Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Author Archive

Talk at Bogazici: David Harvey (CUNY) on “The Contradictions of Capitalist Urbanization” 27/03/2014

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David Harvey

There is an article in Hurriyet about the talk here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 23, 2014 at 8:41 pm

Talk at Yeditepe by Sinem Elkatip Hatipoğlu (Sehir) on “Consciousness and Misrepresentation” (21/03/2014)

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“Consciousness and Misrepresentation”

by Assist. Prof. Dr. Sinem Elkatip Hatipoğlu (Şehir University), on March 21, at 16.00, in Law Building Room 332.

Abstract: No one denies that we humans differ significantly from what one might call our cognitive relatives, i.e. complex machines such as robots or other forms of living beings. However what marks the difference is difficult to pin down. Consciousness has been taken to be one of the best candidates to account for this difference but an account of consciousness is just as difficult to give. In this talk I focus on one particular theory of consciousness, viz. the higher-order theory of consciousness and a troubling aspect of this theory. Higher-order theories assert that a mental state is conscious when there is a higher-order representation of that mental state. For instance the perception of a blue chair is conscious when there is a higher-order representation of the perception. But since representations are not infallible, higher-order theorists embrace the possibility of having a conscious perception of a blue chair where there is a perception of a red chair or even where there is no perception. The former is usually called a misrepresentation and the latter radical misrepresentation. Even though higher-order theories have many virtues, I suggest that the possibility of a radical misrepresentation undermines some of those virtues. As such either the possibility of a radical misrepresentation needs to be denied or the phenomenon of a radical misrepresentation needs to be understood in a different way.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Manuel Knoll (Bogazici) on Machiavelli’s Republicanism (18/03/2014)

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I’m teaching a class on Republicanism, Liberalism and Democracy this semester, and I have a few guest speakers coming to give talks after the class. This coming Tuesday (18/03/2014), from 5.15pm -7pm, in TB130, Manuel Knoll, will give a talk on:

Machiavelli’s Republicanism

Everyone is welcome.  A handout for the talk can be found here.

ABSTRACT: Niccolò Machiavelli is best known for being the author of the booklet (“opuscolo”) The Prince. However, that doesn’t make him a champion of a principality. Rather, in his major work Discorsi he defends a republican political order. The talk clarifies the relation of the two works and gives an introduction to the main features of Machiavelli’s republicanism.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 14, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Conference at Boğaziçi: Curiosity – Epistemics, Semantics, Ethics (7-8/03/2014)

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There will be a conference at Boğaziçi University on Friday and Saturday, March 7th and 8th on the Philosophy of Curiosity: Epistemics, Semantics, Ethics.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm

2 reading groups at Boğaziçi this semester (spring 2014)

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There are a couple of philosophy reading groups at Boğaziçi this semester. Here are the details.

(1) UPDATE: We have now moved the reading group to Mondays from 5.15- 7pm, meeting in TB365
In the following 2 weeks we will be reading:
(a) 17/03/2014
Chapter 1 of Peter Carruthers “The Architecture of Mind”
on “The case of Massively Modular Models of Mind”
(2) 24/03/2014
The artful mind meets art history: Toward a psycho-historical framework for the science of art appreciation
Nicolas J. Bullota1 and Rolf Rebera

Feel free to join. If you want more information you can email me (Lucas): lthorpe(at)gmail.com

(2) Matt Jernberg is organizing a reading group on Thursday evenings, from 5-7pm, on Timothy Williamson‘s new book Modal Logic as Metaphysics. This group will meet in the TB building. Anyone interested should contact Matt: mattcat83(at)gmail.com

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 25, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Summer school in Budapest (funding available) on “Applied Philosophy: Issues, Method, and Nature.”

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Some of you might be interested in this Summer School at the CEU in Budapest. They often offer full funding for students from Turkey, covering travel, accommodation and course fees. Deadline for applications is march 14th. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 24, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Ethics, Summer Schools

Summer School in Budapest on “Advocacy, Activism and the Internet: Communication Policy for Social Change”

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Some of you might be interested in this Summer School at the CEU in Budapest. They often offer full funding for students from Turkey. This summer school is open both to students and activists. Deadline for applications is march 14th. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 24, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Series of Workshops in Istanbul organised by the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations.

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There is a series of workshops organised by the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, in Istanbul. Some of these may be of interest to philosophers. The first workshop is on 28/02/2014, and is on “Identity Construction through Materiality”. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Summer School on Human Rights in Istanbul.

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The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul is organizing a summer school on human rights in Istanbul from June 14-27th. Deadline for applications is March 1st. Ths SRII will pay for travel and accommodation of participants. Details can be found here.

The focal themes of the course are the following:

- The development and transformation of citizenship
- Religion, nationalism, and the universally human
- Welfare and social justice between rights and politics

These are placed in historical and contemporary perspectives with a special focus on
gender, class, and ethnicity.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 20, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Conference in Istanbul: Alevi Identity Revisited: Cultural, Religious, Social and Political Perspectives (21-22/02/2014)

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The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul is organizing a conference on Alevi Identites reconsidered tis Friday and Saturday. Might be of interest to people interested in political philosophy. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm

International Conference for Autism, Antalya, November 14-16, 2014

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The theme of INCA 2014 is “All Facets of Autism: From Research to Practice”. The conference is expected to attract hundreds of participants from all around the World. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm


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Dr. Ruhi Demiray (Keele/Kocaeli) is organizing the following panel at the European Congress of Political Research in Glasgow in September, 2014, and asked me to advertise the following call for proposals.


The ECPR General Conference that will take place at the University of Glasgow between 3-6 September 2014 will include a section on “Kant and Kantian Constructivism”. We are to convene a panel under this section with the title of “Kantian Constructivism in Legal Philosophy”, the topics of which is described below. We will welcome your paper proposals until 8 February 2014. Proposals should include an abstract (max. 150 words) and basic information about author(s). Please send your proposals to ruhidemiray@ymail.com or m.r.demiray@keele@ac.uk.

Description of the Topic:

Political and legal theory is divided by two competing approaches, namely, the family of positivist approaches based on moral scepticism or moral indifferentism, and the family of ethical approaches based on substantive normative values that their protagonists consider self-evident but others, controversial. Dissatisfaction with the guidance these approaches could provide in dealing with the political and legal problems of the societies of contemporary world is a major reason for the recently raising interest in Kantian Constructivism among political and legal theorists. For Kantian Constructivism promises to provide a normative account of our political and legal practices on the basis of ideas of Right and Public Reason without falling into the pitfalls that approaches appealing to substantive normative values are faced with. This panel is thus designed to discuss what insights Kantian Constructivism brings about with regard to various dimensions and instances of our political and legal practices, such as the legitimate scope of legal regulation, the nature of legal obligation, juridical review over legislation, the separation of powers, political rights, political participation, and voting.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm

CFP: 1st International Symposium on Brain and Cognitive Science (ISBCS) 20 April 2014, Bogazici University, Istanbul

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1st International Symposium on Brain and Cognitive Science (ISBCS)
will take place on 20 April 2014, Bogazici University, Istanbul

Deadline for submission of papers is 2 March 2014. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

January 31, 2014 at 8:28 pm

CFA: Call for Abstracts for Workshop on Gezi Protests, in Kassel (Germany)

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June–Uprising in Turkey: Background, Dynamics and Perspectives
Workshop at University of Kassel, 16 May 2014

Abstracts (max. 500 words, in English or German) to be submitted by February 7, 2014 to tagung.juniaufstand@gmail.com

Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

January 30, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Hrant Dink Memorial Lecture at Bogazici: Loic Wacquant (Berkeley) ‘Inequality, Marginality and Social Justice in the City’ 17/01/2014

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The 2014 Hrant Dink memorial lecture will take place at Bogazici University on Friday, January 17th at 2pm. Loic Wacquant (Berkeley ) will be talking on ‘Inequality, Marginality and Social Justice in the City’. The talk will be in English with Turkish simultaneous Translation.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

January 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Conference in Bursa on ““Tradition, Democracy and Philosophy” in October 2014

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The Philosophy Department at Uludağ University is organising their 3rd International philosophy congress that will take place from 23-25/10/2014. The theme this year will be:

“Tradition, Democracy and Philosophy”

The deadline for submitting abstracts is May 24th, 2014. Further details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

January 9, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Deleuze conference and summer school in Istanbul in July 2014.

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7th International Deleuze Studies Conference
Models, Machines and Memories 
Istanbul, July, 14-16th 2014

Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

January 6, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Talk in Istanbul: Uygar Abaci (University of Richmond) on ‘Modality and Morality in Kant: A Theory of Practical Cognition’ 24/12/2013

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Uygar Abaci (University of Richmond) will give a talk at Istanbul Technical University, on Tuesday  December 24, 2013 at 13:30 in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

ABSTRACT: In his preface to the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant defines “the enigma of the critical philosophy” in terms of the following conundrum: how can we, as epistemic subjects, retain a theoretical agnosticism with respect to the reality of objects such as freedom, God and the immortality of the soul that lie beyond the limits of our possible experience, and yet assert the reality of these objects “from a practical point of view”, that is, when it comes to considering ourselves as moral subjects (5:5). The solution to the enigma, I suggest, lies in the practical application of Kant’s critical conception of modality. According to this conception, modal concepts such as possibility, actuality and necessity signify the ways in which objects are related or given to the subject rather than the ways objects themselves are. In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant insists that in the theoretical domain objects can only be given to us through a connection with sensible intuition, which makes it impossible for us to grant a real modal status to these supersensible objects and thus renders their concepts merely “problematic” ideas for theoretical reason. However, Kant’s account of moral action in the Critique of Practical Reason assumes that in the moral-practical domain objects are given to us through a connection with the moral law. I argue that it is this special relation that enables us to make modal assertions even of those objects that cannot be given to us in sensible intuition.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 23, 2013 at 4:08 am

Talk at Koc – Peter Hagoort (Radboud): “On Speaking Terms with the Social Brain” 23.12.2013

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Peter Hagoort (Radboud) will give a talk at Koc University on Monday December 23rd from 5-7pm. on:

“On Speaking Terms with the Social Brain”

Details can be found here.

ABSTRACT: Despite a large amount of genetic overlap between humans and other primates, the expansion of the human brain is both substantial and remarkable. Two interrelated evolutionary developments might have provided the selectional pressures that resulted in our enlarged brains. One is the increased complexity of the social organization in human tribes. The other is the emergence of an intricate and open-ended communication system: language. I will discuss recent evidence from brain imaging that provides insights into the psychological and neurobiological infrastructure for our social behaviour and for human communication. I will show that social conformity in humans is regulated by dopamine in the reward system. I will also show that inferences about the intentions behind the exchange of linguistic utterances depend on the Theory of Mind network in the brain. Moreover, the brain measures indicate substantial individual differences, explaining why not all humans are equally equipped with social and communicative skills.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

MonoKL Conference in Istanbul with Jacques Rancière on ‘Equality and Aesthetics’, December 7th-8th, 2013

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There will be a conference organised by MonoKL in Istanbul from Decemebr 7-8th, 2013, on:

Equality and Aesthetics

with Jacques RancièreBernard Aspe, Zeynep GambetiNami Başer, Ahmet Soysal and Volkan Çelebi talking place at Bakırköy Belediyesi Atatürk Spor ve Yaşam Köyü Osmaniye Mahallesi from December 7-8th 2013. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Conference in Istanbul on Aesthetics and Politics, December 6th-8th 2013

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  • There will be a 3 day conference from 6-8 December, 2013,  on

Aesthetics and Politics in Turkey: Art, Film, and Literature  

organised by Sabancı University and taking place in Karaköy at the Minerva Palas. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Live like a Stoic week is coming up: November 25th – December 1st, 2013

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Philosophers from Birkbeck, University of London, and the University of Exeter, and psychotherapists are calling on people to live like a Stoic for a week, from 25 November – 1 December 2013. Details can be found here. And here’s a link to the Stoic Week 2013 Handbook.

Might be of interest to people into Philosophy as a way of life.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

November 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm


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There will be a one day conference at Bilgi University on Friday, November 29th on their Santral campus (room E3-101) from 10am – 3.30pm:


The speakers are: Philip Pettit (Princeton), Nathan Tarcov (Chicago), Richard Dagger (Richmond), Ofra Bengio (Tel Aviv), Murat Borovali (Bilgi) and Larbi Sadiki (Quatar).

Together with a couple of Bogazici Graduate students, we will be having a short reading group on Philip Pettit’s new book “On the People’s Terms: A Republican Theory and Model of Democracy” before the conference. If anyone would like to join this reading group please feel free to get in touch. I guess we will try and meet two times between now and next Friday.  (lthorpe@gmail.com). I will be teaching a class on ‘Republicanism, Democracy and Freedom’ at Bogazici next semester, that will draw on Pettit’s work.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

November 18, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Talk by Barry Allen (McMaster University) at Bogazici on “ENGINEERING AESTHETICS” 01/11/2013

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Department of Civil Engineering


Seminar on



Prof. Barry Allen

Visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Boğaziçi University

Professor of Philosophy at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada

Friday, November 01, 2013, 3:00-4:00 PM

Vedat Yerlici Conference Center, Room 1

Engineering Building 5th Floor


Abstract: Works of engineering (for example a bridge, ship, or aircraft) resist the separation, traditional in aesthetic theory, between how they look, or what it is like to perceive them, and how effective or efficient they are. As a result, it is impossible to take a disinterested stance. We cannot separate an assessment of aesthetic value from an appraisal of technical achievement. How well such objects work cannot be separated from how well they look, or the aesthetic quality of their perception.

Works of engineering thus require us to reconsider the idea that aesthetic quality is merely subjective, or a matter of how people feel, without regard to physical qualities or real changes in the physical world. Appearance and functionality are not as independent as aesthetic theory traditionally tends to assume. In this lecture I explain this argument with several examples, mostly drawn from modern bridge engineering.



Barry Allen is Professor of Philosophy at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. He received his PhD in philosophy from Princeton University in 1986. He is the author of four books, including “Artifice and Design: Art and Technology in Human Experience” (2008). This semester he is a visiting professor in the Department of Philosophy at Boǧaziçi University, where he is teaching a class on Chinese philosophy.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

October 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Conference: ‘Globalization and the New Left’ with Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek in Istanbul, 11-12/10/2013

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Monokl is organising a conference on ‘Globalization and the New Left’ with Alain Badiou and Slavoj Zizek on the 11th and 12th of October. It will take place at the Yunus Emre Kültür Merkezi in Ataköy / Bakırköy. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

October 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Jon Mahoney (Kansas State) on “Democratic Equality and Religious Freedom” 01/08/2013

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Jon Mahoney (Kansas State University) will give a talk this Thursday (01/08/2013) from 5-7pm in TB130. Everyone welcome.

“Democratic Equality and Religious Freedom”

ABSTRACT: In this paper I defend a democratic equality approach to religious freedom.  The focus is on a perennial problem in modern political philosophy: How can state religion policy be reconciled to what political morality demands and what political reality permits?  Putting the question this way makes clear how in applied political philosophy we are interested in addressing some of the inevitable conflicts that arise between moral requirements for political legitimacy and the circumstances that limit the set of feasible yet legitimate options.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

July 27, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Ivan Soll (Wisconsin-Madison) on “In Praise of Illusion.” 18/07/2013

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Professor Ivan Soll (Wisconsin-Madison) will give a talk at Bogazici University on Thursday 18/07/2013, in TB130 from 5-7pm. Everyone welcome.

“In Praise of Illusion.” 

ABSTRACT: A wide ranging discussion of various attitudes to illusions, both perceptual and intellectual, in Descartes, the Empiricists, Kant, Schopenhauer, 20th century aesthetic theory, and Nietzsche, and including my own views about the matter.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

July 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Talk at Bogazici by Nurbay Irmak (Miami) on “The Privilege of the Physical and Metaontology” 17/07/2013

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Nurbay Irmak (Miami)  will give a talk next Wednesday (17/07/2013) at Bogazici University, TB130 from 5-7pm. Everyone welcome.


“The Privilege of the Physical and Metaontology.”

ABSTRACT: Theodore Sider in his latest book provides a defense of the substantivity of the first-order ontological debates against recent deflationary attacks. He articulates and defends several realist theses: (a) nature has an objective structure, (b) there is an objectively privileged language to describe the structure, and (c) ontological debates are substantive. Sider’s defense of metaontological realism, (c), crucially depends on his realism about fundamental languages, (b). I argue that (b) is wrong. As a result, Sider’s metaontological realism fails to establish the substantivity of certain ontological disputes. Nonetheless, I will argue denying metaontological realism does not require giving up on the realism about structure, (a), that most of us would like to preserve: namely the idea that there are objective similarities and differences in the world that we try to wrap our minds around.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

July 12, 2013 at 6:11 pm

CFP: Special section of Radical Philosophy on Gezi Protests

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A friend writes:

I am collecting “very” short philosophical essays/reflections on the “event” of Taksim Gezi Parkı for a special section planned for Radical Philosophy, especially by philosophers (and philosophically-oriented scholars from other disciplines) who have been actually or virtually “on site” during the event. Radical Philosophy’s Editorial Collective has welcomed the idea in principle, without any decisive commitment.
I would like to invite you to contribute to this section.
Here are the main points:
The total length of the section will not exceed 9000 words.
I expect 6 or 7 final contributions, although this call is sent to around 15 potential contributors.
Essays should be between 1000 and 1500 words – and, accordingly, dense, succinct and to the point – argumentative, interpretative, reflective, … rather than informative, descriptive, narrative …
Papers will be subject to peer-review among potential contributors before being submitted to Radical Philosophy’s editorial process for final decision.
Radical Philosophy reserves the right to reject any or all contributions.
The deadline for submitting the final collection of essays to Radical Philosophy’s Editorial Collective is mid-August to be considered for November-December 2013 issue.
The deadline for initial submission of pieces to lyurdakulk@yahoo.co.uk is 31 July 2013. This will leave a week for peer-review and another for editing as appropriate.
Please check
for Radical Philosophy’s commentary-style articles.
Also please keep in mind the journal’s general principles for submitted essays:
Considering the tight deadlines, please send a short expression of interest including a tentative title and/or “theme” within a couple of days to help planning the section.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

July 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Student organised philosophy talk at Bogezici tomorrow: Reiner Mühlhoff (FU Berlin) “Affective resistance: On a Foucauldian notion of critique and social change” (21/06/2013)

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A student writes: “Freie Universitat Berlin, Reiner Mühlhoff (PhD student), is in İstanbul for vacation. We were talking with him
yesterday and I convinced him to give an open lecture/talk to us.” Here are the details:

“Affective resistance: On a Foucauldian notion of critique and social change”.

The talk will be at 5.15pm in TB130 at Bogazici University. 21.06.2013.

ABSTRACT: The aim of this talk is to take a look upon movements of social change from a subject-theoretical perspective. The talk consists of three parts: First, we shall elaborate on Michel Foucault’s notions of critique and subjectivity [1], where we shall see that critique and being critical is something inextricably related to the subject’s self-relation and social existence (“Haltung”, stance, hexis). Second, drawing on this and some additional concepts from Gilles Deleuze, two notions of social change shall be contrasted: The one is dialectical, i.e. based on alterity, contradiction, rational negotiation; the other is differential, meaning a processual notion of change as a motion into an openness, transgressing existing social and epistemic structures. In a third part (if there’s time), I shall outline my ideas on how affectivity and Foucauldian critique is essential to facilitate social and political change of the second kind, i.e. that kind of change which leads to genuine systemic transformations instead of merely shifting power balances _within_ an otherwise untouched system.

[1] On critique see Foucaults essay “What is Critique?” and Judith Butlers (2002) article “What is Critique? An Essay on Foucault’s
Virtue”. On the relation of subjectivity and power, see Foucault, “The Subject and Power” (1982).

Written by Lucas Thorpe

June 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm


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