Hesperus is Bosphorus

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Cog sci event in Ankara

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Website for registration: http://ii.metu.edu.tr/cognitive-science-seminars-form


METU Informatics Institute Cognitive Science Seminars V: CogSci in Germany, CogSci in Turkey

May 23, 2014



Opening Talks (09:00-09:30)

Nazife Baykal (Director of METU Informatics Institute)

Cem Bozşahin (Department Head, Cognitive Science Program)


Session 1 Cognition and Interaction (09:30-13:00)
Chair: Annette Hohenberger

09:30-09:45 Cengiz Acartürk (METU)

09:45-10:30 Christopher Habel (University of Hamburg, Informatics Department, Human Centered Computing Cluster)
“Geometric Concepts in Multimodal Interaction”


Coffee Break and Student Poster Session 10:30-11:00

11:00-11:45 Ipke Wachsmuth (University of Bielefeld, Cognitive Interaction Technology Center of Excellence, Technische Fakultät)
“Embodied Cooperative Systems: From Tool to Partnership”

11:45-12:00 Didem Gökçay (METU)

12:00-12:15 Murat Perit Çakır (METU)

12:15-13:00 Katharina Scheiter (University of Tübingen, Knowledge Media Research Center)
“Mental Model Construction from Text and Pictures: Evidence for Construction of a Spatial Scaffold”


Lunch Break and Student Poster Session (13:00-14:00)


Session 2 Cognition and Language (14:00-16:30)
Chair: Cem Bozşahin

14:00-14:45 Reinhold Kliegl (University of Potsdam, Department of Psychology)
“The Dynamics of Eye Movements and Attention During Reading: Contributions from Language-Comparative Research”

14:45-15:00 Deniz Zeyrek (METU)

15:00-15:15 Annette Hohenberger (METU)

15:15-16:00 Barbara Kaup (University of Tübingen, Department of Psychology)
“The Role of Sensorimotor Processes in Meaning Composition”


Coffee Break and Student Poster Session 16:00-16:30


Session 3 Philosophy of Cognitive Science (16:30-18:15)
Chair: Deniz Zeyrek

16:30-17:15 Tarek R. Besold (University of Osnabrück, Cognitive Science)
“The Limits of Thought? Complexity, computation, and cognition”

17:15-17:45 Cem Bozşahin (METU) “Can Computation Give Rise to Meaning?”

17:45-18:00 Ceyhan Temürcü (METU)

18:00-18:45 Marcus Kracht (University of Bielefeld, Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies)
“Understanding the Meaning of What is Said”


Concluding Remarks. Opportunities for future collaboration

18:45-19:00 Deniz Zeyrek


Reception 19.00-19.45

Written by Kourken Michaelian

April 24, 2014 at 8:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Distributed cognition and memory research

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Our special issue of Review of Philosophy and Psychology is now out:



  • Kourken Michaelian, John Sutton. Distributed Cognition and Memory Research: History and Current Directions
  • Robert D. Rupert. Memory, Natural Kinds, and Cognitive Extension; or, Martians Don’t Remember, and Cognitive Science Is Not about Cognition
  • Deborah P. Tollefsen, Rick Dale, Alexandra Paxton. Alignment, Transactive Memory, and Collective Cognitive Systems
  • Georg Theiner. Transactive Memory Systems: A Mechanistic Analysis of Emergent Group Memory
  • Martin M. Fagin, Jeremy K. Yamashiro, William C. Hirst. The Adaptive Function of Distributed Remembering: Contributions to the Formation of Collective Memory
  • Robert W. Clowes. The Cognitive Integration of E-Memory
  • Santiago Arango-Muñoz. Scaffolded Memory and Metacognitive Feelings
  • Nils Dahlbäck, Mattias Kristiansson, Fredrik Stjernberg. Distributed Remembering Through Active Structuring of Activities and Environments
  • Paul Loader. Is my Memory an Extended Notebook?

Written by Kourken Michaelian

March 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Two positions in philosophy at Bilkent

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There’s one senior position and one junior position available in the philosophy department at Bilkent. AOS and AOC are open for both positions.

Deadlines: 1 Feb. 2013 (junior position); 1 March 2013 (senior position).

For details on the openings, go here: http://www.bilkent.edu.tr/~phil/openings.htm.

Written by Kourken Michaelian

October 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm

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Written by Kourken Michaelian

June 1, 2012 at 10:28 am

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Written by Kourken Michaelian

March 30, 2012 at 9:16 am

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Too many quantifiers?

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In an interesting new article, “Quantifier vs. Poetry: Stylistic Impoverishment and Socio-Cultural Estrangement of Anglo-American Philosophy in the Last Hundred Years”, my departmental colleague István Aranyosi presents “a few simple statistical data” that suggest that the philosophy contained in “papers published in the most distinguished philosophy journals, has indeed evolved toward the model that people usually outside philosophy complain about”, that is, a much less literary or humanistic style. Basically, he checked the frequency of articles containing certain expressions in core philosophy journals over a long period (using Jstor) and found that there are fewer references to famous literary writers, fewer French expressions, etc. as time goes on. As a punchline, he gives us a graph showing the fates of the terms “quantifier” and “poetry”:

I guess that this approach is too simple to allow us to come to any real conclusions. But it’s plausible that the apparent trend is genuine. If so, is this a problem? István seems to think so, suggesting that it would be better to have “philosophical writing that is both clear and delightful to read, if they are both desirable and if the latter is indeed in decline”. But in fact I suspect that this is actually a beneficial trend, reflecting a number of (overlapping) factors:

  • A more thoroughgoing analytic approach.
  • Increasing professionalization.
  • Increasing internationalization. (Jokes and wordplay are fine when everyone is speaking their first language, but often a barrier to communication when they’re not.)
  • Increasing interdisciplinarity, and the consequent influence of norms from other fields. (István himself suggests this, and it certainly fits with my experience — the more thoroughly interdisciplinary the journal is, the less likely I am to receive comments from editors and referees critiquing minor stylistic features of a submitted article.)

Written by Kourken Michaelian

March 15, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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This looks like it should be an interesting journal issue, devoted entirely to self-deception. Unfortunately (perhaps due to timing?), it looks like none of the articles discuss von Hippel and Trivers’ recent BBS paper providing an evolutionary account of self-deception. Von Hippel and Trivers’ basic claim is that self-deception evolved to facilitate other-deception. The idea is interesting, and important for the epistemology of testimony, but as more than one commentator points out, it seems to face a basic conceptual problem — roughly, that if you believe what you say, then it isn’t a lie. While I’m inclined for other reasons to think that their theory doesn’t work, this doesn’t seem like a real problem to me, as the idea can just be restated by saying that tendencies to have certain inaccurate beliefs evolved to facilitate getting others to have inaccurate beliefs that benefit oneself (this isn’t quite the same as von Hippel and Trivers’ own response).

Whether or not the idea works, Trivers gives an interesting (and funny) talk about it here.

Written by Kourken Michaelian

March 13, 2012 at 9:33 am


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