Archive for April 2017
Marco Fenici (University of Florence)
“The modularity of mindreading: philosophical and empirical concerns”
Wednesday 26 April, 2017, 1100-1230 , A130
“How children approach the false belief test: Social development, pragmatics, and the assembly of ToM”
Thursday, April 27th, 12:40-13:30, A130
Abstract for the first talk:
According to a widely shared view among philosophers and cognitive scientists, mindreading—i.e., the ability to attribute mental states to others to predict and explain their actions—is an intrinsic component of the human biological endowment, thus being innately specified by natural selection within particular neurocognitive structures. Despite the popularity of this view, in the talk, I will address several reasons for concern about both the modularity and innateness of mindreading.
I will first discuss some theoretical issues. In particular, I will claim that the modularity of mindreading is grounded in a conventional but simplistic view about the natural evolution of our cognitive capacities—i.e., the “modern evolutionary synthesis”—, which appears limited compared with the more contemporary ecological accounts. I will also argue that the modularity of mindreading presupposes a naturalistic account of representational content, and thereby subscribes to a particular view within a debate that is far from being settled.
I will also argue that the modularity of mindreading is all but demonstrated by the empirical findings about the development of the understanding of belief in infancy and early childhood. In particular, I will show that the data from spontaneous-response false belief tasks admit alternative non-mentalistic interpretations. Moreover, I will argue that we do not have robust evidence of continuity in the development of alleged mindreading capacities from infancy to early childhood. I will therefore conclude that mindreading is more likely a biosocial capacity, that originates from the assembly of early-emergent basic capacities of action prediction and a variegated set of late-emergent executive and linguistic abilities.
Abstract for the second talk:
I argue that children’s success in (elicited-response) false belief tests depends on the connection of their initially scattered understanding of the practical commitments associated with the verbal ascription of beliefs. Accordingly, children’s active engagement with conversation about mental states is the critical factor promoting their acquisition of the capacity to succeed in the false belief test. The proposed view accounts better than the received alternatives not only for the capacities but also the limits beyond younger children’s acquisition of the so-called Theory of Mind—i.e., psychological understanding.
Örsan Öymen (Işık University)
“Hume and Causality”
Friday 21 April, 2017, 1440-1630, room G160.
The purpose of this paper is to explicate David Hume’s analysis of causality in the framework of his Epistemology and Philosophy of Religion. Hume’s theory of impressions, ideas, a priori and a posteriori reasonings, facts, existence and causality will be analyzed in relation to his objections against the cosmological and teleological arguments regarding the existence and attributes of God. The aim of the paper is to show that Hume’s analysis of causality can not be apprehended and evaluated apart from his arguments regarding religion. To avoid out of context interpretations of Hume will enable us to see that Hume’s main concern is not to challenge and discredit the principle of causality but rather to prove that the principle of causality can not be implemented in matters of religion and theology.
The Contribution of Wollstonecraft to Contemporary Issues in Philosophy
1-2 June 2017 Bilkent University (Room A130)
3-4 June 2017 Cappadocia.
Mary Wollstonecraft worked primarily on social and political philosophy, with an emphasis on republicanism, education and women’s rights. But she also touched on other topics: slavery, aesthetics, marriage, work, family, masculinity, virtue, reason, passions, theology and epistemology.
The driving motivation for this workshop is not primarily to develop Wollstonecraft scholarship, but to show how the issues she discussed are still philosophically relevant and that her arguments sometimes can cast light on contemporary problems. A second aim is to show that the study of women philosophers of the past is a highly productive part of academic philosophy, and to model how it may be done.
Sarah Hutton (York)
Hatice Nur Erkizan (Muğla)
Sandrine Bergès (Bilkent)
Laura Brace (Leicester)
Alan Coffee (KCL)
Özlem Duva (Dokuz Eylül)
Patrick Fessenbecker (Bilkent)
Burcu Gürkan (İstanbul Şehir)
Zübeyde Karadağ Thorpe (Hacettepe)
Lucas Thorpe (Boğaziçi)
Saniye Vatansever (Yeditepe)
Gözde Yıldırım (Boğaziçi)
Detailed program, abstracts and commentators will soon be announced here.