Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

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Philosophy talk at Boğaziçi: Ahmet Cevik (Ankara) on “Mathematical Pluralism” (20/12/2019)

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Ahmet Cevik (Ankara) will give a talk on Friday, December 20th, from 5pm to 7pm at Boğaziçi University in JF507. Everyone is welcome. (Talk will be via Skype)

 “Mathematical Pluralism”


Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 15, 2019 at 7:52 pm

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Philosophy talk at Boğaziçi: Genco Guralp (San Diego State University) on “Hubble’s Resistance: The Expanding Universe (1929-2010) and the Epistemology of Empirical Confirmation.” (19/12/2019)

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Genco Guralp (San Diego State University) will give a talk on Thursday, December 19th, from 5pm to 7pm at Boğaziçi University in JF507. Everyone is welcome. (Talk will be via Skype)

“Hubble’s Resistance: The Expanding Universe (1929-2010) and the Epistemology of Empirical Confirmation.”

Abstract: According to the received view, the expansion of the universe was discovered by Edwin Hubble in 1929. However, this claim has recently been questioned. For example, science historians Helge Kragh and Robert Smith argue that “Hubble cannot reasonably be credited with the discovery of the expanding universe.” (Kragh and Smith 2003, 141.)  The main reason for this is that Hubble never made a claim in print that his observations unequivocally demonstrate that the universe is expanding. However, these authors fail to emphasize the fact that Hubble gave empirical reasons why the interpretation of the velocity—distance relation as a universal expansion was not possible within the experimental context of his own era: alternative explanations were not ruled out empirically (hypothesis was underdetermined by data). Focusing on this fact, I identify two puzzles concerning the discovery of the expanding universe, and I argue that Richard Dawid’s work on the “non-empirical confirmation” of scientific hypotheses may provide a solution. On this basis, I examine several philosophical consequences that follow from the case of the expanding universe concerning the validation of empirical claims in science.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 15, 2019 at 7:39 pm

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Talk at Boğaziçi: Sinem Elkatip Hatipoğlu (Şehir): “Thinking about being in a mental state one is not in – a problem of higher order theories of consciousness?” (12/12/2019)

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Sinem Elkatip Hatipoğlu (Şehir University) will give a talk at Boğaziçi University on Thursday 12/12/2019, from 5-7pm in JF507. Everyone is welcome.


“Thinking about being in a mental state one is not in – a problem of higher order theories of consciousness?”


ABSTRACT: According to higher order (HO) theories of consciousness, a mental state, viz., the target or the lower order (LO) state, is conscious when the subject has another mental state, viz., a HO state about it. A major criticism of HO theories involves empty HO states, i.e. a HO state without a LO state, since it is not clear in such cases which mental state is conscious in virtue of the HO state and what the point of having the LO state at all is if the HO state is sufficient for consciousness. I try to undermine this criticism. First, I consider if it is possible to suggest that there are strictly speaking no cases of genuinely empty HO states, but only cases of radically misrepresented targets. While I think this is possible, I also contend that this move only pushes the question a step further – why would the LO state be so radically misrepresented? Besides, given the tenets of the HO theory, viz. the distinction between the LO and the HO state, the possibility of empty HO states should be endorsed. Hence I try to undermine the criticism not by eliminating empty HO states but by suggesting a more thorough understanding of state consciousness according to which the existence of a mental state is not necessary for the subject to think that she is in that mental state and hence for her to have the experience. Lastly, I suggest a way HO theories could further be developed by offering some remarks about how LO states might be related to HO states and why empty HO states emerge. This suggestion takes into account subject’s history and aims at providing a naturalistic account according to which empty HO states arise for the well-being of the organism given the totality of the organism’s mental life.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 5, 2019 at 2:35 pm

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Graduate Student Philosophy workshop at Boğaziçi (19/10/2019)

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There will be a Phd student philosophy workshop at Boğaziçi  this Saturday (19/10/2019) starting at 1pm in JF507. Everyone is welcome.


Hakkı Kaan Arıkan (Boğaziçi): “Sellars, Grice and Theory of Mind”

2.00 – 3.00
Müge Kuyumcuoğlu (Boğaziçi): “The problem of relevance as it applies to learning from experience.”
Commentator: Buse Kurtar (Boğaziçi)

3.30 – 4.30
Arzu Gökmen (Boğaziçi):  “Machine ethics: questions and objectives”
Commentator:  Tuğba Sevinç (Bahçeşehir)

4.30 – 5.30
Oğuz Erdin (Boğaziçi): “An evaluation of methodologies in  cognitive science based on Lakatos’ methodology of scientific research programs.”
Commentator: Aran Arslan (Boğaziçi)

Written by Lucas Thorpe

October 14, 2019 at 12:28 am

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Philosophy/Cognitive Science reading group at Boğaziçi (Fall, 2019)

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Our philosophy/cognitive science reading group at Boğaziçi will continue this semester meeting from 5.30-7.00pm on Mondays. Everyone is welcome.

Our first meeting will be this Monday (September, 23rd) in JF507.

We will begin the semester by reading some of:

Jean Piaget’s, Origins_of intelligence in children.

(We will discuss the introduction, and perhaps chapter one in our first meeting)

Written by Lucas Thorpe

September 21, 2019 at 1:55 pm

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First Annual Boğaziçi Summer Philosophy Conference (29/06/2019)

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First Annual Boğaziçi Summer Philosophy Conference

Saturday, 29/06/2019

All talks will be held in JF507. Everybody welcome.

12.30 – 2.00:
Jakub Mácha (Brno): “The fate of dialectics: Bei-spiel/by-play in Kant, Hegel, and Derrida”

2.00 –  3.30:
Gözde Yıldırım (Boston): “Why Neuroscience Cannot Debunk Deontology”

3.30 – 5.00
Taylan Susam (Brown): “Kant’s Analysis of Duty”

5.00 – 6.30
Larry Udell (West Chester): “Some Rawlsian Notes on Universal Basic Income.”

Written by Lucas Thorpe

June 24, 2019 at 6:48 pm

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Cognitive Science Talk at Bogaziçi: Emrah Aktunç (Ozyegin) “Productive theory-ladenness in functional neuroimaging” (07/05/2019)

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Emrah Aktunç (Ozyegin, Psychology)  will give a talk on Tuesday, May 7th, from 5.15-6.45pm in JF507.  Everyone is welcome.

“Productive theory-ladenness in functional neuroimaging”

Abstract: Several developments in different fields for diverse scientific goals had to take place to eventually give rise to functional neuroimaging as one of the central research paradigms of cognitive neuroscience. Functional MRI, the most commonly used neuroimaging technique, stands on solid foundations established by the physics of magnetic resonance and the physiology of hemodynamics and is complimented by computational and statistical techniques. I argue, and support using concrete examples, that these foundations give rise to a productive theory-ladenness, which enables researchers to identify and control for the types of methodological and inferential errors. Consequently, this makes it possible for researchers to represent and investigate cognitive phenomena in terms of hemodynamic data and for experimental knowledge to grow independently of large scale theories of cognition, the implications of which I will discuss in the context of cognitive ontologies.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 5, 2019 at 8:45 pm

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