TOS-Con 2018

Philosophy for Freedom and Flourishing

Hilton Downtown, Richmond, VA

August 16–19

Sharpen your mind.
Fuel your soul.
Excel in life.
Fight for liberty.

Freedom and flourishing are not givens. They are consequences of certain ideas that were developed over thousands of years and are still being refined today.

TOS-Con is for people who want to understand and act on these ideas, to thrive in their ventures and relationships, and to support liberty on solid ground.

  • What can you learn from Aristotle, Ayn Rand, and Jean-Baptiste Say about freedom and flourishing?
  • What principles and practices enabled Frederick Douglass to escape slavery and create a life of success and happiness against all odds? How can you employ his philosophy in pursuit of your goals?
  • Is there a fact-based, secular foundation for rights and freedom? If so, what is it—and how can you communicate it clearly to others?
  • What are the keys to communicating with clarity and impact more broadly? How can you employ these principles in your personal, professional, and intellectual pursuits?
  • How can you build a career around the things you love? What principles and practices will help you design such a life?
  • How can you achieve financial independence quickly? What strategies can make the difference no matter what your current wages or income?

The answers to these and similar questions are what TOS-Con is all about. And you’re invited to participate in the discussions and discoveries.

Join us August 16–19 in beautiful downtown Richmond, Virginia, for an intense, challenging, and life-changing examination of the principles and practices on which freedom and flourishing depend.

Confirmed Speakers (To Date)

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Andrew Bernstein

Andrew Bernstein holds a PhD in philosophy from the Graduate School of the City University of New York and taught philosophy for many years at SUNY Purchase. He is the author of (most recently) Capitalism Unbound: The Incontestable Moral Case for Individual Rights (2010) and Capitalist Solutions (2011). His book in progress is “Heroes and Hero Worship.”

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Craig Biddle

Craig Biddle is an author and speaker focusing on philosophic principles that support and promote human flourishing and political freedom. He’s the editor of The Objective Standard and author of Loving Life: The Morality of Self-Interest and the Facts that Support It, as well as the forthcoming Forbidden Fruit for Teens: Moral Truths Your Parents, Preachers, and Teachers Don’t Want You to Know. His book in progress is “Thinking in Principles.”

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Carrie-Ann Biondi

Carrie-Ann Biondi is associate professor of philosophy at Marymount Manhattan College. She holds a BA and MA in American studies and an MA and PhD in philosophy. She has taught philosophy since 1994 and translates ancient Greek. Her research interests include Aristotle, citizenship, virtue ethics, Socratic pedagogy, and popular culture. She is coeditor in chief of the journal Reason Papers.

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Alex Epstein

Alex Epstein is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, a for-profit, pro-industrial think tank. Named “most original thinker of 2014” by political commentator John McLaughlin, Epstein advocates a philosophy that is “anti-pollution but pro-development,” and challenges many popular ideas about energy, industry, and the environment. His latest venture, the Human Flourishing Project, will be launched in 2018.

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Robin Field

Robin Field is an entertainer, singer, actor, composer, and lyricist. Field toured in his philosophical one-man show Reason in Rhyme; wrote, directed, and starred in Broadway: A Hundred Years Ago; and served as creator and host of the New York radio series Broadway Time Capsule. He was also editor and publisher of Revival, a magazine devoted to theatrical history.

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Derek Magill

Derek Magill is a marketer, business strategist, and career expert. After dropping out of college during his sophomore year, Derek started a marketing company that went on to generate millions of dollars in business for clients. He is currently the director of marketing at Praxis and has consulted with companies such as Voice & Exit, the Foundation for Economic Education, Glockstore, Colliers International, Daily Caller, and Undertech. He has been a guest lecturer at FEE and IHS and has spoken at dozens of conferences and universities internationally.

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Richard M. Salsman

Richard M. Salsman (PhD, Duke University) is president of InterMarket Forecasting, Inc. and a visiting assistant professor of political economy at Duke. He’s a contributing editor at The Objective Standard and author of numerous articles and books, including most recently The Political Economy of Public Debt: Three Centuries of Theory and Evidence.

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Timothy Sandefur

Timothy Sandefur holds the Duncan Chair in Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute, and is the author of several books including The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law (2010), The Conscience of The Constitution (2014), The Permission Society (2016), and Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man (2018). He is completing a biography of Jacob Bronowski.

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David Veksler

David Veksler is the director of marketing at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has worked as an information systems architect for companies including Match.com, Education First, and Liberty.me. David’s interests include Krav Maga, biking, photography, gadgets, and giving talks on Bitcoin, personal finance, and cyber security.

The Program (So Far)


Lectures & Workshops

Freedom and Flourishing as Science and Art

Craig Biddle

Aristotle and Ayn Rand on Flourishing

Carrie-Ann Biondi

The Human Flourishing Project

Alex Epstein

Frederick Douglass and “The Philosophy of Self-Made Men”

Timothy Sandefur

How to Build a Career and a Life around Your Interests

Derek Magill

Jean-Baptiste Say, Ayn Rand, and Objective Economics

Richard Salsman

Radical Strategies for Achieving Financial Independence Decades Earlier

David Veksler

The Secular Source and Nature of Rights

Craig Biddle

Independence vs. Collectivism in Ayn Rand’s Novels

Andrew Bernstein

How to Create a Professional Online Presence

Derek Magill

Keys to Communicating with Clarity and Impact

Alex Epstein

Original Performance

Sing Your Own Song

An evening of piano and poetry with the legendary Robin Field
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Additional speakers, program details, activities, and registration information will be announced soon. Enter your email address below, and we’ll keep you in the know. Also, be sure to tell your friends about TOS-Con 2018. It will be the most powerfully life-enhancing conference of the year.

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