Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for July 2018

Talk at Boğaziçi: Jakub Mácha (Masaryk University), “On the use and misuse of opium. Is religion the opium of the people, or maybe for the people?” (31/07/2018)

leave a comment »

On the use and misuse of opium. Is religion the opium of the people, or maybe for the people?

Jakub Mácha (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic)

July 31st, 17:00, JF 507

Abstract: Religion is the opium of the people, at least as maintained by Marx and Lenin. Yet, although in the same wording, they used this metaphor in different contexts. In this paper, I provide two interpretations of the religion as opium metaphor within Marx’ and Lenin’s thinking. I am going to argue for the following claims: In the Kantian tradition, the praxis of worship is primary, the existence of the object of belief and worship is dependent on it. In contrast to Kant, Marx as well as Lenin thought that historical religions did not acknowledge the true moral law. For Marx, the opium metaphor expresses a certain ambivalence of religion. Religion is an expression of social oppression and kind of consolation. But this is an illusionary happiness. A fight against religion is, indirectly, a fight against this oppression. For Lenin, religion is a kind of spiritual oppression. Religion is a tool being used by the ruling class to keep the oppressed classes submissive. A fight against religion is directly a fight against this oppression. For both, the first step in the abolition of religion is to get rid of its outer manifestation, i.e. of the praxis of worshiping. Religion has to be declared to be a private affair stripped of its political power, while the freedom of belief (in transcendent entities) can be preserved. Yet, if the praxis of worship is primary, getting rid of this praxis will eventually lead to abolishing religion entirely.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

July 30, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Boğaziçi: David Kaspar (St. John’s University) on “INTUITIONISM AS A NORMATIVE ETHICAL THEORY ” (27/07/2018)

leave a comment »

David Kaspar (St. John’s University)
Philosophy Colloquium at Boğaziçi
Friday, July 27, 2018.
16:00, JF 507
Abstract: Recent years have seen a resurgence of moral intuitionism. Most of this work has been metaethical in character. However, intuitionism is a theory that naturally spans metaethics and normative ethics. In this talk I’ll first outline intuitionism as a normative ethical theory, and reveal some of its hidden normative ethical virtues. The remainder of the paper shall show how, in comparison with intuitionism, rival normative theories have several overlooked vices. According to intuitionism agents in moral situations always encounter incomplete moral information. What we can know in moral situations is based on our recognition of prima facie duties. More specifically, we recognize moral kinds. Moral kinds are the explanatory properties I’ve introduced to explain phenomena in the moral domain. We’re familiar with moral kinds such as lie, theft, murder, and so on. Here I show how these properties help explain action-guidance and the stringencies of various duties, and show that theories that eschew moral kinds are not in as good an explanatory position as intuitionism.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

July 26, 2018 at 10:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized

International Symposium on Mythology

leave a comment »


Although, for modern societies, the term “myth” stands for a tale, an untrue story, a legend, a superstition etc., for archaic societies who existed prior to written culture, myths were narrations of “the ultimate origin of reality” and, in that respect, they were not tales but true stories based on Reality.[1] Therefore, a great philosopher like Plato appealed to muthos as a pedagogical means for telling his views through the Dialogues. On the other hand, along with the transition from mythopoetic thought to cosmological arguments, an irreversible diffraction occurred in the history of ideas, and philosophy parted ways with mythos for a certain while.[2] Centuries later, however, many theorists in both clinical psychology and contemporary philosophy made use of the myth as a symbolic means of expression and pioneered a “mythic-turn” in the social sciences. This fact indicates that mythology remains an essential area of interest for humanities like philosophy and psychology. This is also the case for the disciplines of sociology and socio-cultural anthropology, whose practices developed within the framework of rituals, myths, customs and traditions, indicating that myth and mythology have pervaded into daily life, that they have turned into a reference guide, sometimes due to their guiding spirit and sometimes by being a tool for social control.

[1]Catalin Partenie, Plato’s Myths, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2009, 1.

[2]Çiğdem Dürüşken, Antikçağ Felsefesi: Homeros’tan Augustinus’a Bir Düşünce Serüveni, Alfa Yayınları, 2013, 6-8.
The symposium will be held in Ardahan University on 2-5 May, 2019. The detailed information about the symposium (such as deadlines for submissions, registration fees, symposium program, symposium topics…etc) can be found in the web site of the symposium below:

About the Symposium

Written by aran arslan

July 24, 2018 at 11:25 pm

Posted in Uncategorized