Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for July 2013

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

“AOS” in philosophy — does it make sense?

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I wrote a piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education on whether “area of specialization” is legitimate in philosophy. You can check it out here.

Written by István Aranyosi

July 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Ivan Soll (Wisconsin-Madison) on “In Praise of Illusion.” 18/07/2013

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Professor Ivan Soll (Wisconsin-Madison) will give a talk at Bogazici University on Thursday 18/07/2013, in TB130 from 5-7pm. Everyone welcome.

“In Praise of Illusion.” 

ABSTRACT: A wide ranging discussion of various attitudes to illusions, both perceptual and intellectual, in Descartes, the Empiricists, Kant, Schopenhauer, 20th century aesthetic theory, and Nietzsche, and including my own views about the matter.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

July 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Talk at Bogazici by Nurbay Irmak (Miami) on “The Privilege of the Physical and Metaontology” 17/07/2013

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Nurbay Irmak (Miami)  will give a talk next Wednesday (17/07/2013) at Bogazici University, TB130 from 5-7pm. Everyone welcome.


“The Privilege of the Physical and Metaontology.”

ABSTRACT: Theodore Sider in his latest book provides a defense of the substantivity of the first-order ontological debates against recent deflationary attacks. He articulates and defends several realist theses: (a) nature has an objective structure, (b) there is an objectively privileged language to describe the structure, and (c) ontological debates are substantive. Sider’s defense of metaontological realism, (c), crucially depends on his realism about fundamental languages, (b). I argue that (b) is wrong. As a result, Sider’s metaontological realism fails to establish the substantivity of certain ontological disputes. Nonetheless, I will argue denying metaontological realism does not require giving up on the realism about structure, (a), that most of us would like to preserve: namely the idea that there are objective similarities and differences in the world that we try to wrap our minds around.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

July 12, 2013 at 6:11 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

3-day seminar on Parmenides and Plato at GSÜ (July 15th, 17th, 19th)

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“Ontology as Wisdom Practice:

Parmenides’ Poem, Plato’s Republic (Book 1), Ion and Parmenides

Summer Seminar at Galatasaray University

July 15th, 17th, 19th, 2013.

Seminar leader: Eric Sanday (University of Kentucky)

Logistics: The seminar will take place from 18:00 to 20:00 at the Seminar Room at GSU. If you encounter problems getting in the university, call Ömer Orhan Aygün at 0543-3815091. The sessions will be in English. Hesiod’s Theogony is also a recommended secondary reading.

Content: The purpose of this seminar is to study what is called in the Platonic dialogues the “turning of the soul from becoming to being.” We’ll start with reflecting on the difference between being and beings in Parmenides’ poem. We’ll then see how Socrates’ appeal to forms as a normative basis for knowledge and expertise in Republic 1 and Ion draws on the ontological insights we were invited to witness in the poem. In the third session, which is on the first part of Plato’s Parmenides, we’ll see that the ontological insight in the poem and in Republic 1 is immediately subject to, and intelligible in terms of, categories that we know cannot properly apply to being.  That is to say:  we can win for ourselves true insight into the meaning of being, and yet we cannot help but submit this insight to inappropriate categories. The practical ramifications of this study are significant. I claim that it provides us with a model of rationality and divinity that is caringly attentive to the sources of being while remaining properly self-critical.  In short, what we win from this study is a robust conception of rational theology that has a praxical dimension and does not fall prey to certain key historical misconceptions and misappropriations of the Platonic project.

Written by Ömer Aygün

July 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

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Bio-ethics and the Turkish protests

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I’m mainly reblogging this because it links to Şerife’s article on Turkish bioethics.

Feminist Philosophers

Although the protestors in Gezi park and throughout Turkey are united by the desire for a more democratic process, as witness the numerous assemblies that have been taking place in parks everywhere in the country, there are a number of distinct issues motivating discontent – that is, there’s plenty of discrimination and infringement of rights going around, whether for the Alevis, the Kurds, the leftists, journalists, the LGBT community, or women.

One (of several) important background story as far as women’s particular motivation for participating in the protests is the ongoing, and recently revived threat on their reproductive rights. One year ago, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan voiced his conviction that abortion was tantamount to murder, (and the result of a foreign plot to prevent the growth of Turkey) and propose that it should be made illegal. C-sections, which he had heard somewhere might…

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Written by Sandrine Berges

July 3, 2013 at 8:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized