Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for May 2013

How to move from a Turkish institution to a UK one

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Or not. Read all about it in Istvan Aranyosi’s Times Higher Ed article, here.

For those of you who don’t know Istvan, he is not crazy, and he is one of the most pleasant colleagues it has been my pleasure to work with.

He’s also got some pretty good people writing references on his behalf. So it’s truly a mystery how this happened to him. Or rather, it’s a sign, as he persuasively argues, that there’s something wrong with the system.

NewApps has replied to the article, here.

Note that Eric Schliesser describes Bilkent as a ‘fantastic institution’! It had occured to me that one of the obstacles Istvan faced was that people outside Turkey perhaps did not think of Bilkent as a fantastic place, but more as a ‘have you ever heard of it?’ place. I’ll be glad if I’m wrong.

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm

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Bioethics talk at Fatih University (Andreas Hetzel, Darmstadt)

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Next Monday, Fatih Üniversitesi is honoured to host a talk by a distinguished German colleague,

Prof. Andreas Hetzel (Darmstadt), on the topic:

“Why should we save species from extinction? The biodiversity crisis as a challenge for bioethics”


Date: 27/05/2013

Time: 13.00 (1 pm)

Room: M-229 (opposite the library entrance)

 To reach Fatih Üniversitesi from the metrobus stop Hadımköy, take a regular bus (418, 76F, HT18, 144A) direction Hadımköy/Fatih Üniversitesi; by car, exit the TEM motorway at Hadımköy gişeleri and follow the signs for Fatih Üniversitesi

All welcome!

Written by rainerbroemer

May 23, 2013 at 10:33 am

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Talk at Bogazici: Jesse Prinz (CUNY-Graduate Center) “Neo-Empiricism: Grounding Concepts in Perception” (05/06/2013)

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Jesse Prinz (CUNY- Graduate Centre) will give a talk on Wednesday (05/06/2013) from 5-7pm, at Bogazici (Room TB130) on:

“Neo-Empiricism: Grounding Concepts in Perception”

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

May 22, 2013 at 3:17 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

Roderick Long (Auburn University, Philosophy) at Bilgi University, Istanbul, 23.05.13;17:00.

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Written by Barry Stocker

May 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm

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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: Radu Bogdan (Tulane) on “Imagination: Roots and Reasons.” 24/05/2013

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Radu Bogdan (Tulane) will give a talk on Friday, May 24th, from 5-7pm in TB130:

“Imagination: Roots and Reasons.”

Radu Bogdan is a professor of philosophy of and director of the cognitive science program at Tulane university. He is the author of numerous articles and five books: Our Own Minds: Sociocultural Grounds for Self-Consciousness (MIT, 2010), Predicative Minds: The Social Ontogeny of Propositional Thinking (MIT 2009), Minding Minds (MIT, 2003), Interpreting Minds (MIT, 2003) and Grounds for Cognition (Psychology Press, 1994).

ABSTRACT: The human mind is able consciously, deliberately and reflectivey to vault itself cognitively out of the enclosure of  current perception, motivation, emotion and action, and leap over to future or past or possible or even impossible facts, situations or scenarios. This is what imagination (in a strong, suppositional, propositional sense) does.The central argument is that imagination is uniquely human,  with no apparent precursors in the animal world. This is one evolutionary puzzle. Furthermore, the capacities to imagine do not seem to have dedicated genetic bases or specialized brain sites, do not operate as modules, and are domain versatile. It is also not obvious what specific pressures in what specific domains may have selected for imagining, which is why the standard explanation by gradual natural selection is unlikely to work. The way out of these puzzles is to reorient the evolutionary analysis toward human ontogeny, regarded as a genuine space of evolution, with its specific and often dated pressures and its adaptive responses. Imagination results from ontogenetic responses to the mostly sociocultural and sociopolitical pressures of later childhood.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm