Hesperus is Bosphorus

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Call For Papers: 3rd Bilkent Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

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We are happy to invite undergraduate students to take part in the 3rd Bilkent Undergraduate Philosophy Conference on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at Bilkent Library Art Gallery. The purpose of this conference is to give a chance to the undergraduate students to share their arguments with their peers. Students from all universities and departments are welcome to participate. Participants are encouraged to apply from outside Ankara, and we will do our best to arrange accommodation if needed.
Presentations will be of two types: 25-minute talks and poster presentations.
Each presenter will receive a certificate of participation.
Submission Guidelines:
1. There is no restriction on subject matter, as long as a philosophical argument is presented.
2. Not only philosophy students but also students from other departments are welcome.
3. Submissions and all other inquiries should be sent by e-mail to philstudentconf@bilkent.edu.tr
4. Participants should send a long abstract of 800-1000 words to be considered for a talk, or a short abstract of 300-500 words to be considered for the poster session. If you submit a long abstract, please indicate whether you would like your abstract to be considered for the poster session as well, in case it is not accepted for verbal presentation.
5. Please attach one copy of your long or short abstract, with its title on top, but is otherwise anonymous and does not in any way give away the identity of the author.
6. Please include in the body of the e-mail submission your full name, university affiliation, the title of your paper and your contact information (such as your e-mail address).
7. The submitted abstracts, the talks and the posters should be in English.
8. Standard poster size is 36×48 inches (about 91 x 122 cm) or A0. For more information about poster sessions: https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/poster-presentations-13907939
9. The deadline for submission is March 1, 2019. Accepted submissions will be announced on March 15, 2019.
Organizers:
Bilkent University Department of Philosophy
Bilkent Literature Society | Philosophy Committee
Bilkent Legal Philosophy and Sociology Club
See the call on the Bilkent Philosophy webpage here.
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Written by Sandrine Berges

December 26, 2018 at 4:09 pm

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MBB Seminar: Burcu Ayşen Ürgen at Bilkent, 21 December.

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Burcu Ayşen Ürgen (Bilkent, Psychology/NSC)

“Visual perception of actions: An interdisciplinary work between cognitive neuroscience and social robotics”

Date: Friday, 21st December, 2018

Time: 1240 – 1330

Place: A-130

Organized by the Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Group at Bilkent University.

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Abstract: One of the most important skills organisms possess is the ability to perceive the actions of other organisms in their environment. This skill is supported by a network of brain regions including occipito-temporal cortex, parietal cortex, and premotor cortex in primates, known as the Action Observation Network. Despite a growing body of literature, the functional properties of this network remain largely unknown. We take a multi-modal, interdisciplinary, and computational approach to characterize the functional properties of this network in humans. To this end, we 1) collaborated with a robotics lab to vary various aspects of actions including visual appearance and movement kinematics of the agents, 2) used a wide range of brain measurement modalities (fMRI and EEG) together with state-of-the-art computational techniques while human subjects performed action perception tasks. While our findings improve our understanding of the Action Observation Network, the interdisciplinary work with robotics also allows us to address questions regarding human factors in artificial agent design in social robotics and human-robot interaction such as uncanny valley, which is concerned with what kind of artificial agents we should design so that humans can easily accept them as social partners.

About the speaker: Burcu Ayşen Ürgen is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychology and the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Graduate Program, Bilkent University. She is also affiliated with Aysel Sabuncu Brain Research Center and National Magnetic Resonance Research Center (UMRAM). She directs the Cognitive Computational Neuroscience Lab. She received her PhD in Cognitive Science from University of California, San Diego (USA) in 2015. Prior to her PhD, she did her BS in Computer Engineering at Bilkent University, and MS in Cognitive Science at Middle East Technical University. Following her PhD, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Neuroscience, University of Parma (Italy). Dr. Ürgen’s primary research area is human visual perception with a focus on biological motion and action perception. In addition to behavioral methods, she uses a wide range of invasive and non-invasive neuroimaging techniques including fMRI, EEG, and intracranial recordings to study the neural basis of visual perception. Her research commonly utilizes state-of-the-art computational techniques including machine learning, computer vision, and effective connectivity. Besides her basic cognitive neuroscience research, Dr. Ürgen also pursues an interdisciplinary research between social robotics and cognitive neuroscience to investigate the human factors that are important for successful interaction with artificial agents such as robots. She received an Interdisciplinary Scholars Award during her PhD studies at the University of California San Diego for her interdisciplinary work between cognitive neuroscience and social robotics.

Written by Sandrine Berges

December 17, 2018 at 7:50 am

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Talk by Cem Erkli at Bilkent 20 December

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“A Complementary Scientific Approach to Eratosthenes’ Calculation of the Earth’s Circumference”

By Cem Erkli (Simon Fraser University, Philosophy)

Date: Thursday, 20 December, 2018

Time: 1640-1800

Place: H-232

 

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Abstract: Eratosthenes (276 – 194 BC) is the Hellenistic scientist known for calculating the earth’s circumference by using the shadow of a sundial. Today, he is commended for getting admirably close to the currently accepted value for the earth’s circumference. In this paper, I examine Eratosthenes’ experiment through the lens of integrated history and philosophy of science. By using a complementary scientific approach, I point out the conceptual difficulties involved in the instruments and measurements available to him at the time, and argue that his experiment did not warrant the degree of accuracy he is commended for. I suggest that Eratosthenes’ apparent accuracy should be interpreted not as a scientific feat, but as the lucky result of experimental error.

Written by Sandrine Berges

December 17, 2018 at 7:47 am

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Shmulik Nili at Bilkent Friday 14 Dec.

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“Unconditional Commitments, Integrity, and the Polity ”

By Shmulik Nili (Northwestern/ANU)

Date: Friday 14 December, 2018

Time: 1100-1230

Place: H-232

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Abstract: An important philosophical position holds that an agent’s moral integrity is entirely parasitic upon morality’s overall requirements. According to this “integrity skepticism,” we can only know what our moral integrity requires once we know how, all things considered, we morally ought to act. In this essay’s opening part, focused on individual ethics, I present two main arguments against integrity skepticism. The first argument is that since agents have important moral reasons to incorporate certain unconditional commitments into their self-conception, it is unfair to criticize agents who go on to treat these commitments as an independent factor in their moral deliberation. The second argument links agents’ unconditional moral commitments to their duty to sustain self-respect. In the essay’s latter part, I seek to show that parallel versions of these two arguments provide even stronger grounds for resisting integrity skepticism regarding collective affairs. Specifically, I contend that integrity skepticism fails when it comes to liberal-democratic polities as collective agents: such polities have their own morally important integrity, which is not parasitic upon them “doing the right thing.” Rather, a liberal polity’s moral integrity is an independent moral factor informing the analysis of what the polity ought to do.

About the speaker: Dr Nili’s current work focuses on three related themes. First, how we should think about the collective agency of “the sovereign people,” both as a matter of abstract philosophy and as a matter of concrete public policy (see The People’s Duty, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press). Second, what political philosophy can contribute when facing obvious moral failures in public policy. Finally, the moral value of integrity, whether applied to ordinary people, to authoritarian demagogues, or to collective institutions.

Dr Nili’s inquiries into these three themes started with a focus on corruption issues. In particular, global corruption related to the “resource curse” and in philosophical questions that this “curse” raises about public property and democracy, as well as about the practical tasks of political philosophy. More recently, Dr Nili has sought to connect his global theory arguments to domestic politics, paying special attention to morally fraught dynamics in various developing countries, in the United States, and in his native Israel.

Dr Nili has publications in a number of journals including, Ethics, Journal of Politics, American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, Journal of Political Philosophy and History of Political Thought.

Written by Sandrine Berges

December 6, 2018 at 8:47 pm

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Talk by Ertürk Demirel at Bilkent this Friday

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“Acknowledgment, not Recognition: A Wish-to-say.”

By Erturk Demirel (Bogazici, Philosophy)

Date: Friday 30 November, 2018

Time: 1100-1230

Place: H-232

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Abstract: I examine acknowledgment in Rancière’s philosophy, drawing on his notion of disagreement. I reflect on the speech of Percennius the slave in Ancient Rome. Acknowledgment for Rancière is an act of speech irreducible to recognition that acknowledges and poetically investigates the silent figure that comes before the law, seeking words in this exposure to what is to come. It is not simply registration of emergent identities; it also relies on substitution for and suspension of the norms of sensibility under which it makes sense. I suggest the term ‘acknowledgment’ for a poetic speech act that is irreducible to recognition in Rancière’s philosophy.

About the speaker: Ertürk Demirel studied economics at Boğaziçi University and received a MA in philosophy from the same university, specializing on ethics and philosophy of language. He completed his PhD at the Australian National University, in political philosophy and produced a dissertation entitled “Politics of Silence: Temporality and Aporias of the Political.” He now holds the position of Visiting Lecturer at Boğaziçi University, teaching introductory philosophy courses. Among his published papers is “Acknowledgment, Not Recognition: A Wish-to-Say.” His research interests range from radical theories of democracy, recognition theory, metaethics, philosophy of language, modern French philosophy, post-structuralism, German Idealism and Phenomenology

Written by Sandrine Berges

November 27, 2018 at 6:43 pm

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Talk by Emin Karagözoğlu at Bilkent 20 November

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Emin Karagözoğlu (Bilkent, Economics)

“The Influence of Fairness Judgments, Reference Points, and Subjective Entitlements on Bargaining Behavior and Outcomes”

Date: Tuesday, 20th November, 2018

Time: 1240 – 1330

Place: A-130

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Organized by the Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Group at Bilkent University.

Abstract: Bargaining has always been one of the most popular topics within the game theory tradition. Not surprisingly, it gained a similar status when economists started running lab experiments. Bargaining experiments conducted in the 80s led economists to question some of their assumptions such as “selfish, rational man”. One consequence was a fast growing line of work on altruism (or other-regarding behavior), social preferences, and bounded rationality. My experimental work on bargaining focuses mainly on three topics: (i) richness of the context, (ii) jointly produced bargaining pies, and (iii) fairness judgments, subjective entitlements, and reference points. In this seminar, I’ll talk about some regularities in behavior, which I have been observing in my experiments in the last ten years and discuss some potential research ideas that could be pursued using FMRI experiments.

About the speaker: Dr. Karagözoğlu received his PhD degree from Maastricht University in 2010 with his thesis on bargaining and claim problems. Broadly speaking, his fields of expertise are game theory, experimental economics, and behavioral economics. He taught courses on microeconomic theory, game theory, and bargaining theory and experiments in various universities. In his current research, Dr. Karagözoğlu investigates fairness judgments, focal/reference points, time pressure, communication, joint production, roles of effort vs luck, complementarity of inputs, transaction costs, and arbitration in bargaining games/problems. His articles appeared in prestigious international journals such as Management Science, Games and Economic Behavior, Experimental Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Annals of Operations Research, Mathematical Methods of Operations Research, Mathematical Social Sciences, Group Decision and Negotiation, Theory and Decision, and Operations Research Letters. Dr. Karagözoğlu has visited and conducted research at institutions such as Harvard University, MIT, LMU Munich, University of Nottingham, University of Innsbruck, Maastricht University, University of East Anglia. He is a CESifo-Munich research affiliate, recipient of The Science Academy’s Distinguished Young Scientist Award (2015) and Bilkent University’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2015). Dr. Karagözoğlu’s hobbies include reading about paradoxes in epistemology and probability theory, cognitive/neuro psychology, and literature; watching movies, auto races, and football.

Written by Sandrine Berges

November 15, 2018 at 10:12 am

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MA in Philosophy at Bilkent

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We are now accepting applications for our MA in Philosophy, Spring 2019 intake. Philosophy and non-philosophy majors encouraged to apply.

Application deadline: December 20, 2018

Details about the program and application process can be found here: www.phil.bilkent.edu.tr

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Written by Sandrine Berges

November 9, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized