Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for February 2020

Talk at Bilkent 27 Feb: Anthony Cross on Aesthetic Obligations

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Taking Aesthetic Obligations Seriously

By Anthony Cross (Texas State, Philosophy)

Date: Thursday 27th, 2020

Time: 1540-1710

Place: H-232

Abstract: Are there any aesthetic obligations? The standard story of aesthetic normativity says no: aesthetic value may generate reasons, but these are never obligatory. I first introduce several cases that demonstrate that the standard story is incorrect, and that obligations play a significant role in our aesthetic lives. Taking such obligations seriously raises a number of questions: how are such obligations grounded? And what makes them aesthetic? I argue that aesthetic obligations are grounded in commitments to aesthetic objects with which we have an appreciative relationship. I then concede that there may be nothing distinctively “aesthetic” about aesthetic obligations, besides the fact that they involve commitments to aesthetic objects. The upshot, I argue, is that aesthetic obligations can acquire the same status and importance as other, more familiar forms of commitment. I conclude by considering the question of why we might form obligation-grounding commitments to aesthetic objects; I argue that such obligations are useful tools for fixing our practical identities, for enabling long-term creative and appreciative projects, and for securing the temporal structure of our aesthetic lives.

About the speakerAnthony Cross is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Texas State University. His primary research interests are in aesthetics and ethics; his research focuses on the normative significance of relationships with artworks and cultural objects. In June 2017, he completed his Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton University, where his advisors were Alexander Nehamas and Michael Smith. He received a B.A. in philosophy from Duke University. Prior to teaching at Texas State, he was a visiting lecturer at U.C.L.A from 2013-2016. He has published in journals such as The British Journal of Aesthetics and The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

February 26, 2020 at 6:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Istanbul Bilgi 17 March: Geoffrey Bowe, “Socratic Spaces: Ingress and Egress, Inside and Outside – Setting in Plato’s Dialogues”

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WhatsApp Image 2020-02-26 at 15.01.44

Written by roberthowton

February 26, 2020 at 2:36 pm

Posted in Ancient Philosophy

Şehir Philosophy Talks 52 Barry Stocker on Foucault

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Written by metindemirsehir

February 26, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

‘Wittgenstein and Sartre’, talk at Istanbul Technical University on Wednesday afternoon (26.02.20 at 14:45)

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Philosophy talk at Istanbul Technical University (Ayazağa campus in Maslak, next to metro station) in the afternoon this Wednesday
Dr. Timur Cengiz Uçan (Bordeaux-Montaigne University)
“Wittgenstein and Sartre”
26th of February 2020 at 2:45 p.m, the ITB Meeting Room (in Fen-Edebiyat, opposite campus entrance from metro station)

Timur Uçan teaches Philosophy at Bordeaux-Montaigne University and is a member of the SPH research Laboratory. He defended an MA dissertation on the limits of language in the works of Nietzsche and Wittgenstein in 2008. He started a joint Ph.D between the University of East Anglia and Bordeaux-Montaigne University in 2011 and wrote a dissertation that he defended in 2016 on the issue of solipsism in the early works of Sartre and Wittgenstein. He contributed to the edition of Wittgenstein and Phenomenology (Routledge, 2018) and Post-Truth (Nordic Wittgenstein Review, 2019). He wrote on Sartre’s philosophy (Hermann, 2013 ; Les Belles Lettres, 2015). After a research stay at Leipzig University (July 2019), he carries on research on Philosophy of Action, Epistemology, Language and Logic, attempting to find with diverse traditions – such as Analytic Philosophy, Phenomenology and Pragmatism – conceptual resources to confront climatic and ecological emergency.

Written by Barry Stocker

February 24, 2020 at 11:38 am

Posted in Uncategorized

CFP for Posters: 7th International Symposium on Brain and Cognitive Science (ISBCS) at Bilkent

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The 7th International Symposium on Brain and Cognitive Science (ISBCS) will be held at Bilkent on May 10. This is an interdisciplinary conference, so submissions from philosophers are welcome!


All accepted papers will be presented as posters during the symposium (See “Notes for Posters” below).

Paper Submission

Submission and reviewing are handled via the EasyChair system. Submission deadline will be announced here.

Papers may be up to four pages long, and should be in a two-column format. The submission language is English. Optionally, authors can submit papers in Turkish, in which case the title and the abstract should be both in English and Turkish. All paper submissions are evaluated by peer reviewers who make recommendations to the Program Committee. The final decision of acceptance is made by the Program Co-Chairs. Accepted papers will be presented at the conference as posters.

The papers will not appear in a printed proceedings volume, and no copyright will be claimed. Therefore, we solicit contributions that are:

1 – Summaries of already published work related to cognitive sciences. These will not be peer reviewed, but the abstracts will be used to determine the program. Please make sure you reference the original paper the submission is based on. We would like to encourage the submission of these papers to disseminate them widely in the Turkish cognitive science community.

2 – Original, unpublished work and work in progress papers. Since we do not claim copyright, you are free to re-submit it elsewhere after the symposium.

All submissions must be made electronically as PDF files.

The files are to be uploaded to the conference submission site (click on EasyChair).

All PDF submissions must be A4 sized, with NO headers/footers and NO page numbers. Please name the submission file in this format:
“authorname_submissiondate.pdf” (e.g., smith_1_28.pdf).

If there are any special fonts required (Turkish, etc) these must be included with the submission (i.e., embedded in the PDF file).

For your convenience, there are files below for Microsoft Word and LaTeX that you can use as templates. With a few exceptions (especially length) the formatting details are the same for all types of submissions. Please do not edit the margins or font settings of these files. These files are slightly modified from the Cognitive Science Society conference style files.

Microsoft Word Zip (includes a .doc sample, and a .dot template)
LaTeX Zip (includes sample .bst, .sty, .bib files as well as a sample .tex file and a .PDF of the sample file)

Notes for Posters

Poster sizes: A0 (Portrait)

Since ISBCS is all about building a community, it would be nice if you could add the photos of all authors in the poster heading.

Conference website: http://isbcs2020.bilkent.edu.tr

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

February 20, 2020 at 11:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Koç 25 February: Victoria Rowe Holbrook, “Plato in the Quran: Seeing the Truth”

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Dr. Victoria Rowe Holbrook (İstanbul Bilgi) will present “Plato in the Quran: Seeing the Truth” as part of the Certificate in Classical Studies Guest Lecture Series at Koç University.

Time and Date: 17:30-19:00 on Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Location: SOS B11, Koç University

Abstract: Plato’s thought was a major factor in the Arabic Translation Movement of the 9th-10th centuries, and myriad afterlives of his topics and themes are attested in philosophical and imaginative literature in Persian and Turkish.  The status of Hellenism in the oral culture of 7th-century pre-Islamic Arabia, however, is only beginning to be assessed.  My recent research is focused on Platonic material in the Gracious Quran.  In this talk I will analyze the Quranic transposition of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

About the Speaker: Victoria Rowe Holbrook teaches philosophy in the Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Architecture.  She acquired her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.A and Ph.D. from Princeton Near Eastern Studies.  She has taught at Columbia, Bosphorus, Koç and Bilkent Universities, as well as at Ohio State University, where for eighteen years she directed the program she founded in Ottoman and Modern Turkish Literary and Cultural Studies.  She has published numerous articles, monographs and translations in the fields of Islamic thought and Turkish literature. The Turkish translation of her The Unreadable Shores of Love: Turkish Modernity and Mystic Romance is in its 7th printing, and among her translations are The White Castle by Orhan Pamuk, The New Cultural Climate in Turkey by Nurdan Gürbilek, Listen: The Spiritual Couplets of Mevlana Rumi by Kenan Rifai, and the forthcoming O Mankind, a commentary on the Quran by Cemalnur Sargut. 

Plato in the Quran_ Seeing the Truth (2)-1


Written by roberthowton

February 19, 2020 at 2:37 pm

Cognitive Science Colloquium Schedule at Boğaziçi (Spring, 2020)

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Location of the seminar: John Freely Hall, room: 507

Time: (Unless otherwise stated): Wednesday 17:00-19:00

Feb 19th  

Speaker: Rabia Ergin (Boğaziçi University)

Title: Language emergence and development in the absence of conventionalized linguistic input

Suggested reading:

1.   Sandler, W., Meir, I., Padden, C., & Aronoff, M. (2005). The emergence of grammar: Systematic structure in a new language. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences102(7), 2661-2665.


2. Senghas, A., Kita, S., & Özyürek, A. (2004). Children creating core properties of language: Evidence from an emerging sign language in Nicaragua. Science305(5691), 1779-1782.


Feb 26th  

Speaker: Funda Yıldırım (Yeditepe University)

Title: On the contribution of contour mechanisms in early visual cortex to shape perception: an comparative study of neural networks and statistical modeling

Suggested reading:

1.   https://towardsdatascience.com/intro-to-deep-learning-c025efd92535

2.  Silson, E. H., McKeefry, D. J., Rodgers, J., Gouws, A. D., Hymers, M., & Morland, A. B. (2013). Specialized and independent processing of orientation and shape in visual field maps LO1 and LO2. Nature Neuroscience16(3), 267.


3. Dumoulin, S. O., & Wandell, B. A. (2008). Population receptive field estimates in human visual cortex. Neuroimage39(2), 647-660.


March 6th

(Careful! It’s a Friday)


Speaker: Nihan Alp (Sabancı University)

Time: Careful! 16:30 – 18:30

Title: TBA

Suggested reading: TBA

March 11th  

Speaker: Frank Zenker (Boğaziçi University)

Title: Replication, Trust, and the Empirical Social & Behavioral Sciences

Suggested reading:

1. Witte, E.H., and Zenker, F. (2017b). From discovery to justification. Outline of an ideal research program in empirical psychology. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1847 (ISSN 1664-1078). https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01847/full

2. Krefeld-Schwalb, A; Witte, E.H., and Zenker, F. (2018). Hypothesis-testing demands trustworthy data—a simulation approach to statistical inference advocating the research program strategy. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 460 (ISSN 1664-1078). https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00460/full

3. Witte, E.H., and Zenker, F. (2018). Data replication matters, replicated hypothesis-corroboration counts. (Commentary on “Making Replication Mainstream” by Rolf A. Zwaan, Alexander Etz, Richard E., Lucas, and M. Brent Donnellan). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41, e120 (ISSN: 0140-525X). https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences/article/data-replication-matters-to-an-underpowered-study-but-replicated-hypothesis-corroboration-counts/90E7D8EFF04C42E0857CAA943DCBBBAC

March 18th  

Speaker: Tilbe Goksun (Koç University)

Title: Examining language and thought interaction with different populations: The role of gestures.

Suggested reading: For background information, please visit https://lclab.ku.edu.tr

April 8th  

Speaker: Neil Cohn (Tilburg University)

Title: The Visual Language of Comics

Suggested reading:

1. Cohn, N., & Magliano, J. P. (2020). Editors’ Introduction and Review: Visual Narrative Research: An Emerging Field in Cognitive Science. Topics in Cognitive Science12(1), 197-223.


2. Cohn, N. (2019). Visual narrative comprehension: Universal or not?. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 1-20.


For more information, please visit www.visuallanguagelab.com

April 28th

(Careful! It’s a Tuesday!)


Speaker: Heidi Maibom (University of Cincinnati)

Title: Why perspective taking?

Suggested reading:

1. Maibom, H. L. (2018). What Can We Learn From Taking Another’s Perspective?. In Philosophical https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heidi_Maibom/publication/331791326_What_Can_We_Learn_From_Taking_Another’s_Perspective/links/5c8be0e745851564fadfef20/What-Can-We-Learn-From-Taking-Anothers-Perspective.pdf


May 4th


It’s a Monday)


Speaker: Cem Bozsahin (Middle East Technical University)

Title: Idiosyncrasy in Grammar

Suggested reading: TBA


May 13th  

Speaker: Onurcan Yılmaz (Kadir Has University)

Title: The causes and consequences of human morality

Suggested reading:

Reflection increases belief in God through self-questioning among non-believers

1. Yilmaz, O., & Isler, O. (2019). Reflection increases belief in God through self-questioning among non-believers. Judgment and Decision Making14(6), 649.


2. Isler, O., & Yilmaz, O. (2019). Intuition and deliberation in morality and cooperation: An overview of the literature. Developing informed intuition for decision-making, 101-115.


3. Yilmaz, O., & Bahçekapili, H. G. (2018). Meta-ethics and the mortality: Mortality salience leads people to adopt a less subjectivist morality. Cognition179, 171-177.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29957516


June 3rd  

Speaker: Ray Jackendoff (Tufts/MIT)

Title: Morphological Theory

Suggested reading: TBA



Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 19, 2020 at 2:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Bilkent 18 Feb: Lu Chen on The Metaphysical Explication of Infinitesimals

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A New Metaphysical Explication of Infinitesimals

By Lu Chen (UMass, Philosophy)

Date: Tuesday 18th February, 2020

Time: 1640-1800

Place: H-232

Abstract: Infinitesimals are widely used in physics and mathematics, but are considered merely heuristic due to a lack of rigorous understanding. Smooth Infinitesimal Analysis (SIA), alternatively known as Synthetic Differential Geometry, is the most developed mathematical system for regimenting reasoning that involves infinitesimals. But to have a realistic interpretation of SIA as a foundation of physics, we face a significant obstacle: SIA is formulated in intuitionistic logic and is classically inconsistent. Furthermore, various authors have argued that there can be no classical reconstructions of SIA. If this is true, then infinitesimals will remain merely heuristic for classical logicians. Against this, I argue that there is a realistic interpretation of SIA as a novel theory of space that allows for infinitesimal regions. To argue for this claim, I advance a realistic understanding of the models for SIA proposed by Moerdijk and Reyes (1991), which augment manifolds with infinitesimal ones.

About the speakerLu Chen is a philosophy Ph.D. candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She specializes in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and logic. Her primary research interest is in the metaphysical foundation of physical geometry. Her work has been published in Journal of Philosophical Logic and Synthese.

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

February 13, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

5th METU Undergraduate Philosophy Conference” (April 25-26th, 2020)

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Metu Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 11, 2020 at 9:46 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Philosophy/Cognitive Science Reading Group at Boğaziçi (Spring 2020)

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We will continue with our Philosophy/Cognitive Science reading group at Boğaziçi this semester on THURSDAYS from 5-7pm, meeting in JF507. Everyone is welcome.

Our readings for the first two weeks will be:

Thursday, 13/02/2020: Alison Gopnik and Henry M. Wellman (2012), “Reconstructing Constructivism: Causal Models, Bayesian Learning Mechanisms, and the Theory TheoryPsychological Bulletin, 2012, Vol. 138, No. 6, 1085–1108

Thursday, 20/02/2020: Clark GlymourAnother Way for Nerds to Make Babies:
The Frame Problem and Causal Inference in Developmental Psychology
” (Chapter 3 of The Mind’s Arrows: Bayes Nets and Graphical Causal Models in Psychology, MIT Press 2001)

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Bilkent 11 Feb: David Schroeren on The Theory of Every Thing

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The Theory of Every Thing: Toward a Symmetry-Based Metaphysics of Matter

By David Schroeren (Princeton, Philosophy)

Date: Tuesday 11th February, 2020

Time: 1640-1800

Place: H-232

Abstract: We are used to thinking that physics describes the world as fundamentally composed of matter: the fundamental building blocks of the world, like elementary particles or quantum fields. But when we look at modern physics and the pronouncements of its practitioners, we find forceful rejections of this familiar picture. We are told that what is fundamental are symmetries (such as Leibniz shifts), whereas matter is ontologically secondary and derivative on them. In this talk, I outline a metaphysics that underwrites this intriguing vision of fundamental reality and detail its implications for a range of issues in metaphysics, including monism, physical necessity, anti-haecceitism, the metaphysics of properties, as well as the metaphysics of space-time.

About the speakerDavid Schroeren, PhD candidate in Philosophy at Princeton. Prior training in philosophy at Oxford, in mathematics at Cambridge, and in physics at Potsdam University. His principal research interests are in Philosophy of Physics, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Science. He also has interests in nearby areas of philosophy, as well as in the Philosophy of Kant, Political Philosophy and Intergenerational Ethics.

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

February 6, 2020 at 11:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized