Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for May 2016

Workshop at Boğaziçi: Interactivism and Enactivism with Mark Bickhard (1/06/2016)

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There will be a workshop at Boğaziçi on 1/06/2016 with Professor Mark Bickhard (Lehigh) on Interactivism and Enactivism from 3pm-7pm in TB130. Everyone welcome.

mark poster

3pm-5pm The Interactivist Model

Abstract: A shift from a metaphysical framework of substance to one of process enables an integrated account of the emergence of normative phenomena. I show how substance assumptions block genuine ontological emergence, especially the emergence of normativity, and how a process framework permits a thermodynamic-based account of normative emergence. The focus is on two foundational forms of normativity, that of normative function and of representation as emergent in a particular kind of function. This process model of representation, called interactivism, compels changes in many related domains. The discussion ends with brief attention to three domains in which changes are induced by the representational model: perception, learning, and language.

5pm – 7pm Interactivism and Enactivism: Some Thoughts and Comparisons

Abstract: Interactivism and enactivism spring from some similar insights and intuitions. There are, however, some arguably significant divergences, and I will explore a few of the important similarities and differences. Topics addressed include the basic notions of how cognition and mind emerge in living systems; how growth, learning, development, and adaptation can be modeled within the basic frameworks; and how phenomenological investigations can be taken into account and their phenomena modeled.

This talk is organised as part of Lucas Thorpe‘s TÜBİTAK project “Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action” ( 114K348).



Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 26, 2016 at 5:53 pm

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Three Scholarships for Turkish academics and graduate students to attend UK Kant Society Conference in Southampton from the 5th to 6th of September 2016

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2016 UK Kant Society Annual Conference: Kant, Normativity, and Naturalism

As part of the joint Boğaziçi -Southampton Newton-Katip Çelebi project  “Agency and Autonomy: Kant and the Normative Foundations of Republican Self-Government” (Jointly run by Lucas Thorpe and Sasha Muddwe have three scholarships of of £750 for Turkish academics and graduate students to participate in the 20016 UK Kant Society conference to be held in Southampton from 5 – 6 September 2016. Any academics and graduate students based in Turkey are eligible to apply. 

Those interested should send an abstract (excluding any self-identifying information) of between 800 and 1000 words to turkant@gmail.com by July 1st 2016. Successful applicants will be informed by July 10th.

(UPDATE: a couple of people have already asked me if the deadline for Turkish applicants is JULY 1st, and the answer is yes).

Details about the conference can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 26, 2016 at 2:33 pm

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Talk at Bogazici, Cory Nichols (Princeton), “Strict Conditional Accounts of Counterfactuals”

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Please join us.

Tuesday, May 24th, 3-5pm, TB 130 (Anderson Hall)


“Strict Conditional Accounts of Counterfactuals”
Cory Nichols

Until recently, the idea that counterfactuals — conditionals of the form “If A were the case, then C would be the case” — might simply be strict conditionals — universal modal quantifiers scoping over material conditionals — was not taken seriously. For a strict conditional says that in all worlds, if A is the case then C is the case. But this seems too demanding: it might be true that if I had gone to the party, then I would’ve had a good time; but surely there is some possible world where I go to the party and don’t have a good time, e.g. if a fire breaks out halfway through.

In the last 15 years, however, Kai von Fintel and Thony Gillies have offered similar analyses of counterfactuals according to which they are strict conditionals supplemented with dynamic modal domains, i.e. modal domains of quantification that change systematically from one context to the next. A major motivation of their view is the asymmetry of so-called Sobel sequences, which sound fine in one direction but infelicitous in the reverse, such as:

If Jeff had come to the party, it would’ve been great. But if Jeff and Lars had come to the party, it would’ve been awful (because they would’ve fought).
If Jeff and Lars had come to the party, it would’ve been awful. #But if Jeff had come to the party, it would’ve been great.
The orthodox view of counterfactuals, due to David Lewis and Robert Stalnaker, doesn’t seem to predict this asymmetry, but the von Fintel-Gillies view does. So a new view is now on the table that challenges the standard approach to counterfactuals of the last 40-50 years.
But so far the relevant literature has focused primarily on a narrow class of cases. What is needed is a thorough examination of the predictions of the dynamic strict conditional view for a broader range of data. In this paper I do just this, and discover several classes of cases that are problematic for the strict conditional view. I then entertain some possible responses and “fixes” for the view, finding none to be especially satisfying.

Written by markedwardsteen

May 20, 2016 at 9:48 am

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Talk and Workshop at Bogazici, Samuel Fletcher (U. of Minnesota)

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Please join us for a talk and a two-part workshop at Bogazici University, both by Samuel Fletcher. Details below. All are welcome.

All events take place in TB 130 (Anderson Hall).

26 May 15:00-16:00 The Logic of Severe Testing I (Workshop)
26 May 17:00-19:00  “The Principle of Stability” (Colloquium)
27 May 16-18:00  The Logic of Severe Testing II (Workshop)
  • “The Principle of Stability” (Colloquium) How can inferences from idealized models to the phenomena they represent be justified when those models deliberately distort the phenomena? Pierre Duhem considered just this problem in part II, chapter III (“Mathematical Deduction and Physical Theory”) of The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory (1914), arguing that inferences and explanations from mathematical models of phenomena to real physical applications must also be demonstrated to be approximately correct when the (idealized) assumptions of the model are only approximately true. Despite being included in Duhem’s most influential contribution to philosophy of science, this chapter and the principle it contains is little discussed among philosophers. Yet mathematicians and physicists both contemporaneous with and subsequent to Duhem took up this challenge (if only sometimes implicitly), yielding a novel and rich mathematical theory of stability. My goals in this presentation are thus twofold: first, to trace some of the history of this principle of stability and its precursors in reference to their application in science, and second, to present a modern version of the principle, exploring some of its applications and implications, as well as comparing it to related notions that have received more attention.
  • The Logic of Severe Testing (Two-part Workshop) Deborah Mayo has for many years advocated for a modified version of classical Neyman-Pearson statistical testing as the correct account of inductive inference, most famously in her monograph Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge (Chicago, 1996).  While this approach uses probabilities, it does not assign them to hypotheses or propositions as Bayesians would.  Instead, testing procedures assign “fit” and “severity” scores to hypotheses or propositions based on observed data.  Those hypotheses or propositions passing a sufficiently high threshold for both receive justification for being fallibly inferred: they have been severely tested.  This work is an attempt to develop a general logical framework for Mayo’s account of severe testing that is a generalization from the specific examples she gives (usually z-tests).  The framework involves a two-dimensional many-valued logic–one dimension each for “fit” and “severity”–that is superintuitionistic: stronger than intuitionistic logic but weaker than classical logic.  This is a welcome result, since a particular hypothesis (e.g., “this chemical causes cancer”) not being severely tested should sometimes but not in general entail that its negation is severely tested.


If you have any questions, please contact mark.steen@boun.edu.tr

Written by markedwardsteen

May 19, 2016 at 3:31 pm

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Sehir University International Workshop Time, Eternity, Cosmology in Islam and Byzantium: Aristotelian Receptions—and Beyond

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PHILOSOPHY_workshop_mailing-01 (1)

Tuesday 24 May, 15.00-17.30

Time, Eternity, Cosmology in Islam and Byzantium: Aristotelian Receptionsand Beyond
An international workshop in Philosophy at Istanbul Şehir University
Convener: Sotiris Mitralexis

Speakers include:
İshak Arslan (Istanbul Şehir University)
Sotiris Mitralexis (Istanbul Şehir University & University of Winchester)
Dionysios Skliris (Université Paris IV—Sorbonne)
İbrahim Üçer (Istanbul Medeniyet University)
While both Medieval Islamic and Byzantine Christian philosophical conceptions of time have been studied to some extent, a comparative approach to the diverse notions of temporality that are to be traced within those broad traditions emerging in neighboring geographical areas of the globe has never been explicitly attempted. In this workshop, scholars focusing on the philosophical understanding of temporality that can be found in a variety of Medieval Islamic philosophers and thinkers—most notably Ibn Sina (Avicenna)—one the one hand and in Byzantine philosophy—most notably Maximus the Confessor—on the other will come together with the purpose of attempting a comparative approach. Our main focal point will consist in tracing the lines of Aristotelian philosophy’s reception in Islamic and Byzantine philosophical cosmology as far as questions on time and eternity are concerned, with the hope of unveiling philosophically fecund similarities and differences. Each speaker will make a 15-minutes presentation of his area of expertise, after which the main discussion will commence.

Written by metindemirsehir

May 18, 2016 at 5:19 pm

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New philosophically oriented Master’s in Science, Technology and Society at Istanbul Technical University

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STS Afis

Written by Barry Stocker

May 18, 2016 at 4:16 pm

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New Group for Women Philosophers in Turkey

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Please check out our new page and join!

The purpose of this society for women in philosophy is to make things a bit easier, to give our current female undergraduates a better chance of succeeding as well as their male counterparts; and to give those of us who struggle in our jobs for promotion or recognition a forum where we can get together and help each other. More specifically, this society aims to foster exchanges between women philosophers studying or working in the field in Turkey, but also to involve Turkish women studying or working in philosophy abroad who want to stay in touch with developments here. To this end we intend to instigate an annual SWIP-TR conference, where any woman philosopher can submit a paper and, after a process of blind refereeing, present this paper. In time, we also want to hold workshops, e.g. on professional development for graduate students, and set up a mentoring scheme, so that younger members of the profession may benefit from the experience of others and learn about funding opportunities. We also aim to create links with SWIP groups in other countries, so as to facilitate the international networking of our members.

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 17, 2016 at 11:29 am

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