Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

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Cognitive Science Talk at Bogaziçi this Thursday: Frank Zenker (Lund, Sweden), “Conceptual Spaces, Natural Concepts, and Convexity”

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Frank Zenker (Lund, Sweden ) will give a cognitive science program talk this Thursday 14/02/2019) from 5-7pm in JF507 on “Conceptual Spaces, Natural Concepts, and Convexity”. Everyone is welcome.

ABSTRACT: As a prominent approach to modelling human conceptual knowledge, conceptual spaces theory represents concepts geometrically, as regions in a similarity space. Using such spaces as a modelling tool, we may approach the distinction between natural and non-natural concepts, for instance, or generally between well-formed and not so well-formed (“ugly”) concepts. And we may also model the effects of context on human categorizations. After all, we can formally define the various geometric forms that may “inhabit” such a similarity space. Hence, we may characterize a concept, or a concept type, via its own shape in this space. A given concept (or its type) will thus heed, or violate, some geometrical constraint(s). This being so, in turn, we may interpret as discerning semantic information—information that takes meaning and veracity into account. The talk focuses on a specific such constraint: convexity, and on what it can(not) do for you when modeling conceptual knowledge.


Bechberger L., and Kühnberger, K.U. (2017). A Thorough Formalization of Conceptual Spaces. In: Kern-Isberner G., Fürnkranz J., Thimm M. (eds), KI 2017: Advances in Artificial Intelligence (pp. 58-71). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol 10505. Cham: Springer.

Douven, I., and Gärdenfors, P. (2018). What are natural concepts? A design perspective. Mind and Language (forthcoming) https://philarchive.org/archive/DOUWANv1

Gärdenfors, P. (2000). Conceptual spaces: The geometry of thought. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Masterton, G., Zenker, F. & Gärdenfors, P. (2017). Using conceptual spaces to exhibit conceptual continuity through scientific theory change. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7: 127-150.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 11, 2019 at 1:01 pm

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Cognitive Science/Philosophy Reading Group at Boğaziçi on Mondays this Semester (Spring 2019).

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We will be holding our cognitive science/philosophy reading group at Boğaziçi on Mondays this semester from 5.30-7pm in JF507. If you would like to be added to our mailing list please email Oğuz at: conceptsandbeliefs@gmail.com

Our schedule of reading (with links to papers) for the first weeks of the semester is below:


Monday, February 11th, 2019
Morsella, E., Godwin, C., Jantz, T., Krieger, S., & Gazzaley, A. (2016). Homing in on consciousness in the nervous system: An action-based synthesis. Behavioral and Brain Sciences


Monday, February 18th, 2019
Schilbach, L., Timmermans, B., Reddy, V., Costall, A., Bente, G., Schlicht, T., & Vogeley, K. (2013). Toward a second-person neuroscienceBehavioral and Brain Sciences, 36(4), 393-414


Monday, February 25th, 2019
Firestone, C., & Scholl, B. (2016). Cognition does not affect perception: Evaluating the evidence for “top-down” effectsBehavioral and Brain Sciences, 39, E229


Monday, March 4th, 2019
Cecilia Heyes, Précis of Cognitive Gadgets: The Cultural Evolution of Thinking, Accepted for publication in Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 5 September 2018


Monday, March 11th, 2019
Gervais, M., & Fessler, D. (2017). On the deep structure of social affect: Attitudes, emotions, sentiments, and the case of “contempt”. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40, E225

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 8, 2019 at 1:07 pm

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May 23-25, 2019

Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey


Website can be found here.

3rd Turkish Congress of Aesthetics is scheduled to be held on 23rd – 25th of May 2019, at METU Culture and Convention Center in Ankara, Turkey. The congress is organized by SANART Association of Aesthetics and Visual Culture, in cooperation with Ankara University Department of Philosophy, Middle East Technical University Departments of Philosophy, Architecture, Music and Fine Arts. We warmly welcome scholars and artists submit proposals for paper presentations, panels, and workshops, and share valuable experiences with scholars and students working in different fields of aesthetics.

SANART Turkish Congresses of Aesthetics aim to bring together scholars from Turkey and other countries, strengthen relationships and establish a strong network among them, create a lively and productive environment to discuss contemporary ideas in the field, and thus contribute to the development of the discipline.

You are invited  to submit abstracts of maximum 500 words to the 3rd Turkish Congress of Aesthetics by clicking on the “Registration” tab above. The language of the Congress is Turkish and English.  The proposed session titles are listed below, but the content of the congress will not be limited to these topics. Applications from all areas of aesthetics will be evaluated.

  • Literature and aesthetics
  • City, nature and countryside
  • Architecture and aesthetics
  • Body and aesthetics
  • Visual culture
  • Film and narrative
  • Museum, memory and archive
  • New technologies
  • Media and Communication
  • Populism, politics and aesthetics
  • Everyday life
  • Music and performing arts
  • Ethics, aesthetics and values

Important Dates:

Deadline for Abstract Submission: April 10, 2019

Notification of Acceptance: April 25, 2019

Registration Fees:

Registration Fee for Delegates from Turkey: 400 TL

SANART Members: 200 TL

(Click Here to become a SANART MEMBER  If you are not a Turkish citizen plese send us an e-mail at info@sanart.org.tr)

Registration Fee for International Delegates: 75 Euros

Student Fee: 100 TL / 50 Euros

Written by Lucas Thorpe

January 29, 2019 at 1:52 pm

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4th ODTÜ Undergraduate Philosophy Conference (Ankara, April 27-28th, 2019)

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Abstracts due on March 1st. Details can be found here.

odtu phil-min-768x1086 (2)

Written by Lucas Thorpe

January 29, 2019 at 1:15 pm

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New Publication: The Leibniz-Arnauld Correspondence, Translated and Edited by Stephen Voss (Boğaziçi), Yale University Press

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A review from the Journal of the History of Philosophy can be found here

Stephen Voss writes:

I’d like to alert you to my book The Leibniz-Arnauld Correspondence, which Yale University Press has recently published. The aim has been to establish the French text of this correspondence and to translate it into English.

This correspondence is a crucial element in the development of Leibniz’s mature metaphysics. While Leibniz is one of the towering synthesizing intellects in western philosophy, Antoine Arnauld is an equally towering Socratic critic. In 1686 Leibniz seeks Arnauld’s critical response to the unique new metaphysics of the Discourse on Metaphysics, wondering whether a follower of Descartes can accept his creative use of Aristotle. The ensuing correspondence lights a fire that continues today to illuminate the relations between freedom and necessity, mind and body, God and creatures, truth and substances.

Establishing the text of this correspondence first required establishing the text of 62 manuscripts of letters and preliminary studies, drafts, and copies, held in archives throughout Europe. Since we lack complete manuscripts of 19 of the actual letters, it then required reconstruction, with the aim of coming as close to a letter’s missing manuscript as drafts and copies warrant. That in turn required an appendix enumerating all the variations among the documents, to make available to the reader the evidence used in the reconstruction.

The need for a fresh translation was clear. H. T. Mason’s version is the closest we’ve had to a standard English translation, but Mason translates not from original documents but from inaccurate older French editions, and translates drafts when we lack manuscripts of actual letters even when we have reliable copies of those letters. He translates only 80% of our text.

Yale has set up a web page associated with this book, which I encourage you to visit here. In one file I outline my approach to creating an accurate transcription and translation of these seminal letters. Another file lists discrepancies that I’ve found between the manuscripts and the editions by Geneviève Rodis-Lewis and the Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften. A third file lists the significant variations as Leibniz moved from a draft to an actual letter and then to a later reflection as, years later, he contemplated publishing this correspondence. I’ve set up a fourth file on this web page to record readers’ corrections and comments on the book, and I encourage you to contribute to it.

Stephen Voss



Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 24, 2018 at 4:40 pm

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Reading Seminar (17-18/10/2018) and Workshop (19-20/10/2018) on Hegel’s Logic at Boğaziçi

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Themes from Hegel’s Science of Logic – Workshop (October 19-20) and a Pre-workshop Reading Seminar (October 17-18)

Istanbul, Boğaziçi University

There will be a one and a half day workshop centered on Hegel’s Science of Logic in Boğaziçi University Philosophy Department on October 19-20. The workshop is open for everyone interested.

Right before the workshop, professor Cinzia Ferrini (University of Trieste) and post-doctoral researcher Preston Stovall (University of Hradec Králové) will lead a two-day reading seminar concentrating on selected themes arising from Science of Logic. The participants of the reading group are expected to have read the material that will be covered in the reading seminar (see the list of readings below). The maximum number of participants in the reading seminar is 15 and we give priority to Boğaziçi University students and faculty in case the quota is full. Please register for the reading seminar and in order to get a link to access the readings, by sending an email to ville.paukkonen@helsinki.fi

Details of both events can be found below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Lucas Thorpe

October 5, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Cog-Sci/Philosophy Reading Group at Boğaziçi, Fall 2018.

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We will continue with our philosophy/cog-sci reading group this semester on

Mondays from 5.30-730pm in JF507.

Everyone is welcome!

As cognition is something done by animals, getting a clearer idea about the nature of living beings is helpful for getting a better understanding of cognition, so we thought we would start the semester by reading a couple of the articles from the edited volume:  Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology edited by Daniel J. Nicholson and John Dupré, Oxford University Press, 2018.

This semester we will start on Monday, September 24th, by reading:

Daniel J. NicholsonReconceptualizing the Organism: From Complex Machine to Flowing Stream

On Monday, October 1st we will read the following chapter

Johanna SeibtOntological Tools for the Process Turn in Biology

If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please email Oğuz at: conceptsandbeliefs@gmail.com

Written by Lucas Thorpe

September 18, 2018 at 4:18 pm

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