Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for March 2020

UPDATE: Deadline for applications to the MA Program in Philosophy at Koç University extended to 17 April, 2020

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Written by roberthowton

March 30, 2020 at 1:02 pm

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Application deadline for MA/PhD at Bilkent (May 29)

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We are now accepting applications for our M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy, for those starting in Fall 2020.

  • Deadline for regular applications: 29 May, 2020

All successful applicants receive a comprehensive scholarship (tuition waiver, monthly stipend, housing support & private health insurance). Up to 5 will be selected for a fully-funded exchange with ANU Philosophy. We warmly welcome applications from international students, as well as philosophy and non-philosophy majors. The language of instruction for all aspects of the program is English.

The philosophy department at Bilkent is ranked #1 in Turkey for research. We are an internationally diverse department with eight different nationalities represented among our faculty. Faculty received their doctoral degrees from institutions such as Princeton University, CUNY Graduate Center, London School of Economics, Stanford University, and Oxford University and have published in leading journals and international publishers.

Admission to the Program is highly competitive.

For more information about the doctoral program and application process click here.

For more information about the master’s program and application process click here.

Note: The entrance exam and interviews, for those invited, will be conducted via Zoom.


Written by Sandrine Berges

March 24, 2020 at 1:01 pm

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Call for Applications to the MA Program in Philosophy at Koç University – Online Information Session 26 March

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PHIL MA Revised-page-001

Written by roberthowton

March 23, 2020 at 10:53 am

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Lecture Series at Bogazici, 18, 19, 23 & 24 MARCH 2020: Patricia Rich (University of Bayreuth, Germany): Successful Scientific Communities–Lessons from Epistemology

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Patricia Rich is junior professor of philosophy at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. She teaches among others in the Philosophy & Economics program.

The lectures are open to BA and MA/PhD students.

Rooms to be announced at http://bit.ly/BOUN-PHIL-CALENDAR. Warm welcome!

WED 18 MARCH, 5-7 pm: Values in science

This session presents a challenge to the notion of scientific objectivity, based on the realization that values play an often hidden role in scientific inquiry, and that science is in fact forced to make implicit value judgments. A healthy scientific community is often seen as the only way to achieve a kind of objectivity.

THU 19 MARCH, 5-7 pm: Systems-oriented social epistemology

Traditional epistemology ignores the social context of individual reasoning, and this has increasingly been recognized as a problem. The quickly-growing literature in social epistemology remedies this problem. This session introduces the research program in “systems-oriented social epistemology”, which allows us to address the diversity challenge from the previous session.

MO 23 MARCH, 5-7 pm: Evolutionary epistemology

Much of this new research in epistemology reflects our understanding of humans as evolved beings. Appeals to evolution must be critically assessed and used cautiously, however. This session explains basic principles of evolutionary biology and discusses the conditions under which evolutionary theory could help us to understand scientific communities.

TUE 24 MARCH, 5-7 pm: Knowledge-first epistemology

Traditional epistemology has also taken the notion of ‘belief’ as its most important building block. This session explains why many epistemologists now reject this tradition as well, rebuilding epistemology on the concept of ‘knowledge’ rather than ‘belief’. Ways in which knowledge-first, systems-oriented, and evolutionary epistemology may be mutually-reinforcing developments are explored.

Host: Boğaziçi University (BOUN), Dpt. of Philosophy, Bebek, 34342 Istanbul, Turkey. Local organizer: Dr. Frank Zenker (frank.zenker[AT]boun.edu.tr). Funded by the European Union Erasmus+ teaching exchange program.

Written by fzenker

March 5, 2020 at 11:38 am

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CFP: 3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference, Maltepe

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Call for Papers: 3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference on Philosophy, Gender and Social Justice  


The Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey is proud to announce the 3rd Annual Conference and Meeting of SWIP-Turkey between 19-20 November, 2020 at Maltepe University, Turkey.


Date of the Conference: 19-20 November, 2020

Place: Maltepe University, Istanbul.

Abstracts: in English or Turkish

Word limit: between 900-1200 words (3 pages long)

Deadline for abstract submission: 1 May 2020

Notification of acceptance: May 15, 2020

E-mail: anonymized abstracts and a separate document with contact details as word or PDF to swiptr2020@gmail.com. The subject heading of the e-mail should be “2020 SWIP-TR Abstract Submission”


Review Process:

Long abstracts will be double-blind reviewed according to criteria listed here: (https://swip-tr.weebly.com/abstract-assessment.html). Abstracts that are not retained will receive feedback from an anonymous reviewer upon request.


Publication: After an independent triple-blind review process, selected papers will be published in FE Journal: Feminist Critique (http://cins.ankara.edu.tr/).



3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference on Philosophy, Gender, and Social Justice 

Keynote Speakers


Prof. Betül Çotuksöken (Maltepe University, Istanbul)


Prof. Nazile Kalaycı (Hacettepe University, Ankara)


The conference is co-organized by the Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey (Swip-TR), Maltepe University Department of Philosophy and Maltepe University Center for Women and Family Studies.


The goal of the event is to create a forum for women in philosophy to meet and help each other. More specifically, we wish to foster exchanges between women philosophers studying or working in Turkey as well as women philosopher from Turkey who study or work abroad.


The conference will consist of panels in Turkish and English on the following topics spread over two days.





Philosophy, Gender, and Social Justice
–           Women Philosophers in the History of Philosophy

–           Being a Woman in Philosophy
–           Topics in Feminist Philosophy
–           Gender, Race and Intersectional Analysis

–           Topics in Women’s Studies

–           Philosophical Questions about Social Justice

–           Philosophical Questions about Family


We invite (those identifying as) women philosophers to submit longs abstracts for presentation.


Please feel free to share this message with interested parties.

For further information, please e-mail swipturkey@gmail.com

Website: https://swip-tr.weebly.com/





Written by Sandrine Berges

March 5, 2020 at 11:23 am

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Talk at Bogazici, 10 April 2020, 5.00- 7.00pm: Pascale Roure (Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany): Logical Empiricism in Turkish Exile. Hans Reichenbach’s Research and Teaching Activities at Istanbul University (1933-1938)

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ABSTRACT: The purpose of my talk is to shed new light on a less known stage in the development of Hans Reichenbach’s thought, namely his research, output and teaching activities at the University of Istanbul (1933–1938). I argue here that the experience of Turkish exile was decisive in the development of Reichenbach’s philosophical views, as presented in his work written in Istanbul, Experience and Prediction. I therefore suggest a new reading of this book, based on the study of its Turkish context of elaboration and reception. To this end, I will take in consideration not only Reichenbach’s efforts to popularize and extend the program of scientific philosophy in Turkey and other European countries in the 1930’s, but also the Turkish lectures and the work of Reichenbach’s students at the University of Istanbul. By studying these two faces of the Turkish reception of Logical Empiricism and by highlighting the specificity of Reichenbach’s positions, I will show that Reichenbach’s impact was not limited to a unilateral transfer of knowledge, but was also an indirect contribution to the scientific development of philosophical disciplines such as psychology and sociology at the University of Istanbul.
LOCATION: John Freely Hall, Bebek, BÜ Güney Kampüsü No:6, 34342 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey (map)

Written by fzenker

March 4, 2020 at 2:15 pm

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Talk at Bogazici, 27 MARCH 2020, 5.00-7.00pm: Alireza Fatollahi (Princeton University, USA): A Statistical Defense Of Predictionism

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ABSTRACT: There has been a long and lively debate in the philosophy of science over predictionism: the thesis that successfully predicting a given body of data typically provides stronger evidence for a theory than merely accommodating the same body of data. However, despite the intuitive appeal of the thesis, it has never been decisively defended. One of the strongest reasons against predictionism is that whether any given datum was predicted or accommodated by a hypothesis is a matter of how the hypothesis was constructed and belongs to the context of its discovery. However, there is an old and popular idea in philosophy of science that one should carefully distinguish the context of discovery and the context of justification of a theory. I will argue that the idea underwriting this celebrated distinction is, at least in its general form, seriously mistaken. My argument is based on the statistical achievements of the second half of the twentieth century on the so-called “model selection” problem. Various model selection criteria tell us that the model (i.e., family of hypotheses) from which a hypothesis is constructed has a significant bearing on how well-supported the hypothesis is. Particularly, in this framework simplicity is a feature of the model from which a hypothesis is designed, not the hypothesis itself. Simplicity, so understood, is shown to be deeply connected to various epistemically valuable features of a theory, viz, its likelihood and predictive accuracy. Thus considerations of simplicity, which are undoubtedly important in theory appraisal, are responsive to parameters in the context of discovery! Moreover, given a specific hypothesis, H, and body of data, D, the model from which H was constructed is typically simpler if H was not constructed to accommodate D (i.e., if H predicted D). This, I argue, provides a convincing argument for a very strong version of predictionism.
LOCATION: John Freely Hall, Bebek, BÜ Güney Kampüsü No:6, 34342 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey (map)
Followed by an informal dinner.

Written by fzenker

March 4, 2020 at 2:08 pm

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Talk at Bogazici, 20 MARCH 2020, 5.00-7.00 pm: Patricia Rich (University of Bayreuth, Germany): Epistemic Diversity: A Re-Evaluation

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ABSTRACT: It is a familiar problem that individuals often follow the crowd instead of relying on their own good judgment. Such behavior is especially troubling because it can cause the whole group to go badly astray, for example becoming convinced of falsehoods. Paradoxically, however, the standard view in philosophy is that it is typically the individuals who do *not* follow the crowd who are in fact irrational. If individuals were all perfectly rational, we would have much more conformity than we in fact have. I illustrate this state of affairs using the example of ‘information cascades’; the term is used to describe events as varied as stock market crashes and book, restaurant and fashion trends. In information cascades, individuals follow the crowd because their private evidence is outweighed by public evidence in the form of others’ actions. I explain why the standard analysis, which concludes that the non-conformists are irrational, is problematic, and how it reveals a basic limitation of our modeling approach. I argue that we can only really explain the non-conformist behavior we observe by adopting a game-theoretic perspective. From this perspective, non-conformist behavior is naturally construed as cooperative. I provide new results, using computer simulations, which show that sticking to one’s own evidence can constitute a rational cooperative strategy for individual group members. This shows that the diversity of opinion that we see need not be the result of individual irrationality, contrary to the standard account.

LOCATION: John Freely Hall, Room JF 507, followed by an informal dinner

ABOUT THE SPEAKER: https://www.phil.uni-bayreuth.de/en/people/rich/index.php


Written by fzenker

March 4, 2020 at 1:55 pm

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Talk at Bilkent 5 Mar: Murali Ramachandran on the Paradox of the Ravens

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Hempel’s Paradox of the Ravens

By Murali Ramachandran (Witwatersrand, Philosophy)

Date: Thursday,  5th March, 2020

Time: 1540-1710

Place: H-232

Abstract: Hempel’s paradox of the ravens arises from two very compelling principles, SUPPORT and EQUIVALENCE:

Observations of FGs support (confirm, count as positive evidence for) the hypothesis ‘All Fs are G’, so long as no non-G Fs have been observed.
(E.g. observations of tigers with stripes supports the hypothesis [All tigers have stripes], so long as tigers without stripes have not been observed.)

Evidence that supports a hypothesis equally supports any logically equivalent hypothesis.
(E.g. any evidence which supports [There are Latvian vegetarians] equally supports [There are vegetarian Latvians])

Now consider the following statements:

[Rave]     All ravens are black.
[NoB]      All non-black things are non-ravens.

These are logically equivalent: one cannot be true without the other being true as well. By SUPPORT, observation of a red pencil, say, being an observation of a non-black nonraven, supports hypothesis [NoB], and thus, by EQUIVALENCE, also supports hypothesis [Rave] that all ravens are black.

It is at least prima facie paradoxical that a red pencil should count as positive evidence for a hypothesis about ravens!

This is Hempel’s paradox of the ravens. My goal in this talk is to explain why I think causal realists—that is, just about all of us(!)—escape the paradox.

(Those already familiar with the paradox can get a foretaste of my position by looking at my paper here)

About the speakerMurali Ramachandran’s research is focused on metaphysics, philosophy of language and philosophical logic. He is currently Associate Professor in philosophy at Witwatersrand University.  Previously he taught at Trinity College Dublin, Manchester University and Sussex University. He has published in journals such as MindPhilosophical QuarterlyAustralasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophical Studies and Analysis.

Written by Tufan Kıymaz

March 3, 2020 at 8:41 pm

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