Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for March 2013

Workshop on Kant’s Doctrine of Right at Bogazici, run by Nuria Sánchez Madrid (University Complutense of Madrid) and Lucas Thorpe (Bogazici University), March 28th and 29th.

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Nuria Sánchez Madrid (University Complutense of Madrid) and Lucas Thorpe (Bogazici University) will run a two day workshop on Kant’s political philosophy at Bogazici on Thursday March 28th and Friday March 29th from 2-6pm, in room TB130. Everyone is Welcome.

In this workshop we will provide an overview of Kant’s Doctrine of Right, as well as presenting some of our own recent work. The Doctrine of Right is the first section of the Metaphysics of Morals (1797). We will be using the English translation by Mary Gregor found in Kant’s Practical Philosophy.

The event will be run as a seminar, with the possibility for discussion. The schedule and some suggested readings can be found below the fold.

UPDATE: I’ve added a handout here for the first two sessions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Add women and stir: filling some gaps in the history of philosophy.

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This is a post I wrote for the Feminist History of Philosophy blog. If you would like to write about a woman philosopher, please get in touch in the comments here or on the original blog. Turkish women philosophers would be a bonus. In particular, it would be very nice to have something about the Cappadocian philosopher  Macrina the younger.

When I posted about the History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps podcasts, commenting that they did in fact have some – women-shaped – gaps, a discussion started about who, if anyone, was to blame for systematically leaving women out of the history of philosophy.

One of our authors, Lena, pointed out that it certainly wasn’t the case that a only a few, male, philosophers were to blame. As students, most of us didn’t even ask ourselves why all the ‘classics’ we read were written by men, swept up as we were by the ideals of rationality, the thought that reason is universal and unaffected by gender. Certainly I still believe those things, as a Wollstonecraft scholar would, but I’m no longer so impressed with them that I fail to notice that most of those representants of human ungendered rationality offered to us as undergraduates had beards and penises. It’s no longer something I can overlook. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Sandrine Berges

March 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

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Colloquium: Biological Perspectives on Political Animals in Aristotle – Galatasaray University – April 29-30, 2013.

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Dear friends,

A colloquium on ” Biological Perspectives on Political Animals in Aristotle ” will be held at Galatasaray University  (Istanbul) on April 29-30, 2013. This event is organized through the collaboration of the Galatasaray University, the UPR 76 of CNRS (Paris) and the University of Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne.

The program of the colloquium can be viewed at: http://perspectivesbiologiques.wordpress.com/programme/

Other details of the colloquium can be reached from the same page.

Contact: refikg2001@yahoo.com

Please help us circulate this information.

All the best,



Since the second half of the last century, there has been an increasing interest in Aristotle’s biological works. This interest has led to a “biological turn” in Aristotelian studies, which has resulted in a reevaluation of his theory of science and in a substitution of the question of classification with that of definition. Today, there is high quality literature on the relation between the Metaphysics, the Analytics, and Aristotle’s biological writings. The “biological turn” in Aristotelian studies has also created a similar effect on works on his Politics: every change in the theory of animals has produced a change in the theory of political animals. Researches in this domain prove to be very productive and show rapid development. This is why we believe that this is a favorable time for devoting a conference to the Politics, and for discussing the effects of the “biological turn” on the famous Aristotelian formula that “human being is a political animal by nature.”


Ӧmer Orhan Aygün  (Galatasaray University)

Pinar Canevi (Boğaziçi University)

Johannes Fritsche (Boğaziçi University)

Annick Jaulin (University of Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne)

Manuel Knoll (Fatih University)

Jean-Louis Labarrière (CNRS Centre Léon Robin)

David Lefebvre (University of Paris Sorbonne – Centre Léon Robin)

Pierre-Marie Morel (ENS Lyon)

Pierre Pellegrin (CNRS)


Organization and Scientific Responsibility:

Ӧmer Orhan Aygün (Galatasaray University), Refik Güremen (Lecturer at Galatasaray University), Annick Jaulin (University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne), Michel Narcy (Jean Pépin Center UPR76, CNRS)

Written by Refik Guremen

March 15, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Stephen Snyder (Fatih) on “Arthur Danto’s Andy Warhol: The Embodiment Theory in Art and the Pragmatic Turn” 15.03.2013

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Stephen Snyder (Fatih) will give a talk on Friday March 15th from 5-7pm in TB130 on:

“Arthur Danto’s Andy Warhol: The Embodiment Theory in Art and the Pragmatic Turn”

ABSTRACT: Arthur Danto’s most recent book, Andy Warhol, leads the reader through the story of the iconic American’s artistic life highlighted by a philosophical commentary, a commentary that merges Danto’s aesthetic theory with the artist’s own narrative.  Inspired by Warhol’s Brillo Box installation, art that in Danto’s eyes was indiscernible from the everyday boxes it represented, Danto developed a theory that is able to differentiate art from non-art by employing the body of conceptual art theory manifest in what he termed the ‘artworld’.  The strength of Danto’s theory is found in its ability to explain the art of the post-modern era.  His body of work weaves philosophy, art history and art criticism together, merging his aesthetic philosophy with his extensive knowledge of the world of art. Danto’s essentialist theory of embodied meaning provides him with a critical tool that succeeds in explaining the currents of contemporary art, a task that many great thinkers of art history were unable to do.  If Warhol inspired Danto to create a philosophy of art, it is appropriate that Danto write a tribute to Warhol that traces how Warhol brought philosophy into art.  Danto’s account of ‘Warhol as philosopher’ positions him as a pivotal figure in the history of twentieth-century art, effecting a sea change in how art was made and viewed.  Warhol achieved this by conceiving of works that embodied the answers to a series of philosophical puzzles surrounding the nature of art.

Warhol had transformed himself, in a way, into an icon of the times. Because of this, Danto sees Warhol as manifest in his art.  The pragmatist notion that art should undermine the dichotomies that exist between art and life would, by some accounts, position Warhol to be the philosopher that Danto claims him to be, for he dissolved the philosophical questions posted by late modern aesthetic thinkers by creating art that imploded the accepted notions of art at the time.  One of Danto’s greatest contributions to aesthetics is his theory’s ability to distinguish art from non-art, recognizing that it is the artist’s intention that levels the sublimity of art into the commonplace, thereby transfiguring the everyday.   However, while acknowledging this achievement,   I argue that Warhol’s philosophical contribution actually manifests itself in a manner different from that proposed by Danto.  Danto maintains that the internal drive of art leads to the unfolding of art theoretical concepts that ineluctably shift the terrain of the world of art.  I agree with Danto that Warhol, almost as Hegel viewed Napoleon as Geist on a horse, pushed forward the boundaries of art through the actualization of art’s internal drive.  However, I disagree that the conceptual nature of art is one that unfolds merely as a relation of concepts that artists connect to the meaning of history using their unmediated grasp of style.  Rather, I would argue that the artist’s style is not narrowly bound to the meanings of history.  Through their aesthetic articulations, artists initiate a process of social interaction.  This process employs the philosophical logic that Danto attributes to Warhol indirectly, and through it, it is able to transfigure the vocabulary of art—the concepts of the artworld—by superseding the language of modernism.  Warhol’s philosophical contribution is seen in his mastery of both the medium of art and the underlying logic of the medium’s expression and reception.

In this essay, after exploring the gains Danto’s account of embodied meaning and the artworld have brought to aesthetic philosophy, I will discuss Warhol’s art in terms of Danto’s theory.  On some levels it seems like the perfect match of an aesthetic theory and an artistic practice.  However, I will argue that Warhol’s ‘philosophical’ activity is described better in terms of pragmatist theory, putting his activity at odds with Danto’s ‘appropriation’ of Warhol for his essentialist theory.  To conclude, I will suggest a way that the pragmatic turn taken by some members of the second generation of critical theorists, such as Jürgen Habermas, Karl-Otto Apel and Thomas McCarthy, could provide an example for how to integrate rationally, or in Danto’s case essentially, oriented theories into practical activities.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 9, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Alberto L. Siani (Münster/Pisa) on “Kant’s Aesthetic Judgement as non-aesthetic Knowledge” (14.03.2013)

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Alberto L. Siani (Münster/Pisa) will give a talk on Thursday March 14th in TB130 from 5-7pm.

“Kant’s Aesthetic Judgement as non-aesthetic Knowledge”

ABSTRACT: One of the most interesting aspects of Baumgarten’s project of aesthetics as the younger sister of logic lies in a sort of “heterogenesis of ends” to be ascertained in its later reprises. Later philosophers who implicitly or explicitly referred to it incurred in productive misunderstandings, as they developed the original project in directions having little or nothing to do with it. Nonetheless these developments brought forward with surprising outcomes the idea of the aesthetic knowledge as a mediation between sensibility and intellect or reason. My presentation will focus on Kant’s understanding of the aesthetic judgement, taken in its non-aesthetic relevance, but rather as the paradigmatic site of free intersubjective consent. Unlike similar discussions of this issue (like the one by Hannah Arendt), however, I will not claim an objective relevance of the aesthetic judgement for the practical-political sphere. Rather, I will show that the Kantian aesthetic judgement does not so much lay the ground for aesthetics as a specific philosophical discipline, but rather for a new understanding of subjectivity and of knowledge that will find its fully developed actualisation in Hegel’s philosophy.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm

A Book for International Women’s Day.

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Routledge just reminded me that my new book was a particularly good fit for today, so here is:


Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the greatest philosophers and writers of the Eighteenth century. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children’s book. Her most celebrated and widely-read work is A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. This Guidebook introduces:

  • Wollstonecraft’s life and the background to A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
  • The ideas and text of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
  • Wollstonecraft’s enduring influence in philosophy and our contemporary intellectual life

It is ideal for anyone coming to Wollstonecraft’s classic text for the first time and anyone interested in the origins of feminist thought.

Happy International Women’s Day.

Written by Sandrine Berges

March 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Distributed cognition and memory research

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Our special issue of Review of Philosophy and Psychology is now out:



  • Kourken Michaelian, John Sutton. Distributed Cognition and Memory Research: History and Current Directions
  • Robert D. Rupert. Memory, Natural Kinds, and Cognitive Extension; or, Martians Don’t Remember, and Cognitive Science Is Not about Cognition
  • Deborah P. Tollefsen, Rick Dale, Alexandra Paxton. Alignment, Transactive Memory, and Collective Cognitive Systems
  • Georg Theiner. Transactive Memory Systems: A Mechanistic Analysis of Emergent Group Memory
  • Martin M. Fagin, Jeremy K. Yamashiro, William C. Hirst. The Adaptive Function of Distributed Remembering: Contributions to the Formation of Collective Memory
  • Robert W. Clowes. The Cognitive Integration of E-Memory
  • Santiago Arango-Muñoz. Scaffolded Memory and Metacognitive Feelings
  • Nils Dahlbäck, Mattias Kristiansson, Fredrik Stjernberg. Distributed Remembering Through Active Structuring of Activities and Environments
  • Paul Loader. Is my Memory an Extended Notebook?

Written by Kourken Michaelian

March 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Adam Green (University of Innsbruck) “Knowledge as a Team Sport” (08/03/2013)

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Adam Green (University of Innsbruck) will be giving a talk on March 8th:

“Knowledge as a Team Sport”

Friday, 5-7pm, TB130

ABSTRACT: Virtue epistemology and credit theories of knowledge think about knowledge as a kind of achievement. Knowing is achieving a true belief through cognitive excellence or, at least, through reliable faculties. Virtue epistemology has a lot of strengths to recommend it, especially its account of the normativity and the value of knowledge. Many, however, consider it to be a non-starter because of a growing list of problems some of the most well known of which concern testimony, that is, coming to believe things on the say-so of others. There are at least three problems for virtue/ credit views associated with testimony. First, if anyone deserves the credit for one coming by a true testimonial belief, it would seem to be the testifier not the recipient of testimony. Second, one commonly predicates testimonial knowledge of children despite the fact that they are gullible and thus not skillful recipients of testimony. Third, results from social psychology challenge the idea that we are at all reliable in monitoring others for trustworthiness, deceit, or competence. In this talk, I develop an anti-individualistic virtue epistemology, and I use it to resolve these three supposed shortcomings of virtue epistemologies and credit theories of knowledge.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 3, 2013 at 7:51 pm