Hesperus is Bosphorus

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Archive for March 2015

CFA: Enriching Embodied Cognition (Boğaziçi) 9-11/06/2015

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Call For Abstracts: Enriching Embodied Cognition
Boğaziçi University, Istanbul
June 9th-11th, 2015

Keynote Speakers: Daniel Hutto (Wollongong) and Erik Myin (Antwerp)

This workshop will be centered around material for the manuscript of Hutto and Myin’s latest book, Enriching Embodied Cognition: A Unified Enactivist and Ecological Framework, which is a follow-up to their 2013 book Radicalizing Enactivism: Basic Minds without Content.

Articles and draft material will be circulated to the participants in advance, and in the morning sessions Hutto and Myin will present and discuss core arguments with the participants. In the afternoon participants will present papers. These papers should be on themes discussed in the book, but do not have to be direct responses to Hutto and Myin’s work. If you would be interested in presenting a paper at the workshop, please send a short abstract to istanbulembodied@gmail.com by April 20th. Successful applicants will be informed by April 25th.

Enriching Embodied Cognition: A Unified Enactivist and Ecological Framework will provide an enriched understanding of embodied cognition: showing just how embodied it is and just how it is embodied. This book integrates what is best in the replacement approaches, advancing the sciences of the mind by providing a novel framework for non-representational embodied cognition ­ one that refines and critically synthesizes the main insights of the enactivist and ecological traditions. Hutto and Myin argue that once unified replacement approaches have all that is needed to do the necessary enriching work. In making their case Hutto and Myin highlight a recognized danger ­ call it the Retention Worry ­ that many applications of embodied, enactive cognition, (with headline cases in psychology, psychiatry and sports science) are missing the point. The Retention Worry arises for any account of embodied cognition that retains too much traditional thinking about the role of mental representations in cognition, for such accounts fail to successfully motivate any role for the body or environment, let alone the one identified in the research]. Only by clarifying what, if any, role representations play in cognitive science explanations will we gain a deeper and clearer understanding of the nature of embodied cognition.

This workshop is organized as part of Lucas Thorpe’s Tubitak project: Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action.

The proposed chapter structure of the book can be found below the fold:

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Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 30, 2015 at 12:40 pm

Talk, Umut Baysan (Glasgow), “How to Save Mental Causation”

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Please join us:

Bogazici University

Friday April 3, 5pm

TB 130 (Anderson Hall)


How to Save Mental Causation

Non-reductive physicalism holds that mental properties, such as beliefs, desires, sensations and so on, are “nothing over and above” physical properties, but that mental properties are not identical with physical properties. Most non-reductive physicalists also believe that mental properties can be causally efficacious: my belief that it is raining can cause me to open my umbrella. Some opponents of non-reductive physicalism, most notably Jaegwon Kim, argue that if mental properties are not identifiable with physical properties, mental causation is difficult to account for: physical properties do all the causal work, so there is no room for mental causes. In this talk, I will explore the success and the limitations of one particular response to this problem. This response suggests that the causal powers of a mental property are a subset of the causal powers of a physical property that realizes it. Because of this subset relation, mental properties are parts of physical properties, and parts and wholes don’t causally compete. I will argue that this parthood claim is problematic. If it is taken literally, the metaphysical commitments to justify it are implausible. If it is taken metaphorically, then what it takes to respond to Kim’s challenge is available to all non-reductive physicalists. I believe that the parthood claim should be taken metaphorically, and that non-reductive physicalists can successfully respond to Kim’s objection without any appeal to a part-whole relation.

Written by markedwardsteen

March 24, 2015 at 2:39 pm

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Talk, István Aranyosi (Bilkent), “Description, acquaintance, and the a posteriori physicalist response to the Knowledge Argument”

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Bogazici University

5pm, Monday, March 30

TB 130 (Anderson Hall)


One of the popular physicalist responses to the Knowledge Argument (KA) is based on

the idea that knowledge is opaque, hence, according to this response the argument fails

to establish anything about ontology. Rather, what it does establish is that propositions

containing exclusively physical and functional concepts do not a priori entail propositions

that contain phenomenal concepts. Defenders of KA, while acknowledging that

knowledge is opaque, have replied by pointing out that the physicalist have merely

shifted the focus of the problem. KA can be applied to the new items brought in by the

physicalist, such as: the property of having phenomenal concepts, the fact that there

are phenomenal modes of presentation, or that there is a knowing relation to physical

properties involving phenomenal content. All these are not entailed by the totality of

descriptive, physical truths, hence, physicalism is still false.

I will show, based on some ideas related to the difference between knowledge by

acquaintance and knowledge by description, that the concession made by defenders

of KA to the effect that the argument establishes at most the existence of phenomenal

concepts or phenomenal modes of presentations of physical properties leads to the demise

of KA. Yet, if the concession is not made, then KA is begging the question.

Written by markedwardsteen

March 20, 2015 at 11:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Call for Abstracts/Papers/Commentators: Aristotelian Themes in Metaphysics and Koslicki Book Workshop

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Call for Abstracts/Papers/Commentators
Deadline: November 1
Conference: Aristotelian Themes in Metaphysics and Koslicki Book Workshop
April 29th-May 1st
Boğaziçi University 
Istanbul, Turkey
We are seeking extended abstracts (600-900 words) or papers (suitable for 30-40 minute presentations) related to themes in Aristotle’s metaphysics (e.g. substance, substrata, hylomorphism, essentialism, metaphysical categories, etc.), very broadly construed, for a two- to three-day international conference at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey.
One day will be a workshop on Kathrin Koslicki’s new book manuscript, Form, Matter, Substance,
while the other day(s) will be devoted to talks and commentary on Aristotelian themes. Please prepare your abstract or paper in a format suitable for blind review.
In addition, we need commentators for papers and Koslicki’s manuscript chapters. If you wish to be a commentator, or chair, please let us know by November 1. If you would like to comment on a chapter of Koslicki’s ms, please email your request to marksteen[at-symbol]gmail.com.
Abstracts or papers are due November 1.
Volunteering or commenting deadline: November 1.
Send all anonymized submissions to metaphysicstanbul[at-symbol]gmail.com
Send all inquiries and volunteer offers (for commenting/chairing) to marksteen[at-symbol]gmail.com
Confirmed Speaker: Professor Kathrin Koslicki (Alberta)
All are welcome. While registration is not strictly speaking required, it would be helpful to us, for organizing purposes, if you registered by merely indicating that you will attend by contacting us via marksteen[at-symbol]gmail.com. Registration is free, but airfare, lodging and meals (except for one dinner, and continental breakfasts) are not covered. Affordable lodging is likely available–email Mark Steen for information.

Written by markedwardsteen

March 11, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Bogazici next Friday: Frank Chouraqui (Koc), The Paradox of Fiction: A Phenomenological Proposal

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Please join us.

Friday, March 13

Bogazici University

Anderson Hall 130 (TB 130)


The Paradox of Fiction: A Phenomenological Proposal

In this talk, I attempt to formulate a solution to the traditional paradox of emotional response to fiction. I begin with a critique of the existing solutions, arguing that they fail the tests of parallelism and/or parasitism. I draw from this critique the requirements for a satisfactory solution. I then propose a solution which involves rejecting neither of the premises of the paradox, but rather rejecting the common view that emotions rely on existence-beliefs. I then proceed to offer an account of the controversial view that the beliefs relevant to emotional responses to fiction may be treated independently from existence-beliefs. I argue that this route, although unavoidable, demand an ontological discussion of the relations between emotion and belief. I finish by discussing the basic outlines of an ontology which could support this view.

if you have any questions, email marksteen[at-symbol]gmail[dot]com

Written by markedwardsteen

March 5, 2015 at 10:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized