Hesperus is Bosphorus

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Archive for January 2020

Talk at Bilkent 4 Feb: Allauren Forbes on Friendship

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Friendship as a Means to Freedom

By Allauren Forbes (University of Pennsylvania, Philosophy)

Date: Tuesday 4th February, 2020

Time: 1640-1800

Place: H-232

Abstract: Friendship has been a subject of interest to Western philosophy since at least Plato and Aristotle, and the women thinking and writing about friendship in the Early Modern period did so within a context indebted to these traditions. This context was, however, deeply anti-women: real friendship was often claimed to be beyond the grasp of women, for women were inferior to men. However, some women philosophers – including Marie le Jars de Gournay, Mary Astell, and Gabrielle Suchon – wrote about friendship in ways that both emerge from the history of Western philosophy and yet which resist this inegalitarian framework. For these three philosophers, real friendship represents a means to obtain meaningful freedom. This is, at its core, a feminist project. Gournay, Astell, and Suchon all take a tradition that manifested the claims of their inherent inferiority and use it to suggest that women are not only (at least) potentially equal to men, but also that friendship itself can bring about the very good – freedom – that a patriarchal system would deny to them. Notably, though, each of these three philosophers conceives of the kind of freedom facilitated by friendship in a slightly different way. For Gournay, friendship supports a kind of epistemic freedom; Astell’s account of friendship promotes a moral sense of freedom; and Suchon shows that friendship is a necessary feature of a more straightforwardly political sense of freedom.


About the speakerAllauren Forbes is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on transformative relations like friendship, marriage, and education and how they underwrite one’s intellectual and political capacities in early modern philosophy. She is also interested in contemporary questions of feminist philosophy and bioethics, particularly in the ethics of surrogacy and its impact on women’s agency, and in questions in technology, especially as are relevant to democratic institutions. She has published in the journal Hypatia, as well as book chapters in the Routledge Handbook on Early Modern Women and in Reconsidering Political Thinkers (OUP).

Written by Sandrine Berges

January 30, 2020 at 9:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

CFP: Synthese Topical Collection on Imagination and Its Limits

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Call for Papers:

Synthese Topical Collection

“Imagination and Its Limits”

Guest Editors:

  • Amy Kind (Claremont McKenna College)
  • Tufan Kıymaz (Bilkent University)

Imagination is at the center of contemporary debates in the philosophy of mind. The ontological status of mental imagery, the epistemological status of imagined scenarios in terms of counterfactual and modal claims, and the relationship between imaginative ability and phenomenal knowledge are all rigorously debated in analytic literature. Likewise, the nature and function of imagination is an important and lively area of research in neuroscience and psychology.

We invite contributions for the Synthese Topical Collection titled “Imagination and Its Limits.” Questions about the limits of imagination fall roughly into three categories:

(1) Questions about the nature of imagination, such as: What cognitive phenomena fall under imagination and what cognitive phenomena do not? What are the different kinds of imagination? Is mental imagery necessary for imagination?

(2) Questions about the (proper) function of imagination, such as: In what ways is imagination used? In what ways can it be used? What is the role of imagination in perception, memory, our engagement with fiction, phenomenal knowledge, moral knowledge, self-knowledge, knowledge of conditionals and modals, etc.?

(3) Questions about the reach and range of imagination, such as: Can imagination extend beyond the merely possible to the impossible? Are there some scenarios that cannot be imagined, and if so, why not?

Appropriate Topics for Submission include, among others:

  • The representational content of mental imagery
  • Neurophilosophy of mental imagery
  • Modal knowledge, conceivability and imagination
  • Mental time travel
  • Embodied imagination
  • Imagination in aesthetics and philosophy of fiction
  • Imagination in science
  • Imagination and philosophical intuitions
  • Methodological role of imagination in philosophy

The deadline for submissions is June 7, 2020.

Manuscripts should be submitted online at http://www.editorialmanager.com/synt  

After logging in to the system, please select the option “TC : Imagination and Its Limits” from the Article Type scroll-down menu.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. All manuscripts will be refereed through a peer-review process. All submitted articles should comply with Synthese’s Submission Guidelines:

For further information, please contact Tufan Kıymaz

tufan.kiymaz@bilkent.edu.tr, Department of Philosophy, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey

This Topical Collection is based on Exploring the Mind’s Eye: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Imagination, October 25-26, 2019, Bilkent University.

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

January 15, 2020 at 12:04 pm

Posted in cfp