Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for the ‘Political Philosophy’ Category

“Philosophy in a Time of Riots”: Two events with Alberto Toscano in Istanbul (23rd & 24/05/ 2014)

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Alberto Toscano is Reader in Critical Theory at the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Fanaticism (2010; Turkish translation: 2013), The Theatre of Production (2006) and the forthcoming Cartographies of the Absolute (co-authored with Jeff Kinkle). He has translated numerous works by Alain Badiou, Antonio Negri and others. He edits The Italian List for Seagull Books and is a member of the editorial board of the journal Historical Materialism.

On Friday 23/05/2014,  there will be a talk at Boğaziçi University  University on “Fanaticism, Crisis and the Forms of Politics”, starting at 4pm in Natuk Birkin 119.
toscano bog

On Saturday 24.05.2014 there will be a Conference at the Taksim Hill Hotel, together with Ozren Pupovac (Boğaziçi ), on Philosophy in a Time of Riots.

konferans tosc

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 22, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Bilgi University (Istanbul): The Sources of Pluralism – Metaphysics, Epistemology, Law and Politics. May 15th-20th, 2014.

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The topic of the Istanbul Seminars (at Bilgi University in Istanbul) this year will be:

The Sources of Pluralism – Metaphysics, Epistemology, Law and Politics.

The program can be found here. Among the participants are Seyla Benhabib, Richard BernsteinAlessandro Ferrara, Maurizio FerrarisNilüfer Göle, Amr HamzawyRamin JahanbeglooCécile Laborde, Avishai Margalit , David Rasmussen, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. 

A full list of participants can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Étienne Balibar on “Globalization and the Crisis of the Cosmopolitan Idea” (06/05/2014)

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Étienne Balibar will be giving a talk at Boğaziçi University on May 6th in the Rector’s Conference Room, at 16:00 on:

“Globaliszation and the Crisis of the Cosmopolitan Idea”



Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 4, 2014 at 4:43 pm

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 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

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


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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

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

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


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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

Lucas Thorpe (Boğaziçi) talk at ITU 19th November, 13:30“Can We Have a Duty to Kill Our Neighbors? : Moral Pluralism, Moral Conflict and the Duty to Enter the Civil Condition in Kant”

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“Can We Have a Duty to Kill Our Neighbors? : Moral Pluralism, Moral Conflict and the Duty to Enter the Civil Condition in Kant”

Lucas Thorpe (Department of Philosophy) Boğaziçi University

Tuesday November 19th, starting 13:30. Abstract can be found here.

Istanbul Technical University (Central Campus Maslak)

Faculty of Science and Letters

Department of Humanities and Social Science

Seminar Room

Campus is next to ITU metro station

Written by Barry Stocker

November 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Manuel Knoll, Istanbul Technical University, 17th December. ‘Max Weber’s Interpretation of Machiavelli. The Consequence of Political Realism for the Relation of Ethics and Politics’

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Prof. Dr. Manuel Knoll, Boğaziçi University
‘Max Webers Interpretation of Machiavelli. The Consequences of Political Realism for the Relation of Ethics and Politics’

This paper investigates Machiavelli’s influence on Max Weber’s political thought. It points out the views held in common by both writers on politics, which revolve around their political realism. If politics is based on power and force, a specific ethics needs to be developed for this area of human conduct. The thesis of the paper is that Weber’s concept of an “ethics of responsibility” was inspired by Machiavelli’s political ethics.

The talk begins at 13:30




Istanbul Technical University

Central Campus (Maslak)

Faculty of Science and Letters

Department of Humanities and Social Science

Seminar Room

Written by Barry Stocker

November 10, 2013 at 8:22 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

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

Philosophy in Gezi Park: Jesse Prinz (CUNY) on “Passionate Politics: Emotions, Morality, and Social Identity” 05/06/2013

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Due to the event’s in Turkey Jesse Prinz’ talk that was planned to take place at Bogazici University has been reschedule to Gezi Park, Taxim. Here are the details. We’ll meet by the entrance to the park near the Divan hotel between 4.30 and 5pm. My number is 0535 024 5844.

Jesse will be happy to hang around and talk to students after the talk. Bring umbrellas (and surgical masks and swimming goggles).

Professor Jesse Prinz (CUNY- Graduate Centre) will give a talk on Wednesday (05/06/2013) from 5-6, in Gezi park:

“Passionate Politics: Emotions, Morality, and Social Identity”

Jesse J. Prinz is a Distinguished Professor of philosophy and director of the Committee for Interdisciplinary Science Studies at theCity University of New York, Graduate Center. He took his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago under the direction of Murat Aydede. His books include: Furnishing the Mind: Concepts and Their Perceptual Basis (MIT: 2002), Gut Reactions: A Perceptual Theory of Emotion (OUP: 2004), The Emotional Construction of Morals (OUP: 2007), Beyond Human Nature (Penguin/Norton: 2012).

Written by Lucas Thorpe

June 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Two-Day Conference on Neurology, Philosophy of Biology, and Artificial Intelligence, organized by Koç University Philosophy Department (Venue: Beyoglu – RCAC)

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  • Speakers include but are not limited to: Bernard Stiegler (Université de Technologie Compiègne), Alva Noë (University of California, Berkeley), Barry Smith (University of London), and Güven Güzeldere (Harvard University)Poster

Conference Program

May 25th  Saturday

9.30 Opening

9.45-11.45 First Session

  Hilmi Demir: “A Recent History of Philosophy of Mind: Convergence Points between Cognitive Sciences and Phenomenology”

 Barış Korkmaz: “Self: Neuroscience and Psychoanalysis”

Aziz Zambak: “Plasticity: The Forgotten Principle in Artificial Intelligence”

11:45-12:00 Coffee Break

12:00-13:00  Second Session

Bernard Stiegler: “From Neuropower to Noopolitics”

13:00-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30:16:30 Third Session

Patrick Roney: “Neuro-aesthetics”

Zeynep Direk: “Neuroethics and the question of alterity”

Stephen Voss: “What do I mean when I say I”

May 26th Sunday

 9:30-10:30 First Session

Alva Noë: “The Fragile Manifest: Presence in Thought and Experience”

10:30-10:45 Coffee Break 

10:45-12:45 Second Session

Barry Smith: “Are Flavours in the Brain? The Phenomenology and Neuroscience of Flavour Perception”

Güven Güzeldere: “Unity of Consciousness in a Divided Brain?” 

 12:45-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30-16:30 Third Session

Fuat Balcı: “Reward Maximization: The Role of Time and its Psychophysics”

Emrah Aktunç: “On Bickle’s ‘Ruthless Reductionism in Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience: What are they Reducing?”

Hakan Gürvit: “Plasticity: Via Regia to the Neuroscientific Subjectivity”

Venue: Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations – Beyoglu

Venue Map


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Aret Karademir (USF) will give a talk on Thursday, (23/05/2013) from 5-7pm in TB130 on


ABSTRACT: The names of Judith Butler and Martin Heidegger rarely come together in Butler and Heidegger scholarship. As a matter of fact, the basis for the lack of a dialogical exchange between Butlerian and Heideggerian scholars is straightforward. After all, it seems prima faciethat there is an unbridgeable gap between Butler’s and Heidegger’s philosophical and political stances. For example, while Butler is a social constructivist, Heidegger, at least in Being and Time, interrogates the universal structures of human existence. While Butler is a radical democrat, Heidegger supported National Socialism whole-heartedly in the years of 1933 and 1934 and, even in his last interview in 1966, stated that “I am not convinced that it is democracy” that can solve the shortcomings of modernity. Be that as it may, I believe, the critical encounter between Butler and Heidegger might be philosophically/politically promising—especially for inquiring into the relationship between freedom and marginalization. My aim in this paper is to re-appropriate Butler’s philosophy from the perspective of the Heidegger of Being and Time. That is, I will read Butler with the aid of Heideggerian concepts such as “Being-in-the-world,” “Being-towards-death,” “(in)authenticity,” “anxiety,” “guilt,” “authentic solicitude.” Due to this reading, I will claim that one’s freedom is dependent on the resuscitation of socially-murdered racial, sexual, ethnic, religious, and sectarian/confessional minorities. More specifically, I will claim that the socially-sanctioned subject’s freedom is dependent on the marginalized Other’s freedom, and, conversely, the marginalized Other’s freedom is dependent on the socially-sanctioned subject’s freedom.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 14, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Karim Sadek (AUB) on “Honneth’s Recognition-based Theory and the Recognition of Islamic Identity” (22.05.2013)

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Karim Sadek (AUB) will give a talk on Wednesday 22.05.2013 from 5-7pm in TB130.

“Honneth’s Recognition-based Theory and the Recognition of Islamic Identity”

Dr. Sadek received his phd in philosophy from Georgetown University and is currently a Post-Doc at the American University of Beirut.
Abstract: This paper investigates the ability of Axel Honneth’s recognition-based theory to explain and evaluate the demand for the public recognition of Islamic identity. Drawing on Rached al-Ghannouchi’s dissident thought as representative of a trend in Islamic revivalism, I reconstruct his social and political demands in terms of a demand for the public recognition of Islamic identity. I also argue that to fully and properly capture Ghannouchi’s demand for recognition, we should distinguish between a negative and a positive interpretation of that demand. I then show that while Honneth’s theory succeeds in capturing and addressing the demand for the public recognition of Islamic identity understood negatively, it fails to do so with the positive construal of that demand. This failure, however, can be remedied. Drawing on two sympathetic critics of Honneth’s theory and its contribution to the politics of identity, I put forward an upgraded version of the recognition model that is capable of both normatively grasping Ghannouchi’s demand and adequately responding to it. The outcome of this encounter between Honneth and Ghannouchi not only empowers the recognition model, but also allows for a deeper and more nuanced understanding of Ghannouchi’s demands for the public recognition of Islamic identity.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Conference at Bilgi University: The Sources of Political Legitimacy, 16th-22nd of May, 2013

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The 6th annual Istanbul Seminars will take place at Bilgi University from May 16th -22nd. The theme this year will be:

The Sources of Political Legitimacy: From the Erosion of the Nation-State to the Rise of Political Islam

Amongst the participants will be: Fahmy HoweidyStathis KalyvasSeyla BenhabibDavid Rasmussen and Roberto Toscano.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Antonio Negri in Istanbul for conference organised by Monokl (27th and 28th of April, 2013)

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Monokl is organising a conference next Saturday and Sunday on:

‘New Forms of Freedom and the Subject’

The participants include: Antonio Negri, Judith Revel, Marco Assennato, and Ahmet Soysal. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

April 20, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Two talks on Ancient Philosophy at Koc University: Nicholas D. Smith (Lewis & Clark College) and Stelios C. Zyglidopoulos (University of Cambridge) [22/04/2013 & 24/04/2013]

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Nicholas D. Smith (Lewis & Clark College)

‘Socrates on Practical Deliberation’

Monday 22 April 15.30-17.00, room CAS B34, sponsored by CSSH

An argument has recently been made for the claim that Socratic philosophy leaves little room for practical deliberation. The gist of this argument is both simple and powerful: Socrates appears to regard any decision-making that is done in ignorance to be unjustified. Contemptuous, for example, of the opinions of those he calls “the many,” Socrates seems only to offer, as an alternative, only the exhortation to “lead the examined life.” But this advice can hardly serve to tell anyone (for example Euthyphro, as he considers whether to prosecute his father) what they should do in any given case. In this paper, I offer an explanation of how Socratic philosophy can actually support a wide range of practical deliberation—even for those who, like Socrates, recognize that they are ignorant of “the most important things.”


Stelios C. Zyglidopoulos (University of Cambridge)

‘The ability to rule versus the ability to become a ruler in Plato’

Wednesday 24 April, 12.30-14.00, room CAS 124, co-sponsored by GSSSH, CASE, and GSB

ABSTRACT: In this paper, I argue that there are more subtle reasons behind Plato’s pessimism that reside within the philosopher herself and the training that she has to undertake in order to become a philosopher. In particular, I argue that Plato had three additional reasons behind his belief in the incompatibility, within the same person, of the abilities to rule and the abilities to become a ruler. First, physical limitations would most likely prevent one from becoming a philosopher while still having enough time to train and engage in the ways of conventional politics, needed in becoming a ruler. In the terms of the ship of state simile (Republic, 488a-489c) there is not enough time in one’s life to both learn to read the stars and the winds, and learn how to get the ship owner drunk and flatter the crew. Second, for psychological reasons, a philosopher most likely cannot compete for political power without having a disadvantage in such a competition. Third, the two abilities, ruling and becoming a ruler, are, according to Plato, as incompatible with one another as are the abilities of the cook and the doctor (Gorgias 465b) or more to the point the rhetorician and the philosopher, who is trained in dialectic.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

April 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm


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