a wide range of practical skills and experience to meet his clients’ needs. Tim latest book, Achieve Your Potential with Positive Psychology, was published by Hodder in June 2014.
Gregory Lopez, practicing Buddhist and Stoic, facilitator of the New York City Stoics meetup, co-host of Stoic Camp New York, and co-organizer of STOICON 2016. Also interested in cognitive behavioral therapy and its relations to Stoicism. Oh, and did we mention he’s also an all around nice guy?
Massimo Pigliucci, the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. Massimo has a background in biology and philosophy of science. He has published 146 technical papers in those areas, as well as written or edited 10 books, most recently (with Maarten Boudry) Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. He blogs both at Plato’s Footnote (on general philosophy) and at How To Be A Stoic. One of his claims to (modest) fame is that he was one of the last guests to appear on the Colbert Report…
Donald Robertson, a cognitive-behavioural psychotherapist, trainer, and author who specialises in the treatment of anxiety and the use of CBT and clinical hypnotherapy. He is the author of many articles on philosophy and psychotherapy in professional journals, and a number of books, including Stoicism and the Art of Happiness. Don blogs at a site by the same name, and every year coordinates Stoic Week, which usually coincides with STOICON. The guy has a killer Scottish accent, I tell you.
Greg Sadler is president of ReasonIO, where his main focuses are public speaking, content production, and philosophical counseling. As a member of the Priority Thinking team, he also works as an executive coach, ethics trainer, and curriculum developer. He has a Ph.D in Philosophy from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is also the current Editor of Stoicism Today.