Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for March 2018

A Talk on Philosophy of Biology by Özlem Yılmaz (ITU and Konrad Lorenz Institute) at Koç University on 30th of March (Friday), 2018

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“What is Phenome?” -(An issue in Philosophy of Biology)

Date: Friday, March 30, 2018-

Place: SOS 277 at 15:30 at Koç University.

Abstract: In this talk, phenome, which is one of the main concepts in Biology, will be explained through a process philosophy. I will give examples from, plant physiology and I argue “thinking life as processes rather than things (Dupre, 2012)” is a good way for our understanding of plant life. Organisms are constituted from a hierarchy of many processes which are in constant interaction. There is also a very dynamic interaction between an organism and its environment and organisms express themselves through this interaction that causes a rearrangement of internal processes and sometimes results in a different kind of stability. We can say: an organism is a kind of flow that is very dynamic, complex and actively interacting with its environment. I will talk on how we do research on this flow and how we give explanations about it. Also I will emphasize the importance of the individual organism, that is why I tend to use the concept of “phenome” more than the phenotype.

Written by aran arslan

March 27, 2018 at 1:53 pm

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Conference at Bilkent: New Directions in Social Cognition Research

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Social Cognition is an expanding field of study that has come to include researchers from Philosophy, Psychology, Neuroscience, and Robotics. Social Cognition is focused on describing and explaining how human, non-human, and artificial systems understand sociality. Theoretical debates in philosophy consider issues of origins and ontology, in psychology, qualitative and quantitative methods are used to establish developmental, cross-cultural, and comparative patterns in different sorts of social performances, while neuroscience considers any neurologically relevant contribution to such abilities. Finally, roboticists have begun to explore how to create social agents capable of robust forms of human interaction. This interdisciplinary conference will explore some of the new ideas in the study of social cognition.


Dates: April 7-8, 2018

Place: Bilkent University, Main Campus, FBB building.

Mandatory Registration: Attendance is free for all graduate students, post-docs, independent researchers and faculty, but registration is required. Click here to register for the conference.

Host departments: Philosophy, Psychology, Neuroscience, Bilkent University

Organizers: Jedediah WP Allen, Hande Ilgaz, Nazim Keven (Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Group, Bilkent)

Contact Email: socialcognition[at]bilkent[dot]edu[dot]tr

Conference website: click here

Conference program: click here

Conference poster: click here


Keynote speakers:

DANIEL J. POVINELLI is Professor of Biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.His primary interests have centered on the characterization of higher-order cognitive functions in great apes and humans. He is the recipient of a National Science Presidential Young Investigator Award, the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology, and a one million dollar James S. McDonnell Foundation Centennial Fellow prize. He is the author of 3 books and over 130 scientific papers. His research has been featured on numerous news outlets including CBS News, ABC News, Public Radio International, BBC TV and radio, PBS, as well as in several documentaries, including Martin Scorese’s Surviving Progress, Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole, Alan Alda’s The Human Spark, National Geographic’s Human Ape and Animal Minds, BBC/Nature’s The Monkey in the Mirror, and Dutch Public Broadcast, And Apes Became Men. He continues to conduct research and publish in areas related to animal cognition, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, and the philosophy of agency.

JOSEF PERNER received his PhD in Psychology from the University of Toronto. He was Professor in Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex and is now Professor of Psychology and member of the Centre for Neurocognitive Research at the University of Salzburg. He is author of “Understanding the Representational Mind” (MIT Press, 1991) and over 180 articles on cognitive development (theory of mind, executive control, episodic memory, logical reasoning), consciousness (perception versus action), simulation in decision making, and theoretical issues of mental representation and consciousness. He served as President of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Academia Europaea, the Leopoldina, the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, the Association for Psychological Sciences, holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Basel, and was awarded the William Thierry Preyer Award for Excellence in Research on Human Development by the European Society of Developmental Psychology (ESDP) and the Bielefelder Wissenschaftspreis for the interdisciplinary nature of his research.

Written by Sandrine Berges

March 21, 2018 at 8:41 pm

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Two talks on Political Philosophy by David Owen (Southampton) at Boğaziçi on 19th and 20th of April, 2018

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“Conflict and Norms in Kant and Nietzsche: Freedom as Independence, Self-Love, and the Rivalrous Emotions”

Thursday, April 19th, 5pm-7pm, JF507

Abstract: In Daybreak Nietzsche presents his project of re-evaluation as, in part, oriented to the following task: ‘we shall restore to men their goodwill towards the actions decried as egoistic and restore to these actions their value – we shall deprive them of their bad conscience!’ (D s.148) Why is the distinction between ‘egoistic’ and ‘unegoistic’ significant for Nietzsche? In this paper, I address this question by considering Kant’s and Nietzsche’s contrasting views concerning freedom, conflict and the rivalrous emotions. The central claim advanced is that Nietzsche’s concern with restoring goodwill towards, and the value of, (a range of) egoistic actions is motivated, first, by a revaluation of the ethical value of self-love as orientation of the self to what is noble (i.e., as non-instrumental rather than instrumental value) and second by the view that competition between persons to cultivate their relevant excellences of character is integral to securing the practical relation to self constitutive of autonomous agency and hence that rivalrous emotional responses to others may be expressions of virtue. A Kantian legal order of non-domination may, on this account, be decadent in a way that Kantian morality exacerbates.

“Refugees and responsibilities of justice”

Friday, April 20th, 5-7pm, JF507

Abstract: This essay develops an account of the shared responsibility of states to refugees and of how the character of that responsibility effects the ways in which it can be fairly shared. However, it moves beyond the question of the general obligations that states owe to refugees to consider ways in which refugee choices and refugee voice can be given appropriate standing with the global governance of refuge. It offers an argument for the normative significance of refugee’s reasons for choosing states of asylum and linked this to consideration of a refugee matching system and to refugee quota trading conceived as responsibility-trading, before turning to the issue of the inclusion of refugee voice in relation to the justification of the norms of refugee governance and in relation to the institutions and practices of refugee governance through which those norms are given practical expression.


David Owen is Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Southampton. He has published widely across three main research areas: Nietzsche and post-Kantian critical theory encompassing post-structuralism and the Frankfurt School); Problems of Political Community addressing issues of multiculturalism and migration; and Democratic Theory ranging from foundational to policy-relevant levels of analysis. His current research projects address the structure of agonist political theory and its relationship to perfectionism and realism, and the ethics and politics of migration and transnational citizenship. His most recent books are Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morality (Acumen, 2007) and two co-edited volumes Multiculturalism and Political Theory (Cambridge University Press 2007) and Recognition and Power (Cambridge University Press, 2007). He is co-editor of the Critical Powers book series for Bloomsbury Academic and of Citizenship Transitions for Palgrave Macmillan, and Book Reviews Editor for the journal Political Theory. He also serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Nietzsche Studies, Max Weber Studies and Political Studies Review. In recent years he has been Visiting Professor of Politics (2008) and of Philosophy (2010) at the Goethe University, Frankfurt.


The talks are organized a part of the joint Boğaziçi -Southampton Newton-Katip Çelebi project AF140071 “Agency and Autonomy: Kant and the Normative Foundations of Republican Self-Government” run by Lucas Thorpe (Boğaziçi) and Andrew Stephenson (Southampton).

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 21, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Talk at Boğaziçi by Manuel Knoll (Şehir): “Deep Disagreements on Social and Political Justice: Their Meta-Ethical Relevance and the Need for a New Research Perspective” (30.03.2018)

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“Deep Disagreements on Social and Political Justice: Their Meta-Ethical Relevance and the Need for a New Research Perspective”

Prof. Manuel Knoll, Sehir University
March 30, Friday at 17:00 in JF 507
Abstract: This talk starts off with a historical section showing that deep disagreements among notions of social and political justice are a characteristic feature of the history of political thought. Since no agreement or consensus on distributive justice is possible, I argue that political philosophers should – instead of continuously proposing new normative theories of justice – focus on analyzing the reasons, significance, and consequences of such kinds of disagreements. The next two sections are analytical. The first sketches some possible reasons for deep disagreements among notions of social and political justice.  The second discusses the meta-ethical relevance of the lack of consensus on justice and rejects ethical realism and cognitivism based on the argument from deep disagreements.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 21, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Talk by Emily Thomas (Durham) at Boğaziçi: “C. D. Broad and the Growing Block Theory of Time” (23.3.2018)

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March 23, Friday at 17:00 in JF 507

“C. D. Broad and the Growing Block Theory of Time”

Dr Emily Thomas, Philosophy, Durham University
Abstract: The growing block view of time holds that the past and present is real whilst the future is unreal; as future events become present and real, they added on to the growing block of reality. Surprisingly, given the recent interest in this view, there is very little literature on its
origins. This paper explores those origins, and advances two theses. First, I show that although C. D. Broad’s (1923) Scientific Thought provides the first defence of the growing block theory, the theory receives its first articulation in Samuel Alexander’s (1920) Space, Time, and Deity. Further, Alexander’s account of deity inclines towards the growing block view. Second, I argue that Broad shifted towards the growing block theory as a result of his newfound conviction that time has a direction. By way of tying these theses together, I argue that Broad’s views on the direction of time – and possibly even his growing block theory – are sourced in Alexander.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 21, 2018 at 2:34 pm

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Philosophy Talks 38 Kant on Conscience 21 March 2018 // Umut Eldem

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ph 38

Written by metindemirsehir

March 19, 2018 at 9:51 am

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METU Graduate Student Conference (April 14-15)

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kongre afiş

Written by Serife Tekin

March 12, 2018 at 1:05 am

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Emily Thomas at Bilkent – 16 March

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“The Metaphysics of May Sinclair”

By Emily Thomas (Durham, Philosophy)

Date: Friday 16 March, 2018

Time: 1040-1230

Place: H-232


Abstract: May Sinclair (1863 – 1946) is best known as a novelist, and her fiction is well studied by literature scholars. It is less well known that Sinclair was a philosopher, and there are no studies of her philosophical work. This paper will address that neglect, providing the first study of Sinclair’s philosophy. I’ll dig out her metaphysical system, and show how she argues for it. Sinclair defended a version of British idealism, at a time when British idealism was slowly dying. Impressed by the ‘new realism’, advocated by philosophers such as Russell, C. D. Broad and Samuel Alexander, Sinclair argues that idealism can only survive if it takes on elements of realism. Of the contributions made to philosophy by realism, Sinclair argues the most important is their appreciation for space and time.




Written by Sandrine Berges

March 9, 2018 at 8:45 pm

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Bilkent MBB Seminar, Seymur Jahangirov

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Seymur Jahangirov (Bilkent, UNAM)

“Search for Intelligent Life in a Computational Universe”

Date: Friday, 9th March, 2018

Time: 1240 – 1330

Place: A-130

Organized by the Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Group at Bilkent University.



Abstract: Our physical universe is painstakingly explored by ever stronger telescopes in search of places that can inhabit life. In this seminar, we will review some of the routes that have been taken to discover intelligent life in computational universe. First we will articulate the concept of computational universe and how rich it can be. Then we will argue that physical, chemical, biological and other hierarchical levels of existence emerge from computational universe. We will briefly describe various concepts including compartmentalization, feedback loops, nonlinearity, criticality, morphogenesis and others to point out their importance in building a simple computational model of intelligent life.

About the Speaker: Dr. Seymur Jahangirov received his Ph.D. from the Material Science and Nanotechnology program at UNAM while contributing to seminal works on dissipation phenomena and two-dimensional materials. After completing a post-doc at the Nano-Bio Spectroscopy Group in Spain he joined UNAM faculty in 2015. Dr. Jahangirov uses state-of-the-art computational tools based on the Density Functional Theory to discover novel low-dimensional materials with interesting properties. He has explored wide-range of phenomena including; thermal stability, quantum confinement, sudden and adiabatic processes, Friedel oscillations, non-collinear magnetization, modulation doping and etc. His research has been published in top physics journals including Nature Materials, Physical Review Letters, 2D Materials and Applied Physics Letters.

Written by Sandrine Berges

March 5, 2018 at 9:54 am

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