Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Talk at Bogazici, Imge Oranli (DePaul), “The Augustinian-Kantian Legacy and The Inscrutability of Evil”

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Friday, March 6, 5:30-7:30pm

TB 130 (Anderson Hall)

“The Augustinian-Kantian Legacy and The Inscrutability of Evil”


This paper offers a critical examination of the implications of the Augustinian-Kantian legacy on evil. As to the question of “why the human will turns towards evil?” both Augustine and Kant provide the answer that it cannot be known. Thus, in the Augustinian and the Kantian treatment of moral evil, the ground of evil remains inscrutable. Evil is inscrutable because the source of evil, namely, “free choice of the will,” is understood to be internal to the individual. My consideration of Augustine and Kant’s theories of evil attempts to problematize the presupposed ‘freedom’ of the will in the formation of evil-doing. In light of this problematic, I underscore that the objects of choice are communicated to individuals socially.
In my work, I try to point to the inadequacy of understanding the cause of evil with a model based upon the individual alone; it is not only misleading insofar as the chain of causality almost always extends beyond the individual but quite problematic insofar as, methodologically, it removes us from the prospect of the problem of preventing social evils. Borrowing from Adi Ophir, I deploy the notion of the ‘social production of evil’ in an attempt to question the philosophical assumption that treats evil action as grounded solely in the “freely chosen” action of the individual, and I ask, how free are choices really? I am interested in uncovering the implications of the Augustinian-Kantian legacy on evil because of its contemporary force; globally, we live in a political climate where perpetrators of social evil are continuously rendered inscrutable, as if, the source of their motivations is internal and natural.

Written by markedwardsteen

February 26, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Kant Reading Group at Bogazici (Spring 2015, Thursdays, 5.15-7pm)

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We will be continuing with our Kant reading group at Bogazici this semester. We will meet in TB365 on Thursdays, 5.15-7pm.

We will start this Thursday (12/02/2015) by looking at Kant’s essay “On the Common Saying: that may be true in theory, but is no use in practice”. A copy of the essay can be found here.

During the first meeting we will decide what to read for the rest of the semester.

If you would like more information, or would like to be added to our mailing group, please email Melisa: melisakurtcan@gmail.com

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 9, 2015 at 11:47 am

Posted in Kant

Philosophy/Cog-Sci Reading Group at Bogazici

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We will be continuing with our cog-sci/philosophy reading group at Bogazici this semester. We will meet on Tueday evenings from 5.15-7pm in TB130. Everyone is welcome.

For the first 4 weeks of the semester we will be reading:

(1) Tuesday, February 10th
Andy Clark, Whatever next Predictive brains, situated agents and the future of cognitive science, BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2013) 36, 181–253 (Target Article.)

(2) Tuesday, February 17th
Andy Clark, CONTINUED. (Commentaries and Reply)

(3) Tuesday, February 24th
Pothos and Busemeyer, Can quantum probability provide a new direction for cognitive modeling?  BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2013) 36, 255–327 (Target Article)

(4) Tuesday, March 3rd
Pothos and Busemeyer, CONTINUED. (Commentaries and Reply)

If you would like to attend the reading group, or have any questions, please email Merve at: mrvtpn@gmail.com

This reading group is part of the project “Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action”, funded by Tubitak.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 6, 2015 at 6:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2nd International Symposium on Brain and Cognitive Science, April 19, Sunday, 2015, ODTU (METU), Ankara.

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Dear colleagues,
ISBCS 2015, the 2nd International Symposium on Brain and Cognitive Science,
is going to be held in April 19, Sunday, 2015, at ODTU (METU), Ankara.

ISBCS wants to be a gathering in Turkey for cogsci researchers worldwide, and for cogsci researchers in Turkey. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by István Aranyosi

January 15, 2015 at 11:14 am

Cfp: Resistance, Disobedience and Coercion at Bilkent 21-22 May.

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 Two-Day Workshop on ‘Resistance, Disobedience, and Coercion’ at Bilkent University

Keynote Speakers: Kimberley Brownlee (Warwick) and Frederick Schauer (University of Virginia)

The Department of Philosophy at Bilkent University invites contributions to a two-day workshop on ‘Resistance, Disobedience, and Coercion’, which is to take place at Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey, on 21-22 May 2015.

What are the conditions that would justify citizens of a democratic state in disobeying or even in resisting the law? What responses, on the part of the government, might be justified given such disobedience or resistance? More generally, what role does coercion play for the proper functioning of law? Are legal norms essentially coercive, or do they possess an authority that is independent of their coercive force?

If you are interested in participating, please send an abstract of 250 words, prepared for blind review, to Lars Vinx, Department of Philosophy, Bilkent University (vinx@bilkent.edu.tr) by 15 February 2015. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 22 February. The Department of Philosophy at Bilkent University will provide free accommodation in guest houses on the Bilkent campus to the participants of the workshop.

Written by Sandrine Berges

January 5, 2015 at 2:54 pm

Posted in cfp, Events in Turkey


Dear Readers,

Last week, our colleague Dr. Istvan Aranyosi posted a discussion focusing on a comment made by Dr. Rachel McKinnon on a thread over at Daily Nous. Dr. Aranyosi’ post was not moderated in any way by any of the administrators of this blog. Whilst we, Dr. Sandrine Berges, and Dr. Serife Tekin, the authors of the present statement, believe in the benefits of some moderating in philosophy blogs, we also think that the political climate in Turkey is such that any attempt at moderating may come across as a form of censorship – a perception that we want to avoid. Nonetheless, as two of the four co-founders and administrators of this blog, we want to disassociate ourselves from the contents of Dr. Aranyosi’s post. It by no means reflects our position.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Serife Tekin

December 30, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Bogazici University, Alexander Reutlinger (Munich), “Explanation Beyond Causation – The Counterfactual Account of Non-Causal Explanations”

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Alexander Reutlinger, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy​
TB 130

Monday, January 5, 5pm

​”​Explanation Beyond Causation – The Counterfactual Account of Non-Causal Explanations​”
Since the early 2000s, non-causal explanations have re-entered the arena of philosophy of
science. The primary goal of discussing examples of non-causal explanations has been to show
that certain scientific explanations cannot be accommodated by the received account of scientific
explanation, the causal account. Hence, the main goal has been a negative one, i.e. to undermine
the causal account. The current debate is largely silent on a more positive and constructive
approach to non-causal explanations. The challenges for a constructive approach include: (1) to
provide an account of non-causal explanations, and (2) to provide criteria for distinguishing
causal and non-causal explanations. This talk addresses both challenges. Regarding challenge
(1), I argue that non-causal explanations work by revealing non-causal counterfactual
dependencies between explanandum and explanans. Such a counterfactual account of non-causal
explanations is an extension of Woodward’s (2003) causal version of the counterfactual account.
Hence, the counterfactual account provides a unifying framework for causal and non-causal
explanations – both are explanatory because they reveal counterfactual dependencies. Causal
explanations are explanatory in revealing causal counterfactual dependencies (based on causal
generalizations) between explanandum and explanans. Non-causal explanations are explanatory
in revealing non-causal counterfactual dependencies (based on non-causal generalizations)
between explanandum and explanans. The counterfactual account will be applied to purely
statistical explanations, renormalizations group explanations, and genuinely mathematical
explanations. Regarding challenge (2), I propose to distinguish causal and non-causal
explanations on the basis of so-called Russellian criteria of causation (including criteria such as
asymmetry, time-asymmetry, the distinctness and locality of causal relata, and so on).



Written by markedwardsteen

December 30, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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