Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

1st Practical Philosophy Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Researcher Conference – CFA (in Turkish)

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Society for Practical Philosophy is organizing an online conference.


Conference Date: August 7-8, 2020

Conference Language: Turkish

Platform: Zoom

Abstract length: 500-1000 words

Submission deadline: June 30, 2020

Notification of acceptance: July 20, 2020

How to submit: Fully anonymous abstracts and a separate document containing the name, surname, affiliation and contact information of the author(s) should be submitted to konferans@pratikfelsefe.com as a PDF or Word document. The subject line of the submission e-mail should be “2020 Pratik Felsefe Konferansı Özet Gönderimi”.


Keynote Speakers:

1. Prof. Bülent Gözkan (Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Üniversitesi)
Kant’ın Temel Projesi: Doğa Varlığı Olan İnsanı Bir Ahlâk Varlığına Dönüştürmek

2. Dr. Cansu Canca (AI Ethics Lab)


Conference themes include, but are not limited to:

Normative ethics

Social and Political philosophy

Applied ethics

Philosophy of law


Moral psychology


The aim of the conference is to gather graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who earned their doctoral degrees within the last five years. The conference is expected to be a medium where researchers working on various subfields of practical philosophy can provide each other feedback, criticism and suggestions.


Each presentation will have 20 minutes, followed by another 20 minutes dedicated to Q&A.


Please do not hesitate to share this CfA with all potentially interested parties.

For more information contact info@pratikfelsefe.com or check out our website at https://www.pratikfelsefe.com.

Written by ozgurnayir

June 20, 2020 at 4:59 pm

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Summer Lecture Series: “İyilik, Güzellik * Goodness and Beauty”, Tuesdays 20:00 İstanbul Time

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Meetings will be held on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83435659814

Written by roberthowton

June 17, 2020 at 2:11 pm

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Int. Workshop on Theory (Re-)Construction in the Empirical Social and Behavioral Sciences (TRC2020), 7-8 NOV 2020 (online or on-site)

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***please distribute widely; apologies for x-posting***

Int. Workshop on Theory (Re-)Construction in the Empirical Social and Behavioral Sciences (TRC2020)

Sat & Sun, 7-8 NOV 2020 (online or on-site)

Boğaziçi University, Dpt. of Philosophy & Cognitive Science Program, 34342 Bebek/Istanbul, Turkey


It has been repeatedly observed that the Empirical Social and Behavioral Sciences (ESBS) lack well-developed theoretical superstructures, structures that researchers could apply to generate (point-)predictive empirical hypotheses. The MTR project treats this lacuna as an important reason to explain, and to treat, the ongoing replicability crisis in the ESBS.

We invite abstracts from any scientific field addressing this lacuna via reconstructions of empirical theories (from the ESBS or not), research on frameworks (or methods) for theory reconstruction, synchronic or diachronic work on concept formation/ontology in the ESBS, and explanatory accounts why this lacuna persists. We particularly invite applied work on how to go about constructing an ESBS theory.

Participation is on-site or online. There are no fees. Please submit an abstract (max. around 500 words) plus key references by 15 SEPT 2020.

What now?

Submit abstract https://easychair.org/my/conference?conf=trc2020

Receive e-mail updates https://bit.ly/TRC2020-registration

Registration https://bit.ly/TRC2020-registration

Learn more about MTR  https://mtrboun.wordpress.com/home-2/project/about/

Important Dates

Deadlines are at midnight, GMT+3.

Abstract submission 15 SEPT 2020
Acceptance letters sent 30 SEPT 2020
Registration for speaker 15 OCT 2020
Program ready 22 OCT 2020
Registration for discussants by 1 NOV 2020


Zeynep Burçe Gümüşlü




Deadline Extended till 1 July: SWIP-TR 3

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Call for Abstracts: 3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference on Philosophy, Gender and Social Justice  
The Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey is proud to announce the 3rd Annual Conference and Meeting of SWIP-Turkey between 19-20 November, 2020 at Maltepe University, Turkey.

Date of the Conference: 19-20 November, 2020
Place: Maltepe University, Istanbul.
Abstracts: in English or Turkish
Word limit: between 900-1200 words (3 pages long)
Deadline for abstract submission:  July 1,  2020 
Notification of acceptance:  July 15, 2020
E-mail anonymized abstracts and a separate document with contact details as word or PDF to swiptr2020@gmail.com. The subject heading of the e-mail should be “2020 SWIP-TR Abstract Submission”
Review Process: Long abstracts will be double-blind reviewed according to criteria listed here. Abstracts that are not retained will receive feedback from an anonymous reviewer upon request.
Publication: After an independent triple-blind review process, selected papers will be published in FE Journal: Feminist Critique.

                          3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference on Philosophy, Gender, and Social Justice 
                                                                                     Keynote Speakers
Prof. Betül Çotuksöken (Maltepe University, Istanbul)
Prof. Nazile Kalaycı (Hacettepe University, Ankara)

This conference is co-organized by the Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey (Swip-TR), Maltepe University Department of Philosophy and Maltepe University UNESCO Chair for Gender Equality and Culture.

The goal of the event is to create a forum for women in philosophy to meet and help each other. More specifically, we wish to foster exchanges between women philosophers studying or working in Turkey as well as women philosopher from Turkey who study or work abroad.

The conference will consist of panels in Turkish and English on the following subtopics spread over two days.
Philosophy, Gender, and Social Justice
–           Women Philosophers in the History of Philosophy
–           Being a Woman in Philosophy
–           Topics in Feminist Philosophy
–           Gender, Race and Intersectional Analysis
–           Topics in Women’s Studies
–           Philosophical Questions about Social Justice
–           Philosophical Questions about Family

We invite (those identifying as) women philosophers to submit longs abstracts for presentation.
Please feel free to share this message with interested parties.

For further information, please e-mail swipturkey@gmail.com
Website: https://swip-tr.weebly.com/

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 20, 2020 at 1:08 pm

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Talk by Bill Wringe (Bilkent): “Shared Emotions and Other Minds” (21.05.2020)

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Bill Wringe (Bilkent) will have a guest lecture in my Social Cognition Class at Bogazici on Thursday, May 21st from 11am til 1pm (Istanbul time). Anyone is welcome to join.

Link can be found here: https://boun-edu-tr.zoom.us/j/95389796502

ABSTRACT: Philosophers sometimes suggest we might address skepticism about other minds by defending a ‘direct realist’ account of our knowledge of the mental states of other people, on which we have direct perceptual access to the mental states of others. Our knowledge of the emotions of other people seems to provide us with a promising point of entry for such an account. However, we might doubt whether a state’s having an intentional object can be a part of what is directly perceived. If an emotion’s intentional directedness is essential to its being a mental state, then what we are able to attribute on directly perceptual grounds seems to fall short of being a fully-fledged mental state. This problem cannot be solved by direct realists who retain a ‘spectatorial’ approach to
accounting for our capacity to attribute mental states to others. Some suggest that ‘interactivist’ accounts can achieve more than purely spectatorial ones. However, it is at least initially unclear what interaction could add. Here I present an account on which our capacity to understand the emotions of others is based on our capacity for shared emotional involvement. On this view, my capacity to know what you are feeling is grounded in a more basic capacity to know what we are feeling. This approach solves the problem I raised for the spectatorial direct realist, since the fact that mental states that I share can be directed to particular intentional objects is not open to skeptical doubt.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 19, 2020 at 11:18 pm

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Talk: Victoria Holbrook, “The Architecture of Mimesis – Poetry in Plato and the Quran”, May 5th, 2020, 18:00

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Bilgi Üniversitesi Mimarlık Yüksek Lisans öğrencilerinin düzenlediği “Mekan Konuşmaları” serisinin 69.sunda Victoria Holbrook bizlerle olacak.

Konuşma Konusu: “The Architecture of Mimesis: Poetry in Plato and Quran”

Oluşan koşulların Doğu-Batı ayrımı olmaksızın toplumları aynı düzlemde buluşturduğu bugünlerde, İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi’nden Dr. Victoria Holbrook, sanatın, siyasi yaşamın temsilinin ve epistemolojinin temelindeki “mimesis” kavramını, Plato’nun çalışmalarında ve Kuran’daki mekansal “mimesis” anlayışının ortaklıkları üzerinden tartışacak.

İlgilenen herkesi bekliyoruz.

Online Yayın: Zoom Meeting
(Konuşma herkese açıktır, katılım 100 kişi ile sınırlıdır.)
Tarih: 05.05.2020 Salı Saat: 18.00

Written by Ömer Aygün

May 2, 2020 at 7:03 pm

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BOUN Phil Colloq in May, Fridays 5pm, on ZOOM

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8 MAY 2020, 5pm
Dilek Huseyinzadegan (Emory University, Atlanta, USA): What is Kant’s Non-Ideal Theory of Politics

15 MAY 2020, 5pm
Ali Emre Benli (Department of Ethics, Law and Politics; Max Planck Institute for the Study of Ethnics and Religious Diversity; Gottingen; Germany): Should refugees vote?

22 MAY 2020, 5pm
Pascale Roure (Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany): Logical Empiricism in Turkish Exile. Hans Reichenbach’s Research and Teaching Activities at Istanbul University (1933-1938)

To view abstracts, find zoom links, and to copy these entries to your personal calendars, go to: https://phil.boun.edu.tr/calendar

Download the zoom browser plugin at https://zoom.us/download



Written by fzenker

April 28, 2020 at 4:08 pm

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Talk at Bilkent 30 Apr: Saniye Vatansever on Kant and Stoicism (Online Event)

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Consolation of Kant’s Philosophy: The Stoic Elements in Kant’s Letter to Maria von Herbert

By Saniye Vatansever (Bilkent, Philosophy) 

Date: Thursday April 30, 2020 

Time: 1640-1800 GMT+3

Zoom link: This is an online event. All are welcome. If you would like to listen to the talk please click on the following link when the event is due to begin:  https://zoom.us/j/767639034

Abstract: In this paper, I examine the letter correspondence between Kant and Maria von Herbert, an Austrian woman who is well-versed in Kant’s moral philosophy. Herbert writes three letters to Kant and we only have access to Kant’s reply to her first letter. In her letters, Herbert explains her misery and seeks consolation from Kant in person as she claims that she couldn’t find comfort in philosophy. Thus, she raises interesting philosophical questions regarding the immorality of suicide, the dullness of leading a dutiful life, and consolation of philosophy. Whether Kant provides satisfactory answers to her questions is a matter of controversy. According to Rae Langton, Kant’s reply to Herbert simply ignores Herbert’s questions and that negligence on Kant’s part might be due to the underlying assumption that the less said on suicide, the less likely the morbid thoughts will arise. Contra Langton, I argue that by analyzing the nature of Herbert’s actions and the underlying causes of her feelings, Kant attempts to change Herbert’s negative emotions leading to suicidal thoughts. In other words, Kant aims to provide consolation and comfort to Herbert by helping her rationally analyze the causes of her destructive emotions. By doing so, Kant acts as a stoic philosopher attempting to transform the false judgments leading to negative emotions with the correct ones.

About the speaker:  click here.

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

April 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm

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Online Talk hosted by Istanbul Bilgi 22 April: Geoffrey Bowe, “Socratic Spaces: Ingress and Egress, Inside and Outside – Setting in Plato’s Dialogues”

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Click here or on the poster below for a link to the meeting (via Zoom).

Written by roberthowton

April 16, 2020 at 7:55 am

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Prokopton: Undergraduate Philosophy Journal of Bilkent University

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The first issue of Prokopton: Undergraduate Philosophy Journal of Bilkent University is online at prokopton.bilkent.edu.tr.

Prokopton is an annual online journal. It is the first refereed international academic journal of philosophy for undergraduate students in Turkey. ‘Prokopton’, is a Greek term used by Stoics, which means making progress toward truth or being a student of wisdom.

The journal includes original research articles, translations, book reviews and interviews by undergraduate students. There is also a section for high-school students, edited by high school students. The managing editorial board of the journal consists of undergraduate students at Bilkent.

Please see the submission guidelines if you would like to submit your work for the next issue.

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

April 5, 2020 at 12:01 pm

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Talk at Bilkent 2 Apr: Jonathan Payton on Counting Composites (Online Event)

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Counting Composites  

By Jonathan Payton (Calgary, Philosophy) 

 Date: Thursday April 2, 2020 

Time: 1640-1800 

Zoom link: This is online event. All are welcome. If you would like to listen to the talk please click on the following link when the event is due to begin: https://zoom.us/j/556133950.

Abstract: According to the thesis ‘Composition Entails Identity’ (CEI), a whole is identical to all its parts taken together. CEI seems to imply that things can outnumber themselves, i.e., that there can be more things in a collection than there are. For instance, if two objects, a and b, compose a third object, c, then by CEI, (I) a and b are both many things and one, and (ii) they’re both two things and three. I solve this problem by distinguishing two kinds of number ascriptions – which I dub ‘cardinality ascriptions’ and ‘ipseity ascriptions’ – and hence two ways for some objects to be n things. While no collection can possess two or more distinct cardinalities – and so cannot, in that sense, outnumber itself – a single collection can possess two or more distinct ipseities. 

About the speaker:  Jonathan Payton received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto and he is currently SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. He specializes in and the philosophy of action, drawing heavily on research in the philosophy of language and philosophical logic. He has published in journals such as Australasian Journal of Philosophy,  SyntheseCanadian Journal of Philosophy and Erkenntnis. In addition, he has a book under contract with Cambridge University Press entitled ‘Negative Actions and the Metaphysics of Agency’. 

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

April 1, 2020 at 9:49 am

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UPDATE: Deadline for applications to the MA Program in Philosophy at Koç University extended to 17 April, 2020

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Written by roberthowton

March 30, 2020 at 1:02 pm

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Application deadline for MA/PhD at Bilkent (May 29)

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We are now accepting applications for our M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy, for those starting in Fall 2020.

  • Deadline for regular applications: 29 May, 2020

All successful applicants receive a comprehensive scholarship (tuition waiver, monthly stipend, housing support & private health insurance). Up to 5 will be selected for a fully-funded exchange with ANU Philosophy. We warmly welcome applications from international students, as well as philosophy and non-philosophy majors. The language of instruction for all aspects of the program is English.

The philosophy department at Bilkent is ranked #1 in Turkey for research. We are an internationally diverse department with eight different nationalities represented among our faculty. Faculty received their doctoral degrees from institutions such as Princeton University, CUNY Graduate Center, London School of Economics, Stanford University, and Oxford University and have published in leading journals and international publishers.

Admission to the Program is highly competitive.

For more information about the doctoral program and application process click here.

For more information about the master’s program and application process click here.

Note: The entrance exam and interviews, for those invited, will be conducted via Zoom.


Written by Sandrine Berges

March 24, 2020 at 1:01 pm

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Call for Applications to the MA Program in Philosophy at Koç University – Online Information Session 26 March

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PHIL MA Revised-page-001

Written by roberthowton

March 23, 2020 at 10:53 am

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Lecture Series at Bogazici, 18, 19, 23 & 24 MARCH 2020: Patricia Rich (University of Bayreuth, Germany): Successful Scientific Communities–Lessons from Epistemology

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Patricia Rich is junior professor of philosophy at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. She teaches among others in the Philosophy & Economics program.

The lectures are open to BA and MA/PhD students.

Rooms to be announced at http://bit.ly/BOUN-PHIL-CALENDAR. Warm welcome!

WED 18 MARCH, 5-7 pm: Values in science

This session presents a challenge to the notion of scientific objectivity, based on the realization that values play an often hidden role in scientific inquiry, and that science is in fact forced to make implicit value judgments. A healthy scientific community is often seen as the only way to achieve a kind of objectivity.

THU 19 MARCH, 5-7 pm: Systems-oriented social epistemology

Traditional epistemology ignores the social context of individual reasoning, and this has increasingly been recognized as a problem. The quickly-growing literature in social epistemology remedies this problem. This session introduces the research program in “systems-oriented social epistemology”, which allows us to address the diversity challenge from the previous session.

MO 23 MARCH, 5-7 pm: Evolutionary epistemology

Much of this new research in epistemology reflects our understanding of humans as evolved beings. Appeals to evolution must be critically assessed and used cautiously, however. This session explains basic principles of evolutionary biology and discusses the conditions under which evolutionary theory could help us to understand scientific communities.

TUE 24 MARCH, 5-7 pm: Knowledge-first epistemology

Traditional epistemology has also taken the notion of ‘belief’ as its most important building block. This session explains why many epistemologists now reject this tradition as well, rebuilding epistemology on the concept of ‘knowledge’ rather than ‘belief’. Ways in which knowledge-first, systems-oriented, and evolutionary epistemology may be mutually-reinforcing developments are explored.

Host: Boğaziçi University (BOUN), Dpt. of Philosophy, Bebek, 34342 Istanbul, Turkey. Local organizer: Dr. Frank Zenker (frank.zenker[AT]boun.edu.tr). Funded by the European Union Erasmus+ teaching exchange program.

Written by fzenker

March 5, 2020 at 11:38 am

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CFP: 3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference, Maltepe

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Call for Papers: 3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference on Philosophy, Gender and Social Justice  


The Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey is proud to announce the 3rd Annual Conference and Meeting of SWIP-Turkey between 19-20 November, 2020 at Maltepe University, Turkey.


Date of the Conference: 19-20 November, 2020

Place: Maltepe University, Istanbul.

Abstracts: in English or Turkish

Word limit: between 900-1200 words (3 pages long)

Deadline for abstract submission: 1 May 2020

Notification of acceptance: May 15, 2020

E-mail: anonymized abstracts and a separate document with contact details as word or PDF to swiptr2020@gmail.com. The subject heading of the e-mail should be “2020 SWIP-TR Abstract Submission”


Review Process:

Long abstracts will be double-blind reviewed according to criteria listed here: (https://swip-tr.weebly.com/abstract-assessment.html). Abstracts that are not retained will receive feedback from an anonymous reviewer upon request.


Publication: After an independent triple-blind review process, selected papers will be published in FE Journal: Feminist Critique (http://cins.ankara.edu.tr/).



3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference on Philosophy, Gender, and Social Justice 

Keynote Speakers


Prof. Betül Çotuksöken (Maltepe University, Istanbul)


Prof. Nazile Kalaycı (Hacettepe University, Ankara)


The conference is co-organized by the Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey (Swip-TR), Maltepe University Department of Philosophy and Maltepe University Center for Women and Family Studies.


The goal of the event is to create a forum for women in philosophy to meet and help each other. More specifically, we wish to foster exchanges between women philosophers studying or working in Turkey as well as women philosopher from Turkey who study or work abroad.


The conference will consist of panels in Turkish and English on the following topics spread over two days.





Philosophy, Gender, and Social Justice
–           Women Philosophers in the History of Philosophy

–           Being a Woman in Philosophy
–           Topics in Feminist Philosophy
–           Gender, Race and Intersectional Analysis

–           Topics in Women’s Studies

–           Philosophical Questions about Social Justice

–           Philosophical Questions about Family


We invite (those identifying as) women philosophers to submit longs abstracts for presentation.


Please feel free to share this message with interested parties.

For further information, please e-mail swipturkey@gmail.com

Website: https://swip-tr.weebly.com/





Written by Sandrine Berges

March 5, 2020 at 11:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Bogazici, 10 April 2020, 5.00- 7.00pm: Pascale Roure (Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany): Logical Empiricism in Turkish Exile. Hans Reichenbach’s Research and Teaching Activities at Istanbul University (1933-1938)

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ABSTRACT: The purpose of my talk is to shed new light on a less known stage in the development of Hans Reichenbach’s thought, namely his research, output and teaching activities at the University of Istanbul (1933–1938). I argue here that the experience of Turkish exile was decisive in the development of Reichenbach’s philosophical views, as presented in his work written in Istanbul, Experience and Prediction. I therefore suggest a new reading of this book, based on the study of its Turkish context of elaboration and reception. To this end, I will take in consideration not only Reichenbach’s efforts to popularize and extend the program of scientific philosophy in Turkey and other European countries in the 1930’s, but also the Turkish lectures and the work of Reichenbach’s students at the University of Istanbul. By studying these two faces of the Turkish reception of Logical Empiricism and by highlighting the specificity of Reichenbach’s positions, I will show that Reichenbach’s impact was not limited to a unilateral transfer of knowledge, but was also an indirect contribution to the scientific development of philosophical disciplines such as psychology and sociology at the University of Istanbul.
LOCATION: John Freely Hall, Bebek, BÜ Güney Kampüsü No:6, 34342 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey (map)

Written by fzenker

March 4, 2020 at 2:15 pm

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Talk at Bogazici, 27 MARCH 2020, 5.00-7.00pm: Alireza Fatollahi (Princeton University, USA): A Statistical Defense Of Predictionism

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ABSTRACT: There has been a long and lively debate in the philosophy of science over predictionism: the thesis that successfully predicting a given body of data typically provides stronger evidence for a theory than merely accommodating the same body of data. However, despite the intuitive appeal of the thesis, it has never been decisively defended. One of the strongest reasons against predictionism is that whether any given datum was predicted or accommodated by a hypothesis is a matter of how the hypothesis was constructed and belongs to the context of its discovery. However, there is an old and popular idea in philosophy of science that one should carefully distinguish the context of discovery and the context of justification of a theory. I will argue that the idea underwriting this celebrated distinction is, at least in its general form, seriously mistaken. My argument is based on the statistical achievements of the second half of the twentieth century on the so-called “model selection” problem. Various model selection criteria tell us that the model (i.e., family of hypotheses) from which a hypothesis is constructed has a significant bearing on how well-supported the hypothesis is. Particularly, in this framework simplicity is a feature of the model from which a hypothesis is designed, not the hypothesis itself. Simplicity, so understood, is shown to be deeply connected to various epistemically valuable features of a theory, viz, its likelihood and predictive accuracy. Thus considerations of simplicity, which are undoubtedly important in theory appraisal, are responsive to parameters in the context of discovery! Moreover, given a specific hypothesis, H, and body of data, D, the model from which H was constructed is typically simpler if H was not constructed to accommodate D (i.e., if H predicted D). This, I argue, provides a convincing argument for a very strong version of predictionism.
LOCATION: John Freely Hall, Bebek, BÜ Güney Kampüsü No:6, 34342 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey (map)
Followed by an informal dinner.

Written by fzenker

March 4, 2020 at 2:08 pm

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Talk at Bogazici, 20 MARCH 2020, 5.00-7.00 pm: Patricia Rich (University of Bayreuth, Germany): Epistemic Diversity: A Re-Evaluation

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ABSTRACT: It is a familiar problem that individuals often follow the crowd instead of relying on their own good judgment. Such behavior is especially troubling because it can cause the whole group to go badly astray, for example becoming convinced of falsehoods. Paradoxically, however, the standard view in philosophy is that it is typically the individuals who do *not* follow the crowd who are in fact irrational. If individuals were all perfectly rational, we would have much more conformity than we in fact have. I illustrate this state of affairs using the example of ‘information cascades’; the term is used to describe events as varied as stock market crashes and book, restaurant and fashion trends. In information cascades, individuals follow the crowd because their private evidence is outweighed by public evidence in the form of others’ actions. I explain why the standard analysis, which concludes that the non-conformists are irrational, is problematic, and how it reveals a basic limitation of our modeling approach. I argue that we can only really explain the non-conformist behavior we observe by adopting a game-theoretic perspective. From this perspective, non-conformist behavior is naturally construed as cooperative. I provide new results, using computer simulations, which show that sticking to one’s own evidence can constitute a rational cooperative strategy for individual group members. This shows that the diversity of opinion that we see need not be the result of individual irrationality, contrary to the standard account.

LOCATION: John Freely Hall, Room JF 507, followed by an informal dinner

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: https://www.phil.uni-bayreuth.de/en/people/rich/index.php


Written by fzenker

March 4, 2020 at 1:55 pm

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Talk at Bilkent 5 Mar: Murali Ramachandran on the Paradox of the Ravens

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Hempel’s Paradox of the Ravens

By Murali Ramachandran (Witwatersrand, Philosophy)

Date: Thursday,  5th March, 2020

Time: 1540-1710

Place: H-232

Abstract: Hempel’s paradox of the ravens arises from two very compelling principles, SUPPORT and EQUIVALENCE:

Observations of FGs support (confirm, count as positive evidence for) the hypothesis ‘All Fs are G’, so long as no non-G Fs have been observed.
(E.g. observations of tigers with stripes supports the hypothesis [All tigers have stripes], so long as tigers without stripes have not been observed.)

Evidence that supports a hypothesis equally supports any logically equivalent hypothesis.
(E.g. any evidence which supports [There are Latvian vegetarians] equally supports [There are vegetarian Latvians])

Now consider the following statements:

[Rave]     All ravens are black.
[NoB]      All non-black things are non-ravens.

These are logically equivalent: one cannot be true without the other being true as well. By SUPPORT, observation of a red pencil, say, being an observation of a non-black nonraven, supports hypothesis [NoB], and thus, by EQUIVALENCE, also supports hypothesis [Rave] that all ravens are black.

It is at least prima facie paradoxical that a red pencil should count as positive evidence for a hypothesis about ravens!

This is Hempel’s paradox of the ravens. My goal in this talk is to explain why I think causal realists—that is, just about all of us(!)—escape the paradox.

(Those already familiar with the paradox can get a foretaste of my position by looking at my paper here)

About the speakerMurali Ramachandran’s research is focused on metaphysics, philosophy of language and philosophical logic. He is currently Associate Professor in philosophy at Witwatersrand University.  Previously he taught at Trinity College Dublin, Manchester University and Sussex University. He has published in journals such as MindPhilosophical QuarterlyAustralasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Studies and Analysis.

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

March 3, 2020 at 8:41 pm

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Talk at Bilkent 27 Feb: Anthony Cross on Aesthetic Obligations

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Taking Aesthetic Obligations Seriously

By Anthony Cross (Texas State, Philosophy)

Date: Thursday 27th, 2020

Time: 1540-1710

Place: H-232

Abstract: Are there any aesthetic obligations? The standard story of aesthetic normativity says no: aesthetic value may generate reasons, but these are never obligatory. I first introduce several cases that demonstrate that the standard story is incorrect, and that obligations play a significant role in our aesthetic lives. Taking such obligations seriously raises a number of questions: how are such obligations grounded? And what makes them aesthetic? I argue that aesthetic obligations are grounded in commitments to aesthetic objects with which we have an appreciative relationship. I then concede that there may be nothing distinctively “aesthetic” about aesthetic obligations, besides the fact that they involve commitments to aesthetic objects. The upshot, I argue, is that aesthetic obligations can acquire the same status and importance as other, more familiar forms of commitment. I conclude by considering the question of why we might form obligation-grounding commitments to aesthetic objects; I argue that such obligations are useful tools for fixing our practical identities, for enabling long-term creative and appreciative projects, and for securing the temporal structure of our aesthetic lives.

About the speakerAnthony Cross is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Texas State University. His primary research interests are in aesthetics and ethics; his research focuses on the normative significance of relationships with artworks and cultural objects. In June 2017, he completed his Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton University, where his advisors were Alexander Nehamas and Michael Smith. He received a B.A. in philosophy from Duke University. Prior to teaching at Texas State, he was a visiting lecturer at U.C.L.A from 2013-2016. He has published in journals such as The British Journal of Aesthetics and The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

February 26, 2020 at 6:15 pm

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Talk at Istanbul Bilgi 17 March: Geoffrey Bowe, “Socratic Spaces: Ingress and Egress, Inside and Outside – Setting in Plato’s Dialogues”

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WhatsApp Image 2020-02-26 at 15.01.44

Written by roberthowton

February 26, 2020 at 2:36 pm

Posted in Ancient Philosophy

Şehir Philosophy Talks 52 Barry Stocker on Foucault

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Written by metindemirsehir

February 26, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

‘Wittgenstein and Sartre’, talk at Istanbul Technical University on Wednesday afternoon (26.02.20 at 14:45)

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Philosophy talk at Istanbul Technical University (Ayazağa campus in Maslak, next to metro station) in the afternoon this Wednesday
Dr. Timur Cengiz Uçan (Bordeaux-Montaigne University)
“Wittgenstein and Sartre”
26th of February 2020 at 2:45 p.m, the ITB Meeting Room (in Fen-Edebiyat, opposite campus entrance from metro station)

Timur Uçan teaches Philosophy at Bordeaux-Montaigne University and is a member of the SPH research Laboratory. He defended an MA dissertation on the limits of language in the works of Nietzsche and Wittgenstein in 2008. He started a joint Ph.D between the University of East Anglia and Bordeaux-Montaigne University in 2011 and wrote a dissertation that he defended in 2016 on the issue of solipsism in the early works of Sartre and Wittgenstein. He contributed to the edition of Wittgenstein and Phenomenology (Routledge, 2018) and Post-Truth (Nordic Wittgenstein Review, 2019). He wrote on Sartre’s philosophy (Hermann, 2013 ; Les Belles Lettres, 2015). After a research stay at Leipzig University (July 2019), he carries on research on Philosophy of Action, Epistemology, Language and Logic, attempting to find with diverse traditions – such as Analytic Philosophy, Phenomenology and Pragmatism – conceptual resources to confront climatic and ecological emergency.

Written by Barry Stocker

February 24, 2020 at 11:38 am

Posted in Uncategorized

CFP for Posters: 7th International Symposium on Brain and Cognitive Science (ISBCS) at Bilkent

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The 7th International Symposium on Brain and Cognitive Science (ISBCS) will be held at Bilkent on May 10. This is an interdisciplinary conference, so submissions from philosophers are welcome!


All accepted papers will be presented as posters during the symposium (See “Notes for Posters” below).

Paper Submission

Submission and reviewing are handled via the EasyChair system. Submission deadline will be announced here.

Papers may be up to four pages long, and should be in a two-column format. The submission language is English. Optionally, authors can submit papers in Turkish, in which case the title and the abstract should be both in English and Turkish. All paper submissions are evaluated by peer reviewers who make recommendations to the Program Committee. The final decision of acceptance is made by the Program Co-Chairs. Accepted papers will be presented at the conference as posters.

The papers will not appear in a printed proceedings volume, and no copyright will be claimed. Therefore, we solicit contributions that are:

1 – Summaries of already published work related to cognitive sciences. These will not be peer reviewed, but the abstracts will be used to determine the program. Please make sure you reference the original paper the submission is based on. We would like to encourage the submission of these papers to disseminate them widely in the Turkish cognitive science community.

2 – Original, unpublished work and work in progress papers. Since we do not claim copyright, you are free to re-submit it elsewhere after the symposium.

All submissions must be made electronically as PDF files.

The files are to be uploaded to the conference submission site (click on EasyChair).

All PDF submissions must be A4 sized, with NO headers/footers and NO page numbers. Please name the submission file in this format:
“authorname_submissiondate.pdf” (e.g., smith_1_28.pdf).

If there are any special fonts required (Turkish, etc) these must be included with the submission (i.e., embedded in the PDF file).

For your convenience, there are files below for Microsoft Word and LaTeX that you can use as templates. With a few exceptions (especially length) the formatting details are the same for all types of submissions. Please do not edit the margins or font settings of these files. These files are slightly modified from the Cognitive Science Society conference style files.

Microsoft Word Zip (includes a .doc sample, and a .dot template)
LaTeX Zip (includes sample .bst, .sty, .bib files as well as a sample .tex file and a .PDF of the sample file)

Notes for Posters

Poster sizes: A0 (Portrait)

Since ISBCS is all about building a community, it would be nice if you could add the photos of all authors in the poster heading.

Conference website: http://isbcs2020.bilkent.edu.tr

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

February 20, 2020 at 11:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Koç 25 February: Victoria Rowe Holbrook, “Plato in the Quran: Seeing the Truth”

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Dr. Victoria Rowe Holbrook (İstanbul Bilgi) will present “Plato in the Quran: Seeing the Truth” as part of the Certificate in Classical Studies Guest Lecture Series at Koç University.

Time and Date: 17:30-19:00 on Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Location: SOS B11, Koç University

Abstract: Plato’s thought was a major factor in the Arabic Translation Movement of the 9th-10th centuries, and myriad afterlives of his topics and themes are attested in philosophical and imaginative literature in Persian and Turkish.  The status of Hellenism in the oral culture of 7th-century pre-Islamic Arabia, however, is only beginning to be assessed.  My recent research is focused on Platonic material in the Gracious Quran.  In this talk I will analyze the Quranic transposition of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

About the Speaker: Victoria Rowe Holbrook teaches philosophy in the Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Architecture.  She acquired her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.A and Ph.D. from Princeton Near Eastern Studies.  She has taught at Columbia, Bosphorus, Koç and Bilkent Universities, as well as at Ohio State University, where for eighteen years she directed the program she founded in Ottoman and Modern Turkish Literary and Cultural Studies.  She has published numerous articles, monographs and translations in the fields of Islamic thought and Turkish literature. The Turkish translation of her The Unreadable Shores of Love: Turkish Modernity and Mystic Romance is in its 7th printing, and among her translations are The White Castle by Orhan Pamuk, The New Cultural Climate in Turkey by Nurdan Gürbilek, Listen: The Spiritual Couplets of Mevlana Rumi by Kenan Rifai, and the forthcoming O Mankind, a commentary on the Quran by Cemalnur Sargut. 

Plato in the Quran_ Seeing the Truth (2)-1


Written by roberthowton

February 19, 2020 at 2:37 pm

Cognitive Science Colloquium Schedule at Boğaziçi (Spring, 2020)

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Location of the seminar: John Freely Hall, room: 507

Time: (Unless otherwise stated): Wednesday 17:00-19:00

Feb 19th  

Speaker: Rabia Ergin (Boğaziçi University)

Title: Language emergence and development in the absence of conventionalized linguistic input

Suggested reading:

1.   Sandler, W., Meir, I., Padden, C., & Aronoff, M. (2005). The emergence of grammar: Systematic structure in a new language. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences102(7), 2661-2665.


2. Senghas, A., Kita, S., & Özyürek, A. (2004). Children creating core properties of language: Evidence from an emerging sign language in Nicaragua. Science305(5691), 1779-1782.


Feb 26th  

Speaker: Funda Yıldırım (Yeditepe University)

Title: On the contribution of contour mechanisms in early visual cortex to shape perception: an comparative study of neural networks and statistical modeling

Suggested reading:

1.   https://towardsdatascience.com/intro-to-deep-learning-c025efd92535

2.  Silson, E. H., McKeefry, D. J., Rodgers, J., Gouws, A. D., Hymers, M., & Morland, A. B. (2013). Specialized and independent processing of orientation and shape in visual field maps LO1 and LO2. Nature Neuroscience16(3), 267.


3. Dumoulin, S. O., & Wandell, B. A. (2008). Population receptive field estimates in human visual cortex. Neuroimage39(2), 647-660.


March 6th

(Careful! It’s a Friday)


Speaker: Nihan Alp (Sabancı University)

Time: Careful! 16:30 – 18:30

Title: TBA

Suggested reading: TBA

March 11th  

Speaker: Frank Zenker (Boğaziçi University)

Title: Replication, Trust, and the Empirical Social & Behavioral Sciences

Suggested reading:

1. Witte, E.H., and Zenker, F. (2017b). From discovery to justification. Outline of an ideal research program in empirical psychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1847 (ISSN 1664-1078). https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01847/full

2. Krefeld-Schwalb, A; Witte, E.H., and Zenker, F. (2018). Hypothesis-testing demands trustworthy data—a simulation approach to statistical inference advocating the research program strategy. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 460 (ISSN 1664-1078). https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00460/full

3. Witte, E.H., and Zenker, F. (2018). Data replication matters, replicated hypothesis-corroboration counts. (Commentary on “Making Replication Mainstream” by Rolf A. Zwaan, Alexander Etz, Richard E., Lucas, and M. Brent Donnellan). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41, e120 (ISSN: 0140-525X). https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences/article/data-replication-matters-to-an-underpowered-study-but-replicated-hypothesis-corroboration-counts/90E7D8EFF04C42E0857CAA943DCBBBAC

March 18th  

Speaker: Tilbe Goksun (Koç University)

Title: Examining language and thought interaction with different populations: The role of gestures.

Suggested reading: For background information, please visit https://lclab.ku.edu.tr

April 8th  

Speaker: Neil Cohn (Tilburg University)

Title: The Visual Language of Comics

Suggested reading:

1. Cohn, N., & Magliano, J. P. (2020). Editors’ Introduction and Review: Visual Narrative Research: An Emerging Field in Cognitive Science. Topics in Cognitive Science12(1), 197-223.


2. Cohn, N. (2019). Visual narrative comprehension: Universal or not?. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 1-20.


For more information, please visit www.visuallanguagelab.com

April 28th

(Careful! It’s a Tuesday!)


Speaker: Heidi Maibom (University of Cincinnati)

Title: Why perspective taking?

Suggested reading:

1. Maibom, H. L. (2018). What Can We Learn From Taking Another’s Perspective?. In Philosophical https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heidi_Maibom/publication/331791326_What_Can_We_Learn_From_Taking_Another’s_Perspective/links/5c8be0e745851564fadfef20/What-Can-We-Learn-From-Taking-Anothers-Perspective.pdf


May 4th


It’s a Monday)


Speaker: Cem Bozsahin (Middle East Technical University)

Title: Idiosyncrasy in Grammar

Suggested reading: TBA


May 13th  

Speaker: Onurcan Yılmaz (Kadir Has University)

Title: The causes and consequences of human morality

Suggested reading:

Reflection increases belief in God through self-questioning among non-believers

1. Yilmaz, O., & Isler, O. (2019). Reflection increases belief in God through self-questioning among non-believers. Judgment and Decision Making14(6), 649.


2. Isler, O., & Yilmaz, O. (2019). Intuition and deliberation in morality and cooperation: An overview of the literature. Developing informed intuition for decision-making, 101-115.


3. Yilmaz, O., & Bahçekapili, H. G. (2018). Meta-ethics and the mortality: Mortality salience leads people to adopt a less subjectivist morality. Cognition179, 171-177.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29957516


June 3rd  

Speaker: Ray Jackendoff (Tufts/MIT)

Title: Morphological Theory

Suggested reading: TBA



Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 19, 2020 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Bilkent 18 Feb: Lu Chen on The Metaphysical Explication of Infinitesimals

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A New Metaphysical Explication of Infinitesimals

By Lu Chen (UMass, Philosophy)

Date: Tuesday 18th February, 2020

Time: 1640-1800

Place: H-232

Abstract: Infinitesimals are widely used in physics and mathematics, but are considered merely heuristic due to a lack of rigorous understanding. Smooth Infinitesimal Analysis (SIA), alternatively known as Synthetic Differential Geometry, is the most developed mathematical system for regimenting reasoning that involves infinitesimals. But to have a realistic interpretation of SIA as a foundation of physics, we face a significant obstacle: SIA is formulated in intuitionistic logic and is classically inconsistent. Furthermore, various authors have argued that there can be no classical reconstructions of SIA. If this is true, then infinitesimals will remain merely heuristic for classical logicians. Against this, I argue that there is a realistic interpretation of SIA as a novel theory of space that allows for infinitesimal regions. To argue for this claim, I advance a realistic understanding of the models for SIA proposed by Moerdijk and Reyes (1991), which augment manifolds with infinitesimal ones.

About the speakerLu Chen is a philosophy Ph.D. candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She specializes in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and logic. Her primary research interest is in the metaphysical foundation of physical geometry. Her work has been published in Journal of Philosophical Logic and Synthese.

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

February 13, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5th METU Undergraduate Philosophy Conference” (April 25-26th, 2020)

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Metu Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 11, 2020 at 9:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Philosophy/Cognitive Science Reading Group at Boğaziçi (Spring 2020)

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We will continue with our Philosophy/Cognitive Science reading group at Boğaziçi this semester on THURSDAYS from 5-7pm, meeting in JF507. Everyone is welcome.

Our readings for the first two weeks will be:

Thursday, 13/02/2020: Alison Gopnik and Henry M. Wellman (2012), “Reconstructing Constructivism: Causal Models, Bayesian Learning Mechanisms, and the Theory TheoryPsychological Bulletin, 2012, Vol. 138, No. 6, 1085–1108

Thursday, 20/02/2020: Clark GlymourAnother Way for Nerds to Make Babies:
The Frame Problem and Causal Inference in Developmental Psychology
” (Chapter 3 of The Mind’s Arrows: Bayes Nets and Graphical Causal Models in Psychology, MIT Press 2001)

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized