Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for December 2013

Örsan Öymen at METU 26 December

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Örsan Öymen will give a talk at the Middle East Technical University, Department of
Philosophy on December 26, 2013 Thursday at 15:00 o’clock. (Felsefe
Bolumu, Beseri Bilimler Binası / B103).

The title of his talk is:

“Doubt and Anxiety: An Existentialist Reconstruction of Pyrrhonism”

It will be in English and is open to everyone who is interested.

Written by Sandrine Berges

December 23, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Posted in Events in Turkey

Talk in Istanbul: Uygar Abaci (University of Richmond) on ‘Modality and Morality in Kant: A Theory of Practical Cognition’ 24/12/2013

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Uygar Abaci (University of Richmond) will give a talk at Istanbul Technical University, on Tuesday  December 24, 2013 at 13:30 in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

ABSTRACT: In his preface to the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant defines “the enigma of the critical philosophy” in terms of the following conundrum: how can we, as epistemic subjects, retain a theoretical agnosticism with respect to the reality of objects such as freedom, God and the immortality of the soul that lie beyond the limits of our possible experience, and yet assert the reality of these objects “from a practical point of view”, that is, when it comes to considering ourselves as moral subjects (5:5). The solution to the enigma, I suggest, lies in the practical application of Kant’s critical conception of modality. According to this conception, modal concepts such as possibility, actuality and necessity signify the ways in which objects are related or given to the subject rather than the ways objects themselves are. In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant insists that in the theoretical domain objects can only be given to us through a connection with sensible intuition, which makes it impossible for us to grant a real modal status to these supersensible objects and thus renders their concepts merely “problematic” ideas for theoretical reason. However, Kant’s account of moral action in the Critique of Practical Reason assumes that in the moral-practical domain objects are given to us through a connection with the moral law. I argue that it is this special relation that enables us to make modal assertions even of those objects that cannot be given to us in sensible intuition.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 23, 2013 at 4:08 am

Talk at Bogazici, Manuel Knoll, “Theodor W. Adorno – Ethics as First Philosophy”

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TB 130 (Anderson Hall)

Wednesday, 5:30-7:30pm, December 18



“Theodor W. Adorno – Ethics as First Philosophy” 

According to one prevailing line of interpretation, Adorno’ s philosophy has a theological core. According to another line, his thought culminates in his aesthetics. Against these interpretations the talk aims to reveal the ethical core of Adorno’s whole philosophy. The positive reference point of his critique of the suffering the unjust society causes, is a hedonist ethics that goes back to Aristippus of Kyrene.

Written by markedwardsteen

December 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Koc – Peter Hagoort (Radboud): “On Speaking Terms with the Social Brain” 23.12.2013

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Peter Hagoort (Radboud) will give a talk at Koc University on Monday December 23rd from 5-7pm. on:

“On Speaking Terms with the Social Brain”

Details can be found here.

ABSTRACT: Despite a large amount of genetic overlap between humans and other primates, the expansion of the human brain is both substantial and remarkable. Two interrelated evolutionary developments might have provided the selectional pressures that resulted in our enlarged brains. One is the increased complexity of the social organization in human tribes. The other is the emergence of an intricate and open-ended communication system: language. I will discuss recent evidence from brain imaging that provides insights into the psychological and neurobiological infrastructure for our social behaviour and for human communication. I will show that social conformity in humans is regulated by dopamine in the reward system. I will also show that inferences about the intentions behind the exchange of linguistic utterances depend on the Theory of Mind network in the brain. Moreover, the brain measures indicate substantial individual differences, explaining why not all humans are equally equipped with social and communicative skills.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

David Butorac at ODTÜ / METU: Demiurgic Blues: can there be a Neoplatonic Science of Nature?

The paper will look at the Neoplatonic reception of the “Timaeus”, along with other Platonic conceptions about the nature of the sensible, and how this relates to the Platonic demand for stable objects of thought. However, I will argue, because everything other than the first principle – both the content of thought and the constitution of the sensible – is composed of the Dyad of limit and unlimited, it renders the human soul incapable of having stable object, apart from the One. A science of nature is, in principle, impossible. Further, I will show that Proclus was trying to overcome precisely the problem of the One’s separation from multiplicity and to ground a science in that principle, but could not achieve this end.

Monday, December 16, ODTÜ / METU, room B103 in the Beşeri Binası at 14.40.

Written by davidbutorac

December 16, 2013 at 5:22 am

Tom Regan and Will Kymlicka in Istanbul 12 December 2013

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Tom Regan and Will Kymlicka in Istanbul 12 December 2013

If you plan to attend, please contact Demet Esra Kose
demetesra {at} gmail.com

Written by rainerbroemer

December 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Philosophers speaking at Animal Politics event, Istanbul 12th-13th Dec.

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Animal Politics: Theory and Practice

International Symposium
12 and 13 December 2013 * Larespark Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey

The symposium is organised by the Animal Politics Foundation (APF), the foundation that organises and coordinates the international activities of the Party for the Animals.
Contact details:info@animalpoliticsfoundation.nl


Written by Barry Stocker

December 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at ITU (10.12.13): Rainer Brömer on ‘Bioethics from Theoretical and Applied Perspectives’

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Tuesday 10th December, 1.30

Istanbul Technical University

Department of Humanities and Social Science Seminar Series

“Bioethics from Theoretical and Applied Perspectives”

Rainer Brömer

İstanbul University Medical Faculty (Çapa)

Beşikçizade Center for Medical Humanities (BETİM)

‘Bioethics is a field of interdisciplinary research between philosophy, science, and medicine. With the increasing reach of medical technology and its impact on human life, doctors and other healthcare professionals have become increasingly compelled to confront novel medical ethical dilemmas (e.g., brain death concept). A growing sensitivity to animal suffering and the detrimental impact of human activities on the biosphere have led to a revaluation of ethical issues regarding non-human life forms, too. Often the same sources for bioethics are being interpreted in diametrically opposed ways, while attitudes deriving from different traditions can cause conflict in pluralistic societies (e.g., veganism among Muslims during Kurban Bayramı). We will look at the state of practical bioethical debates in Turkey today from the perspective of different theoretical approaches.’

Department of Humanities and Social Science
Seminar Room
Faculty of Science and Letters
Istanbul Technical University
Central Campus

Written by Barry Stocker

December 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Bogazici: Basak Keki (Sussex): “Nietzsche and Levinas on Suffering and Evil”

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Friday, Dec 6, 6pm, TB (Anderson Hall) 130

Let me emphasize that the talk is at 6pm, usually our Friday talks are at 5.



Both Nietzsche and Levinas reveal the same worry regarding the meaning of the human subject and the constitution of agency after the end of theodicy; in the former’s case this relates to death of god whereas for the latter, this notion concerns proposing an ethical response to evil. The theme of suffering is significantly relevant to both philosophers in their conceptions of individuality and moral subjectivity. Nietzsche regards it naive to take evil personal and degenerative to associate suffering with evil. Levinas on the other hand, vehemently emphasizes the intricate link between suffering and evil; and asserts that denying this close link could suggest indifference to the suffering of the Other and hence must be rejected. For Nietzsche, suffering can play a crucial role in contributing to the individuation of the individual if it can be handled wisely whereas Levinas argues that suffering in its excessive monstrosity and pure absurdity entails the annihilation of the subject altogether. The stimulating contrast between these two philosophers sheds some light upon the moral dilemmas regarding the intelligibility of evil and conferring meaning on suffering. In this study, without promising any compromise – which would only do injustice to both thinkers – I nevertheless intend to show that the confrontation between Nietzsche and Levinas enables us to see the merits and the limitations of both approaches much more clearly.

Written by markedwardsteen

December 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Medical Ethics in TV series – workshop with Kurt W. Schmidt 14 Dec 2013

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Written by rainerbroemer

December 4, 2013 at 11:35 am

MonoKL Conference in Istanbul with Jacques Rancière on ‘Equality and Aesthetics’, December 7th-8th, 2013

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There will be a conference organised by MonoKL in Istanbul from Decemebr 7-8th, 2013, on:

Equality and Aesthetics

with Jacques RancièreBernard Aspe, Zeynep GambetiNami Başer, Ahmet Soysal and Volkan Çelebi talking place at Bakırköy Belediyesi Atatürk Spor ve Yaşam Köyü Osmaniye Mahallesi from December 7-8th 2013. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Conference in Istanbul on Aesthetics and Politics, December 6th-8th 2013

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  • There will be a 3 day conference from 6-8 December, 2013,  on

Aesthetics and Politics in Turkey: Art, Film, and Literature  

organised by Sabancı University and taking place in Karaköy at the Minerva Palas. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm