Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Author Archive

Deadline Extended till 1 July: SWIP-TR 3

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Call for Abstracts: 3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference on Philosophy, Gender and Social Justice  
The Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey is proud to announce the 3rd Annual Conference and Meeting of SWIP-Turkey between 19-20 November, 2020 at Maltepe University, Turkey.

Date of the Conference: 19-20 November, 2020
Place: Maltepe University, Istanbul.
Abstracts: in English or Turkish
Word limit: between 900-1200 words (3 pages long)
Deadline for abstract submission:  July 1,  2020 
Notification of acceptance:  July 15, 2020
E-mail anonymized abstracts and a separate document with contact details as word or PDF to swiptr2020@gmail.com. The subject heading of the e-mail should be “2020 SWIP-TR Abstract Submission”
Review Process: Long abstracts will be double-blind reviewed according to criteria listed here. Abstracts that are not retained will receive feedback from an anonymous reviewer upon request.
Publication: After an independent triple-blind review process, selected papers will be published in FE Journal: Feminist Critique.

                          3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference on Philosophy, Gender, and Social Justice 
                                                                                     Keynote Speakers
Prof. Betül Çotuksöken (Maltepe University, Istanbul)
Prof. Nazile Kalaycı (Hacettepe University, Ankara)

This conference is co-organized by the Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey (Swip-TR), Maltepe University Department of Philosophy and Maltepe University UNESCO Chair for Gender Equality and Culture.

The goal of the event is to create a forum for women in philosophy to meet and help each other. More specifically, we wish to foster exchanges between women philosophers studying or working in Turkey as well as women philosopher from Turkey who study or work abroad.

The conference will consist of panels in Turkish and English on the following subtopics spread over two days.
Philosophy, Gender, and Social Justice
–           Women Philosophers in the History of Philosophy
–           Being a Woman in Philosophy
–           Topics in Feminist Philosophy
–           Gender, Race and Intersectional Analysis
–           Topics in Women’s Studies
–           Philosophical Questions about Social Justice
–           Philosophical Questions about Family

We invite (those identifying as) women philosophers to submit longs abstracts for presentation.
Please feel free to share this message with interested parties.

For further information, please e-mail swipturkey@gmail.com
Website: https://swip-tr.weebly.com/

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 20, 2020 at 1:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Application deadline for MA/PhD at Bilkent (May 29)

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We are now accepting applications for our M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy, for those starting in Fall 2020.

  • Deadline for regular applications: 29 May, 2020

All successful applicants receive a comprehensive scholarship (tuition waiver, monthly stipend, housing support & private health insurance). Up to 5 will be selected for a fully-funded exchange with ANU Philosophy. We warmly welcome applications from international students, as well as philosophy and non-philosophy majors. The language of instruction for all aspects of the program is English.

The philosophy department at Bilkent is ranked #1 in Turkey for research. We are an internationally diverse department with eight different nationalities represented among our faculty. Faculty received their doctoral degrees from institutions such as Princeton University, CUNY Graduate Center, London School of Economics, Stanford University, and Oxford University and have published in leading journals and international publishers.

Admission to the Program is highly competitive.

For more information about the doctoral program and application process click here.

For more information about the master’s program and application process click here.

Note: The entrance exam and interviews, for those invited, will be conducted via Zoom.

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Written by Sandrine Berges

March 24, 2020 at 1:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

CFP: 3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference, Maltepe

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Call for Papers: 3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference on Philosophy, Gender and Social Justice  

 

The Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey is proud to announce the 3rd Annual Conference and Meeting of SWIP-Turkey between 19-20 November, 2020 at Maltepe University, Turkey.

 

Date of the Conference: 19-20 November, 2020

Place: Maltepe University, Istanbul.

Abstracts: in English or Turkish

Word limit: between 900-1200 words (3 pages long)

Deadline for abstract submission: 1 May 2020

Notification of acceptance: May 15, 2020

E-mail: anonymized abstracts and a separate document with contact details as word or PDF to swiptr2020@gmail.com. The subject heading of the e-mail should be “2020 SWIP-TR Abstract Submission”

 

Review Process:

Long abstracts will be double-blind reviewed according to criteria listed here: (https://swip-tr.weebly.com/abstract-assessment.html). Abstracts that are not retained will receive feedback from an anonymous reviewer upon request.

 

Publication: After an independent triple-blind review process, selected papers will be published in FE Journal: Feminist Critique (http://cins.ankara.edu.tr/).

 

 

3rd Annual SWIP-TR Conference on Philosophy, Gender, and Social Justice 

Keynote Speakers

 

Prof. Betül Çotuksöken (Maltepe University, Istanbul)

 

Prof. Nazile Kalaycı (Hacettepe University, Ankara)

 

The conference is co-organized by the Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey (Swip-TR), Maltepe University Department of Philosophy and Maltepe University Center for Women and Family Studies.

 

The goal of the event is to create a forum for women in philosophy to meet and help each other. More specifically, we wish to foster exchanges between women philosophers studying or working in Turkey as well as women philosopher from Turkey who study or work abroad.

 

The conference will consist of panels in Turkish and English on the following topics spread over two days.

 

 

 

 

Philosophy, Gender, and Social Justice
–           Women Philosophers in the History of Philosophy

–           Being a Woman in Philosophy
–           Topics in Feminist Philosophy
–           Gender, Race and Intersectional Analysis

–           Topics in Women’s Studies

–           Philosophical Questions about Social Justice

–           Philosophical Questions about Family

 

We invite (those identifying as) women philosophers to submit longs abstracts for presentation.

 

Please feel free to share this message with interested parties.

For further information, please e-mail swipturkey@gmail.com

Website: https://swip-tr.weebly.com/

 

 

 

 

Written by Sandrine Berges

March 5, 2020 at 11:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk at Bilkent 4 Feb: Allauren Forbes on Friendship

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Friendship as a Means to Freedom

By Allauren Forbes (University of Pennsylvania, Philosophy)

Date: Tuesday 4th February, 2020

Time: 1640-1800

Place: H-232

Abstract: Friendship has been a subject of interest to Western philosophy since at least Plato and Aristotle, and the women thinking and writing about friendship in the Early Modern period did so within a context indebted to these traditions. This context was, however, deeply anti-women: real friendship was often claimed to be beyond the grasp of women, for women were inferior to men. However, some women philosophers – including Marie le Jars de Gournay, Mary Astell, and Gabrielle Suchon – wrote about friendship in ways that both emerge from the history of Western philosophy and yet which resist this inegalitarian framework. For these three philosophers, real friendship represents a means to obtain meaningful freedom. This is, at its core, a feminist project. Gournay, Astell, and Suchon all take a tradition that manifested the claims of their inherent inferiority and use it to suggest that women are not only (at least) potentially equal to men, but also that friendship itself can bring about the very good – freedom – that a patriarchal system would deny to them. Notably, though, each of these three philosophers conceives of the kind of freedom facilitated by friendship in a slightly different way. For Gournay, friendship supports a kind of epistemic freedom; Astell’s account of friendship promotes a moral sense of freedom; and Suchon shows that friendship is a necessary feature of a more straightforwardly political sense of freedom.

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About the speakerAllauren Forbes is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on transformative relations like friendship, marriage, and education and how they underwrite one’s intellectual and political capacities in early modern philosophy. She is also interested in contemporary questions of feminist philosophy and bioethics, particularly in the ethics of surrogacy and its impact on women’s agency, and in questions in technology, especially as are relevant to democratic institutions. She has published in the journal Hypatia, as well as book chapters in the Routledge Handbook on Early Modern Women and in Reconsidering Political Thinkers (OUP).

Written by Sandrine Berges

January 30, 2020 at 9:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

SWIP-TR Conference program

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The program for the second SWIP-TR conference which will take place at Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University on 14-16 November is now up on the SWIP-TR website.

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Written by Sandrine Berges

October 30, 2019 at 10:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Adam Bradley at Bilkent, 4 October

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The Paradox of Pain

By Adam Bradley (Antwerp, Center for Philosophical Psychology)

Date: Friday 4th October

Time: 1100-1230

Place: H-232

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Abstract: Bodily pain strikes many philosophers as deeply paradoxical. The issue is that pains seem to bear both physical characteristics, such as a location in the body, and mental characteristics, such as being subjective entities to which subjects have privileged and peculiar epistemic access. In this paper I clarify and address this alleged paradox of pain. I begin by showing how a further assumption, Objectivism, the thesis that what one feels in one’s body when one is in pain is something mind-independent, is necessary for the generation of the paradox. Consequently, the paradox can be avoided if one instead adopts Subjectivism, the thesis that what one feels in one’s body when one is in pain is something mind-dependent. Subjectivism, however, raises serious puzzles, for it is not obvious how anything can possess all of the features we associate with bodily pain. To address this puzzlement and finally put the paradox of pain to rest, I develop the Embodied View of Pain, a novel metaphysical account on which pains are constitutively mind-dependent features of parts of a subject’s body.

About the speaker: Adam Bradley received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and his undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati. He works at the intersection of philosophy of mind, cognitive science, epistemology, and metaphysics. His research to date has been focused on bodily awareness, our awareness of our bodies ‘from the inside,’ including bodily pain. This has lead to a recent article in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research on the feeling of bodily ownership. Dr Bradley is currently a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Centre for Philosophical Psychology at the University of Antwerp, working on with Bence Nanay and colleagues on the ERC funded project ‘Seeing Things You Don’t See.’

Written by Sandrine Berges

September 24, 2019 at 3:44 pm

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SWIP-TR Muğla: deadline for abstracts approaching

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Call for Abstracts: 2ndCongress by the Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey (SWIP-TR)

The Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey is proud to announce the 2ndAnnual Congress and Meeting of SWIP-Turkey between 14-16 November, 2019 at Mugla University, Turkey.

Date of the conference: 14-16 November 2019
Place: Mugla University, Mugla, Turkey.
Abstracts: On any topic in philosophy in English or Turkish
Word limit: No more than 500 words.
Deadline for abstract submission: 1 October 2019
E-mail: Anonymised abstracts and a separate sheet with contact details as word or PDF document to swipturkey@gmail.com. The subject heading of the e-mail should be “2019 SWIP-TR Abstract Submission”
The conference is organized by the Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey (Swip-TR) with the support of Mugla University Philosophy Department and Bilkent University Philosophy Department.
The goal of the event is to provide a forum for women in philosophy to meet and help each other. More specifically, we wish to foster exchanges between women philosophers studying or working in Turkey as well as women from Turkey who study or work in philosophy abroad and want to stay in touch with the philosophical developments here.
The conference will consist of panels in Turkish and English on any area of philosophy spread over three days. The papers presented at the conference will be published in a special issue of Arkhe-Logos Philosophy Journal.

Written by Sandrine Berges

September 20, 2019 at 10:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

CFA: Second SWIP-TR conference at Muğla

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Call for Abstracts: 2ndCongress by the Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey (SWIP-TR)

The Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey is proud to announce the 2ndAnnual Congress and Meeting of SWIP-Turkey between 14-16 November, 2019 at Mugla University, Turkey.

Date of the conference: 14-16 November 2019
Place: Mugla University, Mugla, Turkey.
Abstracts: On any topic in philosophy in English or Turkish
Word limit: No more than 500 words.
Deadline for abstract submission: 1 October 2019
E-mail: Anonymised abstracts and a separate sheet with contact details as word or PDF document to swipturkey@gmail.com. The subject heading of the e-mail should be “2019 SWIP-TR Abstract Submission”
The conference is organized by the Society for Women in Philosophy in Turkey (Swip-TR) with the support of Mugla University Philosophy Department and Bilkent University Philosophy Department.
The goal of the event is to provide a forum for women in philosophy to meet and help each other. More specifically, we wish to foster exchanges between women philosophers studying or working in Turkey as well as women from Turkey who study or work in philosophy abroad and want to stay in touch with the philosophical developments here.
The conference will consist of panels in Turkish and English on any area of philosophy spread over three days. The papers presented at the conference will be published in a special issue of Arkhe-Logos Philosophy Journal.

 

 

Written by Sandrine Berges

July 27, 2019 at 1:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Imagination and Mental Imagery Reading Group at Bilkent

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In preparation for the Exploring the Mind’s Eye interdisciplinary conference, which will take place on October 25-26 at Bilkent, we will have a reading group on imagination and mental imagery where we will discuss some papers by the conference speakers. We will have three sessions this summer, and we will continue in late September. The readings (which might be adjusted based on the participants’ suggestions) for the summer sessions are as follows:

Session 1: June 18, Tuesday, 15:00-16:30, H-355

Session 2: July 2, Tuesday, 15:00-16:30, H-355

Session 3: July 16, Tuesday, 15:00-16:30, H-355

If you are interested in joining the reading group, please contact Tufan Kıymaz.

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

 

Written by Sandrine Berges

June 25, 2019 at 4:07 pm

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Call For Poster Proposals: Interdisciplinary Conference on Imagination

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We are pleased to invite submissions to Exploring the Mind’s Eye: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Imagination for poster presentations. The conference will be held at Bilkent University, Ankara on October 25-26, 2019 and it is organized by the Departments of Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience. The aim of the conference is to bring researchers interested in the philosophy and science of imagination together to initiate discussions and possible new collaborations. For the conference webpage click here.

The deadline for poster submissions is Friday, July 12, 2019 (midnight, GMT). Poster proposals should be between 500-1000 words and they should be submitted as a PDF file at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=img2019

Travel and accommodation costs belong to the accepted poster presenters, but we can help with reserving on-campus accommodation.

There will be a Cappadocia trip on October 27-28 following the conference. The conference organizers will handle details and logistics but those interested in joining will be expected to cover their own costs. For more information about Cappadocia, click here.

 

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Possible Topics:

We invite topics on all areas related to philosophy and science of imagination, including (but not limited to):

  • The representational content of mental imagery
  • Pretence, play and imagination
  • Neuroscience of mental imagery
  • Aphantasia and similar neurological conditions
  • Psychological significance of imagination
  • Modal knowledge, conceivability and imagination
  • Mental time travel
  • Embodied imagination
  • Imagination in aesthetics and philosophy of fiction

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Adam Zeman
  • Amy Kind
  • Daniel Stoljar
  • Bence Nanay
  • Anna Abraham
  • Margot Strohminger
  • Kourken Michaelian
  • Deena Weisberg
  • Tufan Kıymaz

All questions about submissions should be emailed to imgconf@bilkent.edu.tr

(A call for registration will be announced soon. Registration is required but there won’t be a registration fee)

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 22, 2019 at 4:24 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Talk by Chris Brown at Bilkent, 21 May

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“Exclusion endures: How compatibilism allows dualists to bypass the causal closure argument”

By Chris Brown (CUNY Graduate Center, Philosophy)

Date: Tuesday 21st May, 2019 

Time: 1500-1645 

Place: H-232

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Abstract:  Jaegwon Kim maintains that his ‘exclusion argument’ forces us to accept reductive physicalism, which identifies mental and other high-level properties of the world with lower-level properties, over nonreductive physicalism, which avoids such identifications. According to Kim, the exclusion argument shows that any nonreductive view leads to either epiphenomenalism or unacceptable overdetermination of physical effects by physical causes. However, a popular nonreductive physicalist approach called ‘compatibilism’ aims to show that physicalism need not collapse high-level properties into lower-level physical. Compatibilism attempts to block the exclusion argument by attending to the tight modal relationship between higher and lower properties required by nonreductive physicalism. Unfortunately, a similarly tight modal relationship will be embraced by any dualists who hold that natural laws are metaphysically necessary. Despite its increasingly widespread popularity among nonreductive physicalists, it thus seems that the compatibilist’s proposed solution cannot be upheld without removing the barriers to dualists of this sort.

About the speaker: Chris Brown is a PhD student in philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center. He works primarily in philosophy of mind, metaphysics and Nietzsche, with an emphasis on the mind-body problem, physicalism, and Nietzschean psychology and value theory. He has publications in Analysis, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Erkenntnis and Topoi.

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 19, 2019 at 12:20 pm

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Talk by Walter Veit at Bilkent, 16 May

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“Ecological Scaffolding and Natural Selection”

By Walter Veit (Bristol, Philosophy)

Date: Thursday, 16th May, 2019 

Time: 1640-1800 

Place: A-130

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Abstract: For decades Darwinian processes were framed in the form of the Lewontin conditions: reproduction, variation and differential reproductive success were taken to be sufficient and necessary. Since Buss (1987) and the work of Maynard Smith and Szathmáry (1995) biologists were eager to explain the major transitions from individuals to groups forming new individuals subject to Darwinian mechanisms themselves. Explanations that seek to explain the emergence of a new level of selection, however, cannot employ properties that would already have to exist on that level for selection to take place. Recently, Hammerschmidt et al. (2014) provided a ‘bottom-up’ experiment corroborating much of the theoretical work Paul Rainey has done since 2003 on how cheats can play an important role in the emergence of new Darwinian individuals on a multicellular level. The aims of this paper are twofold. First, I argue for a conceptual shift in perspective from seeing cheats as (i) a ‘problem’ that needs to be solved for multi-cellularity to evolve to (ii) the very ‘key’ for the evolution of multicellularity. Secondly, I illustrate the consequence of this shift for both theoretical and experimental work, arguing for a more prominent role of ecology and the multi-level selection framework within the debate then they currently occupy.

About the speaker: Walter Veit is currently a graduate student at the University of Bristol studying Philosophy of Biology and Cognitive Sciences. Before that, he studied Philosophy & Economics at the University of Bayreuth, with some minor interruptions – an internship at the European Parliament, a research project at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology and a semester abroad at the University of Helsinki.

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 14, 2019 at 11:26 am

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Talk by Katalin Balog at Bilkent, 15 May

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“Either/or: subjectivity, objectivity, and value”

By Katalin Balog (Rutgers, Philosophy)

Date: Wednesday, 15 May, 2019

Time: 1640-1800

Place: H-232

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Abstract: I propose a novel framework in philosophical psychology – one that is based on an underappreciated distinction made by Kierkegaard in a number of his major works – to shed new light on central questions in ethics. The main theme of this project is that since subjectivity, in ways that have not been widely appreciated, plays a key role in constituting value, the process of finding meaning, pursuing worthwhile projects and developing as persons is inextricably linked to a kind of thought – of which contemplation and reflection are examples – that is distinct from conceptual thinking and that has received too little attention in understanding the mind. My conclusion is that cultivating this kind of thought is necessary in the pursuit of a good life.

About the speaker: Katalin Balog is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University-Newark. Her primary areas of research are the philosophy of mind/psychology and metaphysics. The problems that interest her most are, the nature of consciousness, subjectivity, the self, and free will. In her writings she argues that our lack of understanding the connection between mind and body is due to the nature of phenomenal concepts. According to her view, phenomenal concepts are partly constituted by the phenomenal states they apply to. She also argues that no matter whether the ultimate nature of consciousness is physical or non-physical, our subjective take on it plays a very special role in our lives that no objective understanding can possibly play. Professor Balog has published in journals such as Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Synthese, Journal of Consciousness Studies, and The Philosophical Review.  She was the Winner in the American Philosophical Association’s 2017 Public Philosophy Op-Ed Contest for the essay “’Son of Saul’, Kierkegaard and the Holocaust” which appeared in the New York Times. In addition, she has some recent essays on philosophy, culture, and politics on 3 Quarks Daily.

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 10, 2019 at 11:37 am

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MA in philosophy at Bilkent

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We are now accepting applications for the M.A. in Philosophy (for those starting the degree in Fall 2019).

All successful applicants will receive a comprehensive scholarship(tuition waiver, accommodation support, private health insurance, and monthly stipend).

Up to five successful applicants will have the opportunity to spend a semester at the School of Philosophy at Australian National University. [Photos]

The philosophy department at Bilkent is ranked #1 in Turkey for research. Our research focuses on central areas of analytic philosophy: metaphysics and philosophy of mind, and social and political philosophy. We also have strengths in the history of philosophy.

Applicants from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. We also welcome applications from international students. The language of instruction for all courses is English.

Admission to the Program is highly competitive.

Admission requirements and online application can be found here. Note that the English language proficiency scores are not required for native English speakers.

Deadlines for Fall 2019 applicants:-
Application deadline: 8 June 2019 (at 5.30pm local time)
Written exam for invited candidates: 13 June 2019*
Interview for invited candidates: 14 June 2019*

* International students may take the written exam remotely and complete the interview via skype. A similar arrangement may be possible for Turkish students who are not based in Ankara.

MA 2019 Poster

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 8, 2019 at 10:54 am

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Registration closing soon! Phil of Bio conference at Bilkent.

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Written by Sandrine Berges

May 6, 2019 at 9:03 pm

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MBB talk at Bilkent: Hannah Read, 17 April

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Hannah Read (Duke, Philosophy)

“Empathy Education: A Response to Affective Polarization.”

Date: Wednesday, 17 April, 2019

Time: 1240 – 1330

Place: H-232

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

Abstract: In this talk, I propose empathy education as a response to the problem of affective polarization, or extreme antagonism towards moral and political opponents. More specifically, I suggest that empathy is a promising means of mitigating affective polarization and the highly negative practical, epistemic, and moral outcomes it can yield. I also maintain that empathy education of certain kinds plays a crucial role in motivating empathy for opponents, including those towards whom one is affectively polarized.

About the speaker: Hannah Read is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at Duke University. Before Duke, she completed her MA in Philosophy at Tufts University and her BA in Philosophy and Literary Studies at The New School University. Her work falls primarily within moral philosophy, especially moral psychology and metaethics. She has additional interests in feminist philosophy and the philosophy of education. Hannah’s dissertation aims to address problems associated with sharp moral disagreement, including extreme antagonism and incivility between moral opponents. She is currently developing an account of the way in which empathy and perspective taking might play a crucial role in ameliorating antagonism and incivility between moral opponents by helping them understand and find common ground with one another.

Web: www.phil.bilkent.edu.tr 

Written by Sandrine Berges

April 11, 2019 at 4:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

SWIP-TR talk: Lisa Shapiro at Bilkent 12 April

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“The Challenges of Being a Thinking Thing”

By Lisa C. Shapiro (Simon Fraser University, Philosophy)

Date: Friday, 12 April, 2019

Time: 1100-1230

Place: H-232

This is a SWIP-TR event.

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Abstract: What is it to be a thinking thing? What is it to teach someone to be a thinking thing? I look to the school at Saint-Cyr founded by Madame Maintenon to problematize our understanding of a Cartesian thinking thing as simply conscious awareness and to motivate an alternative interpretation which holds that thinking is involves essentially owning one’s thoughts, where this ownership is an achievement – the result of an active norm-governed process. If thinking is, in this sense, an achievement, it is an ability that we develop. The curriculum at Saint-Cyr also highlights three challenges of this way of thinking of thinking: the pedagogical challenge of how to teach someone to own one’s own thoughts; the autonomy challenge presented by the fact that thinking involves practice and so habituation, making it difficult to distinguish autonomic from true cognitive activity; and lastly, the affective challenge presented by the infusion of all education, including that of thinking, with moral norms.

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About the speaker: Lisa Shapiro is Professor of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University. Her research focuses on the 17th and 18th century, and in particular the theory of emotions, and the works of women philosophers of that period. Professor Shapiro is the lead investigator for a series of grants for the project New Narratives in the History of Philosophy. Among her publications is a translation of the correspondence between Elisabeth of Bohemia and Rene Descartes. Find out more about Lisa Shapiro here.

 

 

Written by Sandrine Berges

April 1, 2019 at 3:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Jack Woods at Bilkent – POSTPONED

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“The Disunity of Truth as a Working Hypothesis”

By Jack Woods (Leeds, Philosophy) (co-author, Dan Waxman)

Date: tba

Time: tba

Place: tba

 

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Abstract:  Many contemporary philosophers are engaged in the project of constructing theories of truth. But what exactly does this project consist in—what are the terms of engagement? Here is a natural pair of views about what we’re up to. First, as a descriptive matter, the ordinary intuitive concept of truth is inconsistent, or at least jointly inconsistent with our actual logical concepts. Second, as a result, the aim of constructing a theory of truth is to provide a revisionary theory which “limits the damage”. And the idea here is to isolate the main functional role that the ordinary notion of truth was supposed to play, and construct (insofar as it’s possible) a maximally strong, consistent theory which best serves that role.

Thinking of things this way, though, invites a question. Why would we think that there exists a single unified role for our notion of truth to play? After all, truth is put to a range of different uses which, on their face, differ wildly from one another. In pure mathematics, we use the notion of truth to distinguish intended from unintended models and to prove otherwise undecidable sentences. In natural language semantics, we use the notion of truth to give a compositional theory of meaning. In studying human behavior, we use the notion of truth to explain how we reliably and successfully achieve our aims. In epistemology, we use the notion of truth as a target for belief, assertion, and justification. And more generally, we seem to use truth in many domains as a mere device of generalization.

Focusing on these quite distinct roles for a truth concept to play naturally leads one to wonder whether a single concept is capable of playing them all. More specifically, once the diversity of roles of truth is made clear, there seems to be space for a radically disunified view of truth: perhaps the aim of damage limitation might be better served by allowing our naive—inconsistent—notion of truth to fragment into several different notions, each of which is locally suited for one of the projects of the kind mentioned above. In other words, these quite distinct roles seem to suggest that we flirt with a version of alethic pluralism.

About the speaker: Jack Woods is University Academic Fellow in Mathematical Philosophy at the University of Leeds. He works in the philosophy of logic, language, and metaethics. He also has interests in ancient philosophy. His recent work has focused on a defense of a conventional approach to normativity, especially the normativity of logic. He taught previously at the Department of Philosophy at Bilkent University and did his graduate work at Princeton University under John Burgess. He has published in journals such as Ethics, Philosophical Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Logic, Nous, and Philosophia Mathematica.

Written by Sandrine Berges

March 29, 2019 at 1:40 pm

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MBB Seminar at Bilkent tomorrow: Ercument Cicek

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Ercument Cicek (Bilkent, Computer Engineering)

“ST-Steiner: A Spatio-Temporal Gene Discovery Algorithm.”

Date: Wednesday, 27 March, 2019

Time: 1240 – 1330

Place: A-130

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

Abstract: Whole exome sequencing (WES) studies for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) could identify only around six dozen risk genes to date because the genetic architecture of the disorder is highly complex. To speed the gene discovery process up, a few network-based ASD gene discovery algorithms were proposed. Although these methods use static gene interaction networks, functional clustering of genes is bound to evolve during neurodevelopment and disruptions are likely to have a cascading effect on the future associations. Thus, approaches that disregard the dynamic nature of neurodevelopment are limited in power. In this talk, I will present a spatio-temporal gene discovery algorithm for progressive disorders, which leverages information from evolving gene coexpression networks. in the context of ASD, the algorithm solves an adapted prize collecting Steiner forest based problem on coexpression networks to model neurodevelopment and transfer information from precursor neurodevelopmental windows. The decisions made by the algorithm can be traced back, adding interpretability to the results. We apply the algorithm on WES data of 3,871 samples and identify risk clusters using BrainSpan coexpression networks of early- and mid-fetal periods. On an independent dataset, we show that incorporation of the temporal dimension increases the predictive power: Predicted clusters are hit more and show higher enrichment in ASD-related functions compared to the state-of-the-art.

About the speakerErcument Cicek earned his BS and MS degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from Sabanci University. He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University in 2013. During his Ph.D., he visited Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to work on gene discovery algorithms for Autism Spectrum Disorder. After graduation, he worked as a Lane Fellow in Computational Biology at Carnegie Mellon University till 2015. Since then, he is an assistant professor in the Computer Engineering Department of Bilkent University and is an adjunct faculty member in the Computational Biology Department of Carnegie Mellon University. Short bio: Ercument Cicek earned his BS and MS degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from Sabanci University. He received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University in 2013. During his Ph.D., he visited Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to work on gene discovery algorithms for Autism Spectrum Disorder. After graduation, he worked as a Lane Fellow in Computational Biology at Carnegie Mellon University till 2015. Since then, he is an assistant professor in the Computer Engineering Department of Bilkent University and is an adjunct faculty member in the Computational Biology Department of Carnegie Mellon University.

Written by Sandrine Berges

March 26, 2019 at 11:03 am

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Applications open for MA in Philosophy at Bilkent.

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The department of philosophy at Bilkent is now accepting applications for the M.A. in Philosophy (for those starting the degree in Fall 2019).

All successful applicants will receive a comprehensive scholarship(tuition waiver, accommodation support, private health insurance, and monthly stipend).

Up to five successful applicants will have the opportunity to spend a semester at the School of Philosophy at Australian National University. [Photos]

The philosophy department at Bilkent is ranked #1 in Turkey for research. Our research focuses on central areas of analytic philosophy: metaphysics and philosophy of mind, and social and political philosophy. We also have strengths in the history of philosophy.

Applicants from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. We also welcome applications from international students. The language of instruction for all courses is English.

Admission to the Program is highly competitive.

Admission requirements and online application can be found here. Note that the English language proficiency scores are not required for native English speakers.

Deadlines for Fall 2019 applicants:-
Application deadline: 8 June 2019 (at 5.30pm local time)
Written exam for invited candidates: 13 June 2019*
Interview for invited candidates: 14 June 2019*

* International students may take the written exam remotely and complete the interview via skype. A similar arrangement may be possible for Turkish students who are not based in Ankara.

See the Philosophy Department webpage for poster and details.

Inquiries to philgrad@bilkent.edu.tr

Apply here.

Written by Sandrine Berges

March 10, 2019 at 1:02 pm

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Recent Trends in the Philosophy of Biology at Bilkent: Registration Open

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Please note that there are limited places and that registration is compulsory. You can register here .

 

Recent Trends in the Philosophy of Biology – May 17-18, Bilkent University Philosophy Department.

Philosophy of biology is a field of study that aims to solve conceptual puzzles within the biomedical sciences, as well as illuminate traditional questions in philosophy by appealing to biological knowledge. About 40 years ago, philosophy of biology was still a niche topic in the philosophy of science. Now that the field has matured into a thriving sub-discipline engaging philosophers and biologists alike, it is time to take stock. Where is the field going? What are some of the questions that still require work? And what new methods are available to address them? In an effort to address these issues, this interdisciplinary conference will explore some of the recent trends in the philosophy of biology.

Keynotes: Laura Franklin-Hall (NYU), Barry Loewer (Rutgers), Alexander Rosenberg (Duke), & Elliott Sober (Wisconsin-Madison).

Speakers: Beate Krickel (Ruhr-University of Bochum), Adrian Currie (Exeter), Thomas Pradeu (CNRS/ Bordeaux), Arnon Levy (Hebrew University), Topaz Halperin (Hebrew University),  Mehmet Elgin (Muğla University), & Rafael Ventura (Bilkent University).

Dates: May 17-18, 2019

Host Department: Philosophy, Bilkent University

Mandatory Registration: Limited seats are available for this event. Attendance is free for all graduate students, post-docs, independent researchers and faculty, but advance registration is required.  Click here to register.

Written by Sandrine Berges

March 7, 2019 at 8:31 am

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Talk by Poppy Mankowitz at Bilkent 1 March

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Verbal Disputes and Variance

By Poppy Mankowitz (St Andrews, Philosophy)

Date: Friday1st March, 2019 

Time: 1100-1230 

Place: H-232

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AbstractThere has been much recent interest in the idea that, when philosophers disagree over existence claims like ‘There are numbers’, ‘Chairs exist’ or ‘There are some objective moral facts’, their dispute is merely verbal: they are disagreeing about the meaning of certain words rather than about something more substantive. It is important to clearly articulate and assess this view, since it threatens to undermine the aims and conclusions of a broad range of arguments within philosophy. In this talk, I will argue that the existing analysis of verbal disputes in the philosophical literature is incompatible with the way natural language theorists analyze meaning. I will claim that the best theories of natural language support an alternative strategy for modelling the idea of a merely verbal dispute. Moreover, this strategy provides clearer criteria for recognizing when, if ever, disputes over existence claims are merely verbal.

About the speaker: Poppy Mankowitz completed her doctoral studies at the University of St Andrews (Arché Philosophical Research Center) and her MPhil at King’s College London. She works primarily on the philosophy of language, semantics and metaphysics. She is currently Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the New University of Lisbon (Nova Institute of Philosophy). Her current research centers on the way we structure information within discourse, and how attending to information structure can resolve a range of philosophical problems. Dr Mankowitz has a forthcoming article in Mind & Language, entitled ‘Triggering Domain Restriction’. 

Web: www.phil.bilkent.edu.tr 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bilkent.philosophy

Written by Sandrine Berges

February 25, 2019 at 2:04 pm

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Talk by Alexander Skiles at Bilkent 22 February

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“Essence, Modality, and Identity”

By Alexander Skiles (MIT, Linguistics and Philosophy/ University of Gothenburg, Philosophy)

Date: Friday, 22nd February, 2019 

Time: 1100-1230 

Place: H-232 

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Abstract:  In this talk, I defend an essentialist account of metaphysical necessity and possibility against several recent challenges. The account differs from other essentialist approaches in the literature in two key respects. First, it is non-objectualist in that it denies that the source of metaphysical necessity and possibility ultimately resides in the essences of particular things. Second, it is non-primitivist in that it reductively analyzes facts about what is essential to what in terms of facts about higher-order identity. 

About the speaker: Alex Skiles is Swiss National Science Foundation ‘Advanced Postdoc.Mobility’ postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation postdoctoral researcher at the University of Gothenburg. Most of his research focuses on the following four topics: (i) non-causal explanation in metaphysics and the physical sciences, (ii) the logic of identity, essence, and individuation, (iii) the nature of existence, and (iv) logical and metaphysical issues in classical Hindu and Buddhist thought. He completed his PhD and MA in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He has published in journals such as Philosophy and Phenomenological ResearchAustralasian Journal of PhilosophyAnalysis, The Philosophical Quarterly, and Erkenntnis. 

Web: www.phil.bilkent.edu.tr 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bilkent.philosophy

Written by Sandrine Berges

February 19, 2019 at 9:07 am

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Daniel Wolt at Bilkent Tuesday 19 February

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“Two conceptions of voluntary action in the Nicomachean Ethics

By Daniel Wolt (University of Colorado at Boulder, Philosophy)

Date: Tuesday, 19th February, 2019 

Time: 1640-1800 

Place: H232 

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Abstract: It is nearly universally agreed among commentators that according to Aristotle’s account of voluntary action in the Nicomachean Ethics (NE), only voluntary actions are blameworthy. I argue for a qualified rejection of this assumption: some blameworthy actions do not meet the criteria for voluntariness set out in NE 3.1. However, in NE 3.5 and elsewhere, one finds a broader conception of voluntary action, and it is true that an action must count as voluntary on the broader conception in order to be blameworthy. While according to the narrow conception found in 3.1 voluntary actions must be under the agent’s direct control, according to the broader conception an action may count as voluntary by being under the agent’s indirect control. The compresence of these two conceptions in the NE is not simply a matter of sloppiness on Aristotle’s part. Rather, he has good philosophical reasons for employing both. 

About the speaker:  Daniel Wolt completed his doctoral studies in philosophy at Princeton University. His primary research interests are ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and ethics. His research appears in journals such as Ancient PhilosophyApeiron and Classical Quarterly. He is currently Postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of São Paulo and lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Web: www.phil.bilkent.edu.tr 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bilkent.philosophy

Written by Sandrine Berges

February 14, 2019 at 9:42 am

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Fatema Amijee at Bilkent – Friday 15 February

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Explaining Contingent Facts

By Fatema Amijee (SFU, Philosophy)

Date: Friday, 15th February, 2019 

Time: 1100-1230 

Place: H-232 

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AbstractI argue against a widely accepted principle taken to govern metaphysical explanation. This is the principle that no necessary facts can, on their own, explain a contingent fact. I then show how this result makes available a response to a longstanding objection to the Principle of Sufficient Reason—the objection that the Principle of Sufficient Reason entails that the world could not have been otherwise (i.e. that all facts are necessary).

About the speaker: Dr Amijee received her PhD from University of Texas at Austin and she is currently Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Simon Fraser University. Her main research interests are metaphysics, modern philosophyfeminist philosophy and the history of analytic philosophy (esp. Frege, Russell, and early Wittgenstein). She has published in Philosophical Studies and British Journal for the History of Philosophy. In addition, she has a forthcoming co-edited book with Oxford University Press, entitled the Principle of Sufficient Reason.

Web: www.phil.bilkent.edu.tr 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bilkent.philosophy

Written by Sandrine Berges

February 12, 2019 at 8:59 am

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Talk by Daniel Hoek at Bilkent 12 February

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“Questions in Action”

By Daniel Hoek (NYU, Philosophy)

Date: Tuesday, 12 February, 2019

Time: 1640-1800

Place: H-232

 

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Abstract: Choices confront agents with questions. Lost in a dark forest and coming to a fork in the road, you wonder Which path will get me out of here? The choice of how many eggs to buy at the supermarket raises the question How many eggs go into a spaghetti carbonara for four? And so on: whenever you make a choice, you face a question. In this talk, I outline a systematic account of the role that questions play in decision-making, in the form of a new, inquisitive decision theory. Inquisitive decision theory can account for many ordinary patterns of behaviour that classical decision theory does not capture. In particular, we can account for the distinction between recognition and recall, and for belief states that are not closed under deduction. The theory builds on a converging set of insights about the role of questions from epistemology and the philosophy of language (Dretske 1970, Schaffer 2004, Blaauw 2012, Friedman 2013, Yablo 2014, Yalcin 2016), semantics (Ciardelli, Groenendijk and Roelofsen 2013), pragmatics (Simons, Beaver, Tonnhauser and Roberts 2017), cognitive science (Koralus and Mascarenhas 2013), decision theory (Elga and Rayo 2016a/b, 2017) and the metaphysics of propositions (Yablo 2014, Fine 2017a/b).

About the speaker: Daniel Hoek studied philosophy at Oxford and New York University, and is a regular visitor at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. His core research interests are in the philosophy of language, decision theory, and the philosophy of mathematics. Last year he published his theory of conversational exculpature in The Philosophical Review (conversational exculpature is a linguistic mechanism that is, roughly speaking, the reverse of conversational implicature). In his free time he likes to translate Dutch rhymes into English, and he has the same initials as David Hume.

Written by Sandrine Berges

February 7, 2019 at 11:21 am

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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.

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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