Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for April 2018

Workshop at Koç University: Political Subjectivity and the End of Neoliberalism

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The workshop aims to intervene into ongoing debates on the constitution of political subjectivity in neo-liberal regimes, at a time in which many of the latter’s founding principles (international free trade and movement of people, the global spread of democracy, the protection of human rights and the rights of ethnic, sexual and religious minorities, etc.) appear under siege. The guiding hypothesis of the event is not, to be sure, that the ‘end of neoliberalism’ – as a rationality of global governance – is an accomplished fact. Rather, its goal is to stir a discussion over the forms of political subjectivity that are or may emerge as a result of its current transformations; where the term ‘subjectivity’ is to be understood in its duplicitous meaning, i.e. at the intersection between processes of subjection (political control) and subjectivation (autonomous self-constitution). If, as it has been suggested, the production of subjectivity is one of the main strategic ‘ends of neo-liberalism,’ its examination will hopefully contribute to shedding light on the latter’s present mutation and on what may come after its crisis, decline and ‘end’.

Important note: The workshop is free and open to all. There is no need to register in advance.

The workshop is of an interdisciplinary nature and counts, amongst its confirmed speakers, philosophers, cultural, political and literary theorists from some of the most prestigious Universities in Istanbul.Political Subjectivity - poster-page-001.jpg


Friday 4th May, 13:00 – 17:30 (Koç University, Rumelifeneri Campus, Founders Hall)

13:00 – 13:30. Introduction

13:30 – 14:15 – Ferda Keskin (Comparative Literature, Bilgi University). Neoliberal Subject and Entrepreneurial Authorship In Academia

14:30 – 15:15 – Andrea Rossi  (Philosophy, Koç University). Neoliberal Askesis

15:30 – 16:15 – Ebru Cigdem Thwaites (Social Sciences, Bilgi University). Digital Surveillance, New Media and the Neo-liberal Subject

16:30 – 17:15 – Mert Bahadir Reisoğlu (Comparative Literature, Koç University). Fear and Loathing in Social Media: Paranoia and Narrativity in Networks

Saturday 5th May (10:00 – 17:00, ANAMED Centre, Istiklal Cad. No:181)

10:00 – 10:45 – Terence Holden (Philosophy, Boğazici University). Recognition between Subjectivity and Intersubjectivity

11:00 – 11:45 – Umur Başdaş (International Relations, Koç University). Adorno and Hegel on the Colonization of Life by the Civil Society

12:00 – 12:45 – Ozgur Gursoy (Media and Communication, İzmir University of Economics). Politics or Ethics: Inclusive Disjunction as a Figure for Critical Reflection Today

13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch Break

14:00 – 14:45 – Georgia Axiotou (Comparative Literature, Koç University). The “Life-in-Death” Limit as a Political Form of Life

15:00 – 15:45 – Emre Şan (Philosophy, Istanbul 29 Mayıs University). Political Dissidence and Solidarity: Thinking Today with Jan Patočka

16:00 – 16:45 – Zeynep Direk (Philosophy, Koç University). Ethics, Social Bond, Solidarity

Written by aran arslan

April 29, 2018 at 4:42 pm

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Talk at Bilkent: Alan Coffee and Sandrine Bergès

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“Cocks on Dunghills – Wollstonecraft and Gouges on the Women’s Revolution”

By Alan Coffee (KCL, Philosophy) & Sandrine Berges (Bilkent, Philosophy)

Date: Thursday 26 April, 2018

Time: 1540-1715

Place: H-232

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Abstract: In her Historical and Moral View of the French Revolution,Wollstonecraft presents a view of the course of the events that lead to the Terror as the inevitable outcome of first inequality and then the oppression and prejudice that invariably followed. While she regards the revolution as justified she is conflicted about the course it must take. In principle a gradual revolution is needed because people have time to adjust themselves, internalising new principles, shedding old prejudices and adopting new virtues. But such a revolution can never happen because the elites who got the country into this mess are both intellectually and morally incapable of giving up their privilege, even when this eventually goes against their interest. In the end, the chaos becomes unstoppable and in the power vacuum it is small-minded petty self-interested individuals who are the chief obstacle to progress and peace. These are the cocks on their dunghills. An interesting parallel that emerges from reading Wollstonecraft’s history is the light that it sheds on the other revolution that she writes about – the women’s revolution.

A Revolution in manners requires a close look at the place women actually occupy in society, that we which they are said to occupy, and that which they could and should occupy given the right reforms. This is why Olympe de Gouges, philosopher of the French Revolution, looked at women’s place in society at three levels, natural, social and political. When Wollstonecraft says that there must be a revolution in female manners, she means, of course, not only that women should stop acting like precious imbeciles, but that men should stop treating them as such. What Gouges is doing in her early political writings, is to show that women are already manifesting the sort of virtues and behaviour that the republic needs, but that these virtues and behaviour are obscured both by the representation (or non-representation) or women’s role in primitive society and contemporary culture, and by the tendency of newly freed men to turn into petty tyrants.

Written by Sandrine Berges

April 24, 2018 at 8:05 am

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Talk by Tufan Kıymaz at Bilkent 20 April

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Tufan Kıymaz (Bilkent, Philosophy)

“Aphantasia and the Philosophy of a Blind Mind

Date: Friday, 20th April, 2018

Time: 1240 – 1330

Place: A-130

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


Abstract: Aphantasia is the inability to form mental images; it is the lack of a mind’s eye, so to speak. Even though first reported by Francis Galton in the late 19th century, scientific studies specifically focused on aphantasia are published mostly, almost exclusively, in the last decade. In this talk, I will argue that  the results of recent scientific research on aphantasia have significant implications on some of the most central issues in the contemporary philosophy of mind. I will focus on two issues: first, the nature of our first-personal knowledge of subjective experiences, especially the cognitive abilities associated with (or constitute) such knowledge and the kind of concepts that we use when we think about our own experiences, and secondly, the epistemology of possibility and necessity in the context of the conceivability arguments against physicalism.

About the Speaker: Tufan Kıymaz received his PhD in Philosophy, with a minor in History and Philosophy of Science, from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 2017. The same year he joined the philosophy department in Bilkent, from where he has received his Bachelor’s degree. His main area of research is philosophy of mind, more specifically our first-personal knowledge of subjective qualities like what it is like to see red or what it is like to be in pain, and the possibility of a fully materialistic and scientific explanation of this type of knowledge. He is also interested in metaphysical questions as to the nature of the physical, especially since one of the most central questions of philosophy of mind is whether our minds are completely physical or not.

Written by Sandrine Berges

April 16, 2018 at 2:43 pm

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MA in Philosophy at Bilkent (with Stipend)

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We are now accepting applications for the M.A. in Philosophy (for those starting the degree in Fall 2018).

Successful applicants will be eligible to receive a comprehensive scholarship (tuition waiver, accommodation and stipend).

Up to five successful applicants will have the opportunity to spend a semester at the School of Philosophy at Australian National University.

The philosophy department at Bilkent is ranked #1 in Turkey for research. Our research focuses on central areas of analytic philosophy: metaphysics and philosophy of mind, and social and political philosophy. We also have strengths in the history of philosophy.

Applicants from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. We also welcome applications from international students. The language of instruction for all courses is English.

Admission requirements and online application can be found here.

Deadlines for Fall 2018 applicants:-
Application deadline: 18 May 2018 (at 5.30pm local time)
Written exam: 24 May 2018*
Interview: 25 May 2018*

* International students may take the written exam remotely and complete the interview via skype. A similar arrangement may be possible for Turkish students who are not based in Ankara.

MA 2018 Poster

Written by Sandrine Berges

April 16, 2018 at 2:37 pm

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Workshop at Boğaziçi with Caroline Wintersgill: From Phd Thesis to Book Contract (20/04/2018)

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Caroline Wintersgill is a publishing consultant who has spent nearly 30 years commissioning academic books for leading academic publishers. She started her career commissioning politics and international relations at Routledge; she was later a founding-editor of Bloomsbury’s academic division. She is presently Senior Consulting Editor to Manchester University Press, Editor-at-large at the UK trade politics publisher, Biteback Publishing, and Senior Consulting Editor to the US scholarly publisher, Lynne Rienner Publishing, alongside her PhD research on the contemporary novel at the University of Winchester.

This is a workshop for PhD students and early-career academics on how to go about publishing a first book, whether this is a development of the thesis or a new project. The workshop will take place from 2.30pm to 4.30pm on Fraday, April 20th in JF507.

Places are limited so prior registration is required. To register, please send a message to Lucas Thorpe (lthorpe@gmail.com). Caroline Wintersgill would be happy to look at draft book proposals before the workshop.

Publishing is vital to career development yet navigating the publishing industry can seem a daunting challenge. Journal publishing tends to be the major focus for PhD students, but as they approach submission many start to think about the possibilities of publishing a monograph and may be surprised to find that the process and the considerations are very different from having an article accepted.

Caroline aims to offer an illuminating – and entertaining – introduction to the twenty-first century publishing industry. She introduces the market for scholarly publications, outlining some of the key players in UK and US academic publishing – university presses, commercial publishers and not-for-profits. How are they ranked and how can you choose the one that is right for your work and career development?

The workshop then moves on to practical issues, drawing on specific examples of successful – and less successful – book proposals. Caroline will outline what editors are looking for in a book proposal and how you can make your pitch stand out from the crowd.  She will then explain the key considerations in turning your research into a book with international appeal. The workshop covers both monographs and edited collections and the full range of publishing formats: print, digital and open access.

This workshop is 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

April 11, 2018 at 5:32 pm

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2nd Bilkent Undergraduate Students Philosophy Conference

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Saturday, April 14, 2018, at Bilkent University, Main Campus, Room: H-232.

Conference poster: click here.



9:55 – 10:00: Opening Address by Simon Wigley (Department Chair, Bilkent University, Philosophy)

10:00 – 10:45: “What Does Natural Selecion Select?”, Taylan Nogay (Ege University, Philosophy)

Commentator: Gizem Özen (METU, Cognitive Science)

10:55 – 11:40: “Can inequality of resources be justified?” A Critique of John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice, Ece Uçar (Bilkent University, International Relations)

Commentator: Utku Uçkun (Bilkent University, Computer Science)

11:50 – 12:35: “On the prospects of a Quinean ontology of events”, Anıl Sezgin ( Boğaziçi University, Philosophy)

Commentator: Bensu Arıcan (Bilkent University, Philosophy)


12:35- 14:00: Lunch at Kıraç/Speed


14:00 – 14:45: “Can a brain scan tell what’s in your mind?”, Kardelen Küçük (METU, Philosophy)

Commentator: Alican Başdemir (Bilkent University, Philosophy)

14:55 – 15:40: “Solution to Al-Ghazali’s Perplexity in the incoherence of the philosophers with quantum mechanics” Reyihanguli Alimujiang (Bilkent University, Psychology)

Commentator: Tufan Kıymaz (Bilkent University, Philosophy)

15:50 – 16:35: “On Katherine Hawley’s response to Della Rocca’s 20-sphere case”, Abdülhamit Gülhan, (Boğaziçi University, Philosophy)

Commentator: Saniye Vatansever (Bilkent University, Philosophy)


16:35-16:40: Closing remarks, Sandrine Berges (Bilkent, Philosophy)


Contact: philstudentconf[at]bilkent[dot]edu[dot]tr

Bilkent Students Philosophy Conference Organizing Committee.

Written by Sandrine Berges

April 10, 2018 at 9:21 am

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JOB: Assistant Professor at Bogazici University, Istanbul

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The Department of Philosophy at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul invites letters of interest to be considered for appointment to a full-time faculty position at the rank of Assistant Prof. in our department. {NOTE: In accord with Turkish government provisions, this search is for Turkish citizens (only).} Information about our programmes is available at http://www.phil.boun.edu.tr/. Possibility of two such positions.

Minimum qualifications are a PhD in philosophy (by 1. Sept. 2018) and one good research publication. The area of speciality (AOS) is open; desired areas of competence (AOC) include: epistemology, philosophy of language, logic, philosophy of science, or Ancient Philosophy. Colligiality and willingness to share departmental responsibilities are required. Typically teaching is two courses per term, undergraduate and graduate, plus typical departmental adminstrative or committee assignments.

Interested candidates are kindly requested to submit each of the following: (1) a letter of interest, (2) current C.V. (including: contact details, academic training, teaching responsibilities, publications and current research titles or topics) and (3) a list of 3 to 6 confidential references. Concise statements regarding research plans or teaching may be included. These materials are due by 15 May 2018; ONLY complete dossiers can be considered. Please submit all materials as PDF documents to: felsefe@boun.edu.tr. Please follow this schema for naming your PDF files: Lastname-1stInitial-Keyterm2018; e.g.: Westphal-KR-CV2018. 

Written by nurbay irmak

April 8, 2018 at 3:56 pm

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Şehir Üni Phil Talks 38/ Umur Başdaş 11 April 2018

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Written by metindemirsehir

April 6, 2018 at 2:42 pm

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