Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

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Vilius Dranseika at Boğaziçi on “Proper names, rigid designation, and empirical studies on transtemporal identity judgments” (06/12/2016)

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Vilius Dranseika (Vilnius) will give a talk at Boğaziçi on “Proper names, rigid designation, and empirical studies on transtemporal identity judgments” on Tuesday 06/12/21016 at 5pm in TB130. Everyone welcome.

ABSTRACT:  A common tripartite strategy employed in empirical studies on folk concept of personal identity goes as follows: First, describe a hypothetical transformation (e.g. amnesia, brain transplantation, reincarnation, PVS, change of moral character). Second, check whether the study participants judge post-transformation individual to be identical to the pre-transformation individual. This is most often done by checking whether study participants refer to the post-transformation individual by the name that was originally introduced to refer to the pre-transformation individual. Third, use these data to draw conclusions about identity criterion(-ia) employed by the folk. For example, if transformation involves loss of all autobiographical memory, but participants still use the same personal name, conclusion is made that autobiographical memory is not considered by the participants to be necessary for identity preservation.
In this paper I discuss the most common version of the second step of this strategy. Namely, methodological assumption that participants’ use of personal names is indicative of their judgments about numerical identity of individuals. Depending on the study, this assumption is employed as one (sometimes both) of these two inferential strands:

       (A) ‘No longer Yusuf’ → ‘no longer the same person/individual’
       (B) ‘Still Yusuf’ → ‘still the same person/individual’
In this paper I claim that neither of these two strands can be used to draw reliable conclusions about folk judgments of numerical identity. I also claim that neither of these two strands can be sufficiently justified by appeal to the Kripkean notion of rigidity (which is a standard move in psychological literature in question).

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 2, 2016 at 7:38 pm

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Talk at Koç University: Naomi Eilan (Warwick) on “Knowing and understanding other minds: on the role of communication” (17/11/2016)

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“Knowing and understanding other minds: on the role of communication”  

by Naomi Eilan (Warwick)

Thursday, November 17, 4PM

Founder’s Hall, Koç University, Rumelifeneri Campus

Registration is free but required (especially to make sure that non-Koç affiliated visitors have easy access to the campus). You can register here.


Abstract Over the past decade or so there has been increasing interest, in both philosophy and in various branches of psychology, in the claim that we should appeal to various forms of social interaction in explaining our knowledge of other minds. This is contrasted with the view that our knowledge of other’s minds is based on observation plus theory. I will be setting out one version of the social interaction approach, the Communication Claim, which holds that particular forms of interpersonal communication have a foundational role to play in providing us with knowledge and understanding of others’ minds. In developing the Communication Claim, I will draw out its links with current debates, in both psychology and philosophy, about the structure of our knowledge of other persons’ minds, and the skills and capacities required for achieving such knowledge.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

November 12, 2016 at 3:05 pm

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Workshop on Spinoza at Boğaziçi – Thursday November 10th

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

Boğaziçi University


All sessions will be held in TB 130

Session I. 10.00 – 12.30

Welcome and Opening Remarks: Stephen Voss and Ville Paukkonen

Ohad Nachtomy (Bar-Ilan University): Spinoza Rethinking of Activity: from the Short Treaties to the Ethics

Türker Armaner (Galatasaray University): ‘Singularity’ in Spinoza

Lunch. 12.30 – 14.00

Session 2. 14.00 – 16.30

Lars Vinx (Bilkent University): Why Spinoza was not a Liberal

Zeynep Talay (Koç University & Boğaziçi University): Spinoza and Nietzsche on Freedom

Workshop Dinner. 18.00

Written by Lucas Thorpe

November 6, 2016 at 3:59 pm

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Talk at Boğaziçi by Sanna Hirvonen (Oxford) on “The Challenges and Advantages of Contextualism for Predicates of Taste” (Friday, 14/10/2-16)

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Sanna Hirvonen (Oxford) will give a talk at Boğaziçi University this Friday (14/10/2016) from 5-7pm in Tb130 on “”The Challenges and Advantages of Contextualism for Predicates of Taste”. Everybody welcome.

Abstract: An account of the semantics / pragmatics of predicates of taste must be able to explain two apparently conflicting features: How the truth of judgments of personal taste depend on the taste of the speaker, and how there can still be disagreements of taste. Michael Glanzberg’s [2007] “flexible” contextualist account holds that the context selects an experiencer class. If the experiencer class includes more people than the speaker, then a disagreement of taste may concern e.g. the average taste of the experiencer class. In this paper I show that the contextual mechanisms posited by Glanzberg lead to two kinds of undesirable predictions regarding entirely ordinary judgments of taste: (i) Some judgments of taste get highly unintuitive truth-values that the speaker / hearers are not able to track, and (ii) Some judgments of taste that fail to express propositions, but the speaker / hearers cannot tell when this happens.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

October 10, 2016 at 1:45 am

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Talk at Boğaziçi by Frank Zenker (Lund): “Can Bayesian models have ‘normative pull’ on human reasoners?” (Thursday, 13/10/2016)

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Frank Zenker (Lund) will give a talk at Boğaziçi University this Thursday (13/10/2016) from 5-7pm in Tb130 on “Can Bayesian models have ‘normative pull’ on human reasoners?”. Everyone welcome.

Abstract: Rejecting the claim that human reasoning can approximate generally NP-hard Bayesian models—in the sense that the mind’s actual “computations” come close to, or be like, the inferences that Bayesian models dictate—this paper addresses whether a Bayesian model can have normative pull on human reasoners. For such normative pull to arise, we argue, a well-defined and empirically supported approximation relation is required—but broadly absent—between (i) human reasoning on the ground and (ii) the behavior of a non-NP-hard model. We discuss a responsible stance on this issue.

A long abstract can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

October 10, 2016 at 1:10 am

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Mini-Workshop at Boğaziçi on Logic and its Applications (30/09 – 01/10/2016)

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Talks will take place in TB130 at Boğaziçi  University. Everybody welcome.
Friday, September 30
13.45 – 14.00  Welcome
14.00 – 15.00  Hans van Ditmarsch: The Moore Sentence and the Fitch Paradox in Dynamic Epistemic Logic
15.00 – 16.00  Philippe Balbiani: An Introduction to Subset Space Logics
16.00 – 16.30  Coffee Break
16.30 – 17.30  Aybüke Özgün: Justified Belief, Knowledge and the Topology of Evidence
17.30 – 18.30  Zafer Özdemir: Tableaux-based decision procedures for region based theories of space
19.30 –          Dinner
Saturday, October 1
10.00 – 11.00  Sebastian Speitel: Carnap-Categoricity and the Question of Logicality
11.00 – 12.00  Ahmet Çevik: Defining computability through the Church-Turing Thesis
12.00 – 14.00  Lunch and Coffee Break
14.00 – 15.00  Ali Karatay: Is Thales the first philosopher of mathematics?
15.00 – 16.00  Philippe Balbiani: Formal concept analysis: from formal contexts to modal logics and return
16.00 – 16.30  Coffee Break
16.30 – 17.30  Hans van Ditmarsch: Epistemic Gossip Protocols
19.00 –          Dinner
Further details can be found here:
Organised by

  • Aybüke Özgün (LORIA, CNRS-University of Lorraine, France and ILLC, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Written by Lucas Thorpe

September 26, 2016 at 11:43 pm

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Kant Reading Group at Boğaziçi (Fall 2016)

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Ken Westphal and I will be continuing our Kant reading group at Boğaziçi this semester on Wednesdays from 5-7pm in TB365, starting on Wednesday, October 5th. Everyone welcome.

We will hold our first meeting of the semester, however, this coming TUESDAY (September 27th) from 5-7pm in TB130. In this meeting we will decide what to read in the coming semester (so, please come with suggestions). And, we will discuss the following article:

George, Rolf (1981). Kants Sensationism. Synthese 47 (2):229 – 255.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please email Melisa:  melisakurtcan@gmail.com

This reading group is part of the joint Boğaziçi -Southampton Newton-Katip Çelebi project AF140071 “Agency and Autonomy: Kant and the Normative Foundations of Republican Self-Government” run by Lucas Thorpe (Boğaziçi) and Sasha Mudd (Southampton) and by Lucas Thorpe’s Bogazici University BAP project 9320



Written by Lucas Thorpe

September 24, 2016 at 1:21 pm

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