Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for May 2015

Workshop and Conference on Theories of Causality and Occasionalism at Bogazici – June 2nd-7th, 2015

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Further details can be found here. Everyone welcome.



June, 2nd 2015-Tuesday, İbrahim Bodur Salonu (Boğaziçi University, South Campus)

10.00-10.10 Opening Remarks, Nazif Muhtaroğlu

10.10-10.20 Welcoming Remarks, Chryssi Sidiropoulou

  1. Session-Occasionalism and Causation in Islamic Philosophy

10.20-11.40 “Natural Causality: Views of Mu’tazilites and the Ash’arites,” Muhammad Basil Altaie (Physics Department-Yarmouk University, Jordan)

11.40-12.00 Coffee Break

12.00-13.20 “Efficient Causation and Continued Existence in Kalam, Avicenna and Fakhr al-Din al-Razi,” Ayman Shihadeh (Department of the Near and Middle East-SOAS, University of London, UK)

13.20-14.50 Lunch Break

14.50-16.10 “Occasionalism and The Evolutionary Causal Process,” Alparslan Açıkgenç (Philosophy Department, Yıldız Technical University)

16.10-16.30 Coffee Break

  1. Session – Occasionalism and Causation among the Scholastics

16.30-17.50 “Suarez on Divine Efficient Causation,” Jeffrey McDonough (Philosophy Department, Harvard University, USA)

June, 4nd 2015-Thursday, İbrahim Bodur Salonu (Boğaziçi University, South Campus)

  1. Session- Occasionalism and Causation in Early Modern Philosophy

10.00-11.20 “The Causal Theories and Occasionalism among the Continental Rationalists,” Brandon Look (Philosophy Department, University of Kentucky, USA)

11.20-11.40 Coffee Break

11.40-13.00 “Malebranche’s Occasionalism and British Empiricists,” Nazif Muhtaroğlu (Philosophy Department, Boğaziçi University)

13.10-14.30 Lunch Break

  1. Session- Contemporary Theories of Causality and Occasionalism

14.30-15.50 “Prominent Theories of Causality Today,” Douglas Kutach (Philosophy Department, University of West Indies-Mona, Jamaica)

15.50-16.10 Coffee Break

16.10-17.30 “Current Approaches to Causality and Occasionalism”

Edward Moad (Philosophy Department, Qatar University)



June, 6th 2015-Saturday, İbrahim Bodur Salonu (Boğaziçi University, South Campus)

8.40-8.50 Opening Remarks, Nazif Muhtaroğlu

8.50-9.00 Welcoming Remarks, Chryssi Sidiropoulou

  1. Session-Occasionalism and Causation in Islamic Philosophy

9.00-9.25 “Causality: An Analysis of the Views of the Mu’tazilites and the Ash’arites,” M. Basil Altaie (Yarmouk)

9.30-9.55 “The Emanation Theory, Mere Conservationism and Occasionalism,” Davlat Dadikhuda (McGill)

10.00-10.25 “How Effective is the Comparison between Malebranche’s Occasionalist Causation and Dogen’s Soto Zen Buddhist Practice?
(in the light of another pair of comparison: Scholastics’ Concurrentism and Rinzai Zen Practice),” Takaharu Oda (Edinburgh)

10.25-10.35 Coffee Break

10.35-11.25 The Discussion of the First Session

11.25-11.45 Coffee Break

  1. Session-Occasionalism and Causation in Modern Philosophy

11.45-12.10 “Creatures that Cause? Pre-established Harmony and Occasionalism” Paul Martin (Ohio)

12.15-12.40 “Spinoza’s Pantheism and Malebranche’s Occasionalism” Brandon Look (Kentucky)

12.45-1.10 “Berkeley’s Rejection of Occasionalism” Jeffrey McDonough (Harvard)

1.15-1.40 “Hume, Kant and Al-Ghazali on the Universal Principle of Causality” Nazif Muhtaroğlu (Boğaziçi)

1.40-2.50 Lunch Break

2.50-3.40 The Discussion of the Second Session

3.40-3.50 Coffee Break

  1. Session-Occasionalism and Causation in Contemporary Philosophy

3.50-4.15 “How A Contemporary Theory of Fundamental Physics Supports Occasionalism” Douglas Kutach (West Indies)

4.20-4.45 “Regularity and Counterfactual Theories of Causation in Relation to Occasionalism” Edward Moad (Qatar)

4.50-5.15 “Knowledge, Minds and Causal Efficacy” Bruce Katz (Independent)

5.15-5.25 Break

5.25-6.20 The Discussion of the Third Session

June, 7th 2015-Sunday, İbrahim Bodur Salonu (Boğaziçi University, South Campus)

9.00-9.50 “Does Causal Dispositionalism Make Room for Occasionalism?” Anna Marmodoro (Oxford)

9.50-10.00 Break

  1. Session-Occasionalism and Quantum Mechanics

10.00-10.25 “Reviving Kalam Occasionalism by ways of Quantum Gravity and Unified Theories” Mehmet Bulgen (Marmara)

10.30-10.55 “Causality in Quantum Mechanics: A New Perspective” M. Basil Altaie (Yarmouk)

11.00-11.25 “How Quantum Mechanics Supports Occasionalism” Douglas Kutach (West Indies)

11.30-11.55 “Quantum Occasionalism” Vasil Dinev Penchev (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)

11.55-12.10 Coffee Break

12.10-1.00 The Discussion of the Fourth Session

1.30 Lunch

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 30, 2015 at 10:11 pm

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Daniel Hutto at Bogazici: “Narrative Self-Shaping: A Modest Proposal” (8/06/2015)

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Hutto talk

Daniel Hutto will give a talk at Bogazici in TB130 entitled “Narrative Self-Shaping: A Modest Proposal”  on Monday June 8th from 5-7pm. Everyone is welcome. Details on how to get to Bogazici by metro can be found here. And here’s a video showing how to find the TB building.

Daniel Hutto is the author of many books, including, Narrative and Folk Psychology (2009, editor), Folk Psychological Narratives: The Sociocultural Basis of Understanding Reasons (2007), Narrative and Understanding Persons (2007, editor), Wittgenstein and the End of Philosophy: Neither Theory nor Therapy (2006), Beyond Physicalism (2000).

His latest book, written together with Erik Myin is Radicalizing Enactivism: Basic Minds without Content (2012). Prof. Hutto and Prof. Myin will be presenting a draft of their new manuscript at a conference at Bogazici from June 9-11, 2015. Details of this conference can be found here.

Abstract: This paper distinguishes a modestly construed Narrative Self Shaping Hypothesis (or NSSH) from Strong Narrativism in an attempt to motivate devoting our intellectual energies to the former.  Here is how the action unfolds. Section one briefly introduces the notions of self-shaping and rehearses reasons for thinking that self-shaping, in a suitably tame form, is, at least to some extent, simply unavoidable for reflective beings. It is against this background that basic commitments of a modest Narrative Self-Shaping Hypothesis (or NSSH) are articulated. Section two identifies a foundational commitment – the central tenet – of all Strong Narrativist proposals, those that posit a necessary link between self-shaping (or self-constitution) and implicit Narrativizing. Section three reminds the reader of Strawson’s (2004a) challenge to Strong Narrativism. It is revealed that Strawson’s objections are most effective if they target Strong Narrativism’s central tenet construed as phenomenological revelation about what is necessary for self-experience and not merely the psychological Narrativity thesis, construed as an empirical hypothesis about typical Narrativizing proclivities. Having set the stage, section four critically examines two different strategies, pursued by Rudd (2012) and Schechtman (2007) respectively, for escaping the horns Strawson’s dilemma poses for Strong Narrativism. In the end both strategies invoke the notion of implicit Narrativizing at a crucial juncture. Section five reveals that a substantive proposal about what implicit Narrativizing might be is lacking, hence we have no reason to believe that it actually occurs. It is concluded that, as things stand, Strong Narrativism has no way of avoiding the horns of Strawson’s dilemma.  The brief concluding remarks of the final section are a reminder why, despite their modesty, softer versions of the NSSH – when coupled with a developmental proposal about the narrative basis of our folk psychological competence – are non-trivial and worthy of further development and investigation.”

More Info: In Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences on Narrativity, Interpretation and Responsibility (other contributors include Daniel C. Dennett and Marya Schechtman). The final publication is available at Springer via DOI: 10.1007/s11097-014-9352-4

Support for this workshop was provided by BAP project 9320, ‘Kant on Character, Virtue and Impossible Ideals’.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 28, 2015 at 11:36 am

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BETİM conference: Medicine – From Word to Saying, from Saying to Narrative, 30 May 2015

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Medicine – from word to saying, from saying to narrative (Turkish)

Sat. 30 May 2015, 10 am – 3 pm

Narrative medicine

Medical sayings

Project for a Turkish medical dictionary


Click on poster to enlarge

All welcome, registration not required.

for directions see



Written by rainerbroemer

May 28, 2015 at 5:58 am

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Conference at Boğaziçi: Enriching Embodied Cognition, with Dan Hutto (Wollongong) and Erik Myin (Antwerp). 9-11/06/2015

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Hutto COnference

Enriching Embodied Cognition

With Daniel Hutto (Wollongong) and Erik Myin (Antwerp)

Boğaziçi University, Istanbul

Demir Demirgil Salonu

June 9th-11th, 2015

A video of how to find the Demir Demirgil Salonu once on campus can be found here.

Directions explaining how to get to Boğaziçi University by metro can be found here.

I have Inserted links to some of the talks into the program below and will add links to new papers if and when I receive them. Everyone welcome!

Tuesday 9th of June 2015

10:00-11:20    Daniel Hutto: “REC: Revolution Effected via Clarification”

11:30- 1:00     Erik Myin: “Radicals Assembled: The Case of Perceiving”

2:30-3:30        Anita Leirfall (Bergen, Philosophy) “A Proto-Proprioceptive Affected Causal Power of Thinking?

Kant on the Directions of Mind”

3:30-4:30        Victor Laughlin (Antwerp, Philosophy) “Anticipatory Mechanisms, the Hard Problem of Content

and Wittgenstein”

5:00-6:00        Matthew Jernberg (Bogazici, Philosophy) “Reformulating the Coupling-Constitution Fallacy”


Wednesday 10th of June 2015

10:00-11:20    Daniel Hutto:  “An Overly Enactive Imagination?

11:30- 1:00     Daniel Hutto & Erik Myin:  “Extensive Minds

2:30-3:30        Bill Wringe (Bilkent, Philosophy) “Some Worries about Embodied Imagination.”

3:30-4:30        Istvan Aranyosi (Bilkent, Philosophy) “Extensive Pain”

5:00-6:00        Annette Hohenberger (METU, Cog-Sci) “When is Cognition Embodied or Disembodied?

Evidence from Behavioral Discontinuities.”

Thursday 11th of June 2015

10:00-11:20    Daniel Hutto: “The Natural Origins of Content

11:30- 1:00     Erik Myin: “Radically Enactive Computation: Reasoning tis but RECkoning”

2:30-3:30        David Davenport (Bilkent, Computer Engineering) “”Not Content? Think(ing) Computation!”

3:30-4:30       Mathew Harvey (Southern Denmark, Philosophy) “Language without Representations”

5:00-6:00       Jasper Van Den Herik (Rotterdam, Philosophy) “Getting Real About Words”

Support for this conference was provided by BAP project 9320, “Kant n Character, Virtue and Impossible Ideals” and Tubitak Project 114k348 “Concepts and Belief: From Perception to Action”.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 25, 2015 at 2:51 pm

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Talk at BETİM: Kant’s Anthropology – by Marc Rölli (Zürich), Thu. 28 May 2015

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Kant’s Anthropology: Between Universalism and Inegalitarianism

Prof. Dr. Marc Rölli, Zürich (Switzerland)

Thu. 28 May 2015, 5.15 – 7.15 pm

(Talk in English)

Dr. Rölli Tr-En Çal  tay Afi i

Click on poster to enlarge

All welcome, registration not required.

for directions see



Written by rainerbroemer

May 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Posted in Ethics, Kant

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Talk at Istanbul Şehir University, Marc Rölli (Zurich), Political Aesthetics

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Political Aesthetics – Remarks on the Philosophical Foundations

Professor Marc Rölli is head of the research focus „theory and methods“ at Zurich University of the Arts


The research field referred to as ‘political aesthetics’ is currently a very active inter- or transdisciplinary workplace. It is a nodal point for several ongoing debates: image research under the aegis of cultural studies; political theory studies on the distinction between politics and ‘the political’; sociology research linked to the proclaimed ‘spatial turn’; and new developments in the field of media theory.

In the paper a number of philosophical topic clusters will be reviewed essential to theoretical clarification of the philosophical assumptions underlying political aesthetics. I begin with aesthetics itself, describing the concept’s origins in Idealism and the difficulties associated with it (1). A second step leads to the philosophical theory of perception, its history closely interwoven with that of aesthetics (2). In a third section I address the concept of ‘the political’ and the question of whether the dimension of power and dominance, accentuated by the currently much-debated ‘political difference’, is linked to the intensification of political rhetoric manifested in every present-day cultural arena (from the street to cinema and television to the internet) (3). Finally I shall turn to two of the variants of a philosophy of the “lived world”, anthropology and pragmatism, so as to return to the terrain of social theory and highlight the enduring nature of certain political themes or their special relevance to problems of political aesthetics (4).

Please join us:

Istanbul Şehir University West Campus, meeting room 2008
May 27, 14.30, http://www.sehir.edu.tr/en/Pages/cover.aspx?key=85
Contact: manuelknoll@sehir.edu.tr

Written by manuelknoll

May 20, 2015 at 1:36 pm

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Talk at Bogazici, Alper Turken, “Hegel’s Concept of True Infinite and the Idea of a Post-Critical Metaphysics”

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Please join us:

Friday, June 5th, 5-7pm, TB 130 (Anderson Hall 130)


I argue for an interpretative and a philosophical claim in this paper. My interpretative claim is that a viable interpretation of Hegel, in distinction from a philosophical position that is merely inspired from him, should accommodate the concept of true infinity in a manner faithful to its meaning for Hegel. The choice of true infinite is not arbitrary. In Hegel’s words, “it is the basic concept of philosophy”1 and “it gives us the nature of speculative thought displayed in its determining feature”2 and involves the conceptual kernel of all of the richer speculative concepts of Logic. An overview of Hegel’s concept of true infinity is presented and its incompatibility with non-metaphysical interpretations of Hegel are defended with particular reference to Pippin and Brandom.

My philosophical claim is the philosophical correlate of my interpretative proposal. The speculative turn was purposefully introduced by Hegel to rehabilitate some important deficiencies that he believed was inherent in Kant’s critical philosophy. Hegel’s Logic was intended as a completion of Kant’s project as the true critique of pure reason. The concept of true infinity is at the heart of this speculative turn and represents Hegel’s primary conceptual innovation. According to this, Hegel is neither a metaphysical thinker in the pre-critical sense, nor was he a non-metaphysical thinker. His project was formulating the possibility and actual carrying out of a post-Kantian ontology based on the innovative conceptual resources he introduces through his speculative turn. Understanding Hegel’s speculative turn in these lights and recognizing the centrality of his concept of true infinite in that project should be a step forward in assessing his legacy and domesticating his key insights into contemporary discussions on metaphilosophy as well as the nature of self-consciousness, normativity and autonomy.

 1 G.W.F. Hegel, The Encyclopedia Logic, trans. T. F. Geraets, W. A. Suchting, H. S. Harris (Indianapolis, Cambridge: Hacket Publishing Company, 1991), 191.

2 Ibid., 152.

Written by markedwardsteen

May 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm

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Workshop and Conference on Causality and Occasionalism

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Please join us. It is open to the public. Please click on the link below for the conference poster which has more details.

June 2nd, Tuesday-workshop: 10.00-17.50
June 4th, Thursday-workshop: 10.00-17.30
June 6th, Saturday-conference: 8.40-18.20
June 7th, Sunday-conference: 10.00-13.00
Occasionalism Conference Poster-Pdf

Written by markedwardsteen

May 20, 2015 at 12:28 pm

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Talk at Bogazici, Eric Boynton (Allegheny), “Building on Trauma”

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Please join us for this talk.

Monday, May 25th, 5-7pm

TB 130 (Anderson Hall 130)


In this paper, I consider the anti-monuments or counter-monuments of German installation artist, Horst Hoheisel, “built” to commemorate victims of the German National Socialist Movement.  Linking the work of Emmanuel Levinas to Hoheisel’s constructions gives ethical significance to Hoheisel’s attempt to bring to presence that which is essentially absent.


Eric Boynton is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Allegheny College in Western, Pennsylvania. He is both chair of the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department and Director of Interdisciplinarity.  In 2006, he was awarded the Thoburn Award for Excellence in Teaching and in 2015 the Jullian Ross Award for Excellence in Teaching. He received an MA from Vanderbilt University and Ph.D. form Rice University in philosophy of religion. His research involves the study of Continental figures such as Martin Heidegger, Jean-Luc Marion, Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, and Hannah Arendt and his interests include the question of evil, current debates in meta-ethics, and the relation of philosophy, art, film, and theology.  He has published articles on the Continental philosophy of religion, aesthetics, and film.  He guest-edited a special issue of the journal Janus Head on contemporary considerations of evil and is currently working on his third edited volume titled: “Trauma and Transcendence: Limits of Theory and Prospects in Thinking” with Fordham University Press.

Written by markedwardsteen

May 19, 2015 at 10:51 am

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Talk and Workshop at Bogazici University, David Liebesman (Calgary)

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Next week we’ll have David Liebesman (Calgary) in town for a read-ahead paper workshop and a talk. Please join us. Here are some details:

Read-ahead paper Workshop:

“Counting as a Type of Measuring”

Thursday, May 28th, 3-5pm, TB 365 (Anderson Hall)


There is an intuitive contrast between counting and measuring. Counting, the thought goes, consists of correlating non-identical objects with cardinal numbers. Measuring, on the other hand, seems to require more: invoking a conventional scale that allows for more-fine-grained values. I argue that this contrast doesn’t bear scrutiny. When we appreciate the full range of counts, it becomes clear that counting is a type of measuring.

(please email marksteen@gmail.com for a copy of the manuscript if you would like to attend).


“Criteria of Partiality and the Mass/Count Distinction”

Friday, May 29, 4-6pm, TB 130 


Why can’t we count using mass nouns like “water”? A familiar idea is that mass nouns don’t come with a built-in criteria of individuation. This familiar idea is now unpopular. I argue that it contains a grain of truth. The difference between mass and count nouns is not that the former lack a criteria of individuation, but, rather, that they lack a criteria of partiality. The notion of a partial house is perfectly sensible. A partial water, however, is not. On the view I develop, this contrast underlies the mass/count distinction.

Written by markedwardsteen

May 19, 2015 at 10:22 am

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Ataraxia in Assos 6-9 July

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July 6-9, 2015

The Concept of Ataraxia in Stoicism, Epicureanism and Scepticism

July 6 Monday

19:00 Temple of Athena: Welcome, Blue Waters, Wine and Sunset

21:30 Dinner at the Village (Assosyal Hotel Restaurant)


July 7 Tuesday

13:30 Monte R. Johnson (University of California San Diego): “Ataraxia and Euthumia: Democritus’ Influence on Hellenistic Philosophy”

15:00 Gisela Striker (Harvard University): “Ataraxia and the Stoics”

16:30 Carlos Levy (University of Paris-Sorbonne): “The Stoic Ataraxia and Its Middle Platonic Sequels”

18:00 John Sellars (King’s College London): “Ataraxia in the Post-Hellenistic Stoicism of Marcus Aurelius”

20:30 Dinner at the Harbour (Nazlıhan Hotel Restaurant)

July 8 Wednesday

13:30 David Wolfsdorf (Temple University): “Epicurus on the Telos of the Mind”

15:00 Richard Bett (Johns Hopkins University): “What’s So Special About Ataraxia?”

16:30 Svavar H. Svavarsson (University of Iceland): “The End of Scepticism According to Sextus Empiricus”

18:00 Örsan K. Öymen (Isik University): “Doubt and Anxiety”

19:30 Dinner (Assos Terrace Hotel Restaurant)

22:30 Classical Music in the Ancient Theater (Anne Monika Sommer-Bloch)


July 9 Thursday

14:00 Visit to the Ancient City of Troy

21:00 Farewell Dinner (Assos Terrace Hotel Restaurant)

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 17, 2015 at 11:34 am

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Three Women Political Philosophers of the Late Enlightenment – Bilkent 25 May.

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Written by Sandrine Berges

May 15, 2015 at 2:35 pm

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Workshop in Istanbul on “Seeing and Disjunctivism” with Sofia Miguens and Charles Travis (22/05/2015)

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Koç University Philosophy Department Presents

Seeing & Disjunctivism 

with Sofia Miguens and Charles Travis

on Friday May 22nd, 14:30 – 18:00

at Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, İstiklal Cad. No:181, Beyoğlu

[Please note that the event will take place off campus.] 



“Is seeing judging? Conceptions of perceptual experience and motivations for disjunctivism”

Sofia Miguens- University of Porto

Abstract: In order to assess commitments of different uses of the notion of representation in conceiving of perceptual experience I focus on the John McDowell-Tyler Burge controversy over disjunctivism and perceptual psychology (Burge 2005, McDowell 2011, Burge 2011, McDowell 2013 a, McDowell 2013b; also Burge 2003). Going through McDowell’s responses to Burge I analyse motivations for disjunctivism and discuss some claims, both tenable and untenable, that seeing (or experiencing, in general) is judging.


“The Room in a View”

Charles Travis- King’s College London & University of Porto

Abstract: Between 1946 and 1949 Wittgenstein took up the topic of seeing-as for a second time (the first in the Tractatus). This time it is interwoven with discussions of many more parts of mental life. Why the interest? And why the setting? Two motives: 1) to correct the Tractatus’ mistaken view (of seeing-as, and of representation) 2) to explore the work of meeting Frege’s challenge: in an account of mental life, always to respect the essential publicity of thought. Two lessons which emerge: 1) the importance of distinguishing two forms of authority: expert and executive. 2) Motivations for ‘disjunctivism’ (not that Wittgenstein was a disjunctivist). A third: the importance of what Frege saw and young Wittgenstein missed.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 12, 2015 at 12:32 pm

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Resistance, Disobedience and Coercion – 21, 22 May, Bilkent.

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Written by Sandrine Berges

May 12, 2015 at 9:59 am

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Workshop at Bilkent: Three Women Political Philosophers of the Late Enlightenment

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The Bilkent Philosophy Department is pleased to announce:
Three Women Political Philosophers of the Late Enlightenment.

Monday 25 May 2015
 Room G160

10.40-11.10: Welcome

11.10 – 12.30: Martina Reuter, Jyväskylä: “The role of passions in Wollstonecraft’s concept of virtue”

Respondent: Zubeyde Karadağ, Hacettepe

12.30 – 13.50: Lunch Break

13.50 – 15.20: Alan Coffee, King’s College London: Catharine Macaulay and Neo-Roman Republican Theory”

Respondent: Gül Gültekin, Yeditepe

15.20 – 15.40: Tea Break

15.40 – 17.00: Sandrine Berges, Bilkent: “ Phlipon Roland’s Rural Republicanism”

Respondent: Hatice Karaman, Yeditepe

All welcome. Mild refreshments will be provided.

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 8, 2015 at 4:19 pm

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Talk at Bogazici, Ayca Boylu (İzmir Kâtip Çelebi Üniversitesi), “Capturing Moral Behavior in Human Interactions”

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Please join us.

Bogazici University

Monday, May 18, 5pm

TB 130 (Anderson Hall)

Capturing Moral Behavior in Human Interactions


Iris Murdoch claims that “the center of ‘the moral’ ” is generally taken by moral philosophers to be “the situation of a man making a definite choice” and “the moral life of the individual is a series of overt choices which take place in a series of specifiable situations”. I call this prevailing view, “moral situationism”. It is one of the marks of moral situationism to treat actions and their circumstances as “given”. On this view, actions and their circumstances can be extracted from our lives and be described in purely non-moral terms. Therefore, describing human behavior is taken to be extraneous to moral philosophy. The task of moral philosophy begins after that, as it were, when it is time to morally evaluate human behavior. To put it differently, according to moral situationism, there are no moral descriptions in moral philosophy. In this paper, I argue that moral situationism falls short of capturing at least a good portion of human behavior so as to set the stage for moral evaluation. To be more specific, I argue that moral situationists can pick out neither the human behavior in human interactions nor the relevant circumstances in non-moral terms. Moral philosophy demands that we describe, at the very least, human behavior in human interactions, in moral terms. Thus, describing human behavior cannot be thought to be extraneous to moral philosophy.

Written by markedwardsteen

May 7, 2015 at 4:50 pm

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Talk at BETİM: Medicine and Art (in Turkish) – by M. S. Tokaç & Y. Çetinkaya, 11 May 2015

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Tıp ve Sanat (Medicine and Art)

Monday 11 May 2015, 7pm

Talk in Turkish


click on poster to enlarge

All welcome, registration not required

for directions see



Written by rainerbroemer

May 7, 2015 at 10:07 am

Talk at Bogazici University, Sanem Soyarslan (NCSU), “Spinoza’s Critique of Humility in the Ethics”

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Please join us

TB 130 (Anderson Hall)

Tuesday, May 12, 5pm

Abstract: In the Ethics, Spinoza defines humility as a “sadness born of the fact that a man considers his own lack of power” (Part III, Proposition 55, Scholium). Furthermore, he declares that “humility is not a virtue, or does not arise from virtue” (Part IV, Proposition 53). This declaration is significant, given that humility was considered to be an important virtue in traditional theological morality that was prevalent in the seventeenth century. Even though philosophers like Descartes held that humility could be excessive, Spinoza is arguably the first philosopher to categorically deny humility’s virtue. Importantly, the Ethics is not the only place in Spinoza’s corpus where he takes up the issue of humility. In one of his earlier works, the Short Treatise, Spinoza offers a favorable appraisal of humility that is seemingly at odds with his mature position in the Ethics. How can we explain this change in Spinoza’s evaluation of humility? Neither this question, nor Spinoza’s revisionary assessment of humility in the Ethics, has received scholarly attention beyond some passing references. In this paper, I attempt to fill this gap by developing an elaborate understanding of Spinoza’s critique of humility in the Ethics. I suggest that notwithstanding Spinoza’s explicit denial of humility’s virtue in his masterpiece, there is room for, what we might call, a virtuous form of humility arising from an accurate assessment of our lack of power via reason. My reading, if correct, will enable us to see Spinoza’s account of humility in the Ethics as continuous with his stance in the Short Treatise. Moreover, it will suggest that, when properly understood, Spinoza’s account reveals to be more complex and less radical than it initially appears.

Written by markedwardsteen

May 5, 2015 at 9:43 am

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Talk at BETİM: Origin of Morality – by Hümeyra Özturan, 8 May 2015

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The Origin of Morality as a Philosophical Problem

(Talk in English; discussion English and Turkish)

Hümeyra Özturan Çal  tay Afi i-1

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All welcome, registration not required

for directions see



Written by rainerbroemer

May 2, 2015 at 10:29 am

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