Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for the ‘Ancient Philosophy’ Category

Talk at Istanbul Bilgi 17 March: Geoffrey Bowe, “Socratic Spaces: Ingress and Egress, Inside and Outside – Setting in Plato’s Dialogues”

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WhatsApp Image 2020-02-26 at 15.01.44

Written by roberthowton

February 26, 2020 at 2:36 pm

Posted in Ancient Philosophy

Talk at Koç 25 February: Victoria Rowe Holbrook, “Plato in the Quran: Seeing the Truth”

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Dr. Victoria Rowe Holbrook (İstanbul Bilgi) will present “Plato in the Quran: Seeing the Truth” as part of the Certificate in Classical Studies Guest Lecture Series at Koç University.

Time and Date: 17:30-19:00 on Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Location: SOS B11, Koç University

Abstract: Plato’s thought was a major factor in the Arabic Translation Movement of the 9th-10th centuries, and myriad afterlives of his topics and themes are attested in philosophical and imaginative literature in Persian and Turkish.  The status of Hellenism in the oral culture of 7th-century pre-Islamic Arabia, however, is only beginning to be assessed.  My recent research is focused on Platonic material in the Gracious Quran.  In this talk I will analyze the Quranic transposition of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

About the Speaker: Victoria Rowe Holbrook teaches philosophy in the Istanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Architecture.  She acquired her B.A. from Harvard University and her M.A and Ph.D. from Princeton Near Eastern Studies.  She has taught at Columbia, Bosphorus, Koç and Bilkent Universities, as well as at Ohio State University, where for eighteen years she directed the program she founded in Ottoman and Modern Turkish Literary and Cultural Studies.  She has published numerous articles, monographs and translations in the fields of Islamic thought and Turkish literature. The Turkish translation of her The Unreadable Shores of Love: Turkish Modernity and Mystic Romance is in its 7th printing, and among her translations are The White Castle by Orhan Pamuk, The New Cultural Climate in Turkey by Nurdan Gürbilek, Listen: The Spiritual Couplets of Mevlana Rumi by Kenan Rifai, and the forthcoming O Mankind, a commentary on the Quran by Cemalnur Sargut. 

Plato in the Quran_ Seeing the Truth (2)-1


Written by roberthowton

February 19, 2020 at 2:37 pm

New Book on Diogenes of Oinoanda

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Diogenes of Oinoanda: Epicureanism and Philosophical Debates, ed. Jürgen Hammerstaedt, Pierre-Marie Morel and Refik Güremen, Leuven University Press, 2017.

First collection of essays entirely devoted to the inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda

“This is a very strong cast of contributors and the cumulative effect of the contributions is an important step forward in thinking about Diogenes of Oinoanda.” – Dr James Warren, University of Cambridge
List of Illustrations
Martin Ferguson Smith
Foreword. The Importance of Diogenes of Oinoanda
Pierre-Marie Morel and Jürgen Hammerstaedt
Martin Bachmann
Oinoanda. Research in the City of Diogenes
Jürgen Hammerstaedt
The Philosophical Inscription of Diogenes in the Epigraphic Context of Oinoanda. New Finds, New Research, and New Challenges
Michael Erler
Diogenes against Plato. Diogenes’ Critique and the Tradition of Epicurean Antiplatonism
Francesco Verde
Plato’s Demiurge (NF 155 = YF 200) and Aristotle’s Flux (fr. 5 Smith). Diogenes of Oinoanda on the History of Philosophy
Giuliana Leone
Diogène d’Œnoanda et la polémique sur les meteora
Francesca Masi
Virtue, Pleasure, and Cause. A case of multi-target polemic? Diogenes of Oenoanda, fr. 32-33 Smith
Voula Tsouna
Diogenes of Oinoanda and the Cyrenaics
Jean-Baptiste Gourinat
La critique des stoïciens dans l’inscription d’Œnoanda
Refik Güremen
Diogenes of Oinoanda and the Epicurean Epistemology of Dreams
Alain Gigandet
Diogène, Lucrèce et la théorie épicurienne de l’imaginaire. Fragment 9 – De rerum natura IV 971-993
Pierre-Marie Morel
La Terre entière, une seule patrie. Diogène d’Œnoanda et la politique
Geert Roskam
Diogenes’ Polemical Approach, or How to Refute a Philosophical Opponent in an Epigraphic Context
Abbreviations used for Diogenes and other Inscriptions of Oinoanda
About the Authors
Index of Places
Index of Gods and Mythological Figures or Concepts
Index of Ancient Persons, Philosophical Schools and Concepts
Index of Persons of Modern Times
Index of Ancient Texts

Written by Sandrine Berges

May 18, 2017 at 9:37 am

Prof. Osman Bakar // The Epistemologies of al-Farabi and al-Ghazzali: Comparative Perspectives

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Istanbul Sehir University Philosophy Talks 17



“The Epistemologies of al-Farabi and al-Ghazzali: Comparative Perspectives”

Prof. Osman Bakar

Distinguished Professor and Director Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS) Universiti Brunei Darussalam

Al-Farabi (870 AD– 950 AD) and al-Ghazzali (1058 AD – 1111 AD) are among the intellectual giants in the history of Islam. They were separated in time by nearly two centuries but judging from their writings they appeared to have been contemporaries. They belonged to two different intellectual schools of thought, al-Farabi to the Peripatetic school and al-Ghazzali to the school of kalam (“dialectical theology”). Their thoughts have both similarities and differences. Professor Bakar will discuss their similar ideas such as in their acceptance of the ideas of hierarchy of knowledge and tawhidic epistemology as well as their differences with regard to their understanding of the relationship between intellect-reason and revelation, their notions of philosophy, and the relationship between religion and philosophy. Professor Bakar presents arguments that despite their differences on many intellectual issues they are united in their thinking at a deeper level and as such are to be regarded as coming from the same intellectual universe of Islam.


Written by metindemirsehir

December 11, 2015 at 1:35 pm

Assos conference proceedings in Cambridge University Press

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The summer 2010 conference organised by Örsan Öymen at Assos, on the topic of Aristotle’s Politics, has given rise to a volume published by Cambridge and edited by two of the speakers at the conference, Pierre Destree and Marguerite Deslauriers. Details of the conference can be found on the Philosophy in Assos webpage (click on ‘Information’ and scroll down to July 2010).

Congratulations to Örsan, and everyone else involved!


Those of you who’ve been to one of the Assos conferences, will recognize the view of the Temple of Athena on the cover – the starting point of the conference every summer!

Written by Sandrine Berges

August 12, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Diogenes of Oenoanda at Galatasaray and in Muğla

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Colloque International
Diogène d’Œnoanda : Épicurisme et Controverses Philosophiques
22-24 septembre 2014 – Istanbul/Muğla

Université Galatasaray – ISTANBUL

Première Journée – 22. 09. 2014 Lundi
09.00 – 09.45 Accueil des participants
10.00 – 10.20 Ouverture du colloque
10.20 – 11.20 Francesca Masi (Università Ca’Foscari – Venezia) « Pleasure, Virtue and Cause. Diogenes of Oenoanda and the Stoics »
11.20 – 12.20 Voula Tsouna (University of California – Santa Barbara) « Diogenes of Oenoanda on the Cyrenaics and the Sceptics »
12.30 – 14.00 Déjeuner
14.00 – 15.00 Francesco Verde (Università Roma I – ‘La Sapienza’) « Plato’s Demiurge (NF 155) and Aristotle’s Flux (fr. 5 Smith): Diogenes of Oinoanda on History of Philosophy »
15.00 – 16.00 Michael Erler (Julius–Maximilians – Universität Würzburg Institut für Klassische Philologie) « Diogenes against Plato. Diogenes’ Critique and the tradition of Epicurean Antiplatonism »
16.00 – 16.20 Pause
16.20 – 17.20 Jean-Baptiste Gourinat (CNRS UMR 8061, Centre Léon Robin) « La critique des stoïciens dans l’Inscription »

Deuxième Journée – 23.09.2014 Mardi
10.00 – 11.00 Dirk Obbink (University of Oxford) « Diogenes of Oenoanda on the Gods »
11.00 – 12.00 Alain Gigandet (Paris) « Diogène d’Oenoanda fr. 9 – Lucrèce, IV, 973-86: un élément-clé de la théorie épicurienne de l’imaginaire »
12.00 – 13.30 Déjeuner
17.00 Départ à Muğla

Université de MUǦLA

Troisième Journée – 24.09.2014 Mercredi
09.00 – 10.00 Accueil des participants
10.00 – 11.00 Martin Bachmann (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut – Istanbul) « Framework and Results of the Oinoanda Survey Project 2007-2012 »
11.00 – 12.00 Jürgen Hammerstaedt (Universität zu Köln) « The importance of the site of Oinoanda and its inscriptions for interdisciplinary research, the cultural heritage and the society of the 21st century »
12.00 – 12.30 Pause
12.30 – 13.30 Geert Roskam (KU Leuven – Catholic University of Leuven) « Diogenes’ Polemical Approach, or How to Refute a Philosophical Opponent in an Epigraphic Context »
13.30 – 14.30 Déjeuner
14.30 – 15.30 Pierre-Marie Morel (Université Paris 1 Panthéon – Sorbonne UMR 7219 – Institut Universitaire de France) « Diogène d’Œnoanda et la politique »
15.30 – 16.30 Giuliana Leone (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) « Diogène d’Oenoanda et la polémique sur les meteora »
16.30 – 16.45 Pause
16.45 – 17.45 Refik Güremen (Mimar Sinan University – Istanbul) « Diogenes of Oinoanda and the Epicurean Epistemology of Dreams »

Clôture du colloque

Comité d’organisation :
Pierre-Marie Morel (Université Paris I Panthéon – Sorbonne)
Jürgen Hammerstaedt (Universität zu Köln)
Refik Güremen (Université Mimar Sinan – refikg2001@yahoo.com )
Ömer Orhan Aygün (Université Galatasaray)

Pour toute information : refikg2001@yahoo.com

Institutions partenaires :

Deutsches Archäologisches Institut – Istanbul (http://www.dainst.org/)

Institut Français des Etudes Anatoliennes (www.ifea-istanbul.net/)

Mugla University (www.mu.edu.tr/)

Written by Sandrine Berges

July 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Talk at Bilkent – Adam Crager (Princeton): “Aristotle on the Finitude of Essence”

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Adam Crager form Princeton University will give a talk at the Bilkent University, Department of Philosophy on April 10, 2014 Thursday at 17:40 o’clock, Room G160.

Written by Doğan Erişen

April 8, 2014 at 10:22 am

CFP: Commentating as Philosophy and the Abrahamic Interpreter,s July 2-5, 2014, Istanbul

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***Call extended to March 14, 2014**

Commentating as Philosophy and the Abrahamic Interpreters

July 2-5, 2014, Istanbul


 “Commentating as Philosophy and the Abrahamic Interpreters” is a conference second in a trilogy, entitled, “The Abrahamic Trilogy”. The trilogy is about the development and reception of Greek philosophy in the Abrahamic traditions. While the first conference was about Proclus, and his influence, the present conference will focus on the form of philosophy that was dominant until the early modern period.

The Abrahamic religions have a set of revealed holy texts which are intended to reveal the nature of God, creation, man’s place in it and his true destiny. As such, believers or those entrusted to guide the believers can or ought to have recourse to these texts to explain the nature of things. The intellectual and moral life was framed in interaction with a text. Parallel to this, one can view a similar tendency with the philosophical movement known as middle Platonism: here, philosophy was done by turning to the texts of Plato and Aristotle and either making commentaries on them or employing their texts liberally in independent treatises. These two threads meet powerfully, for example, in the Jewish philosopher from Alexandria, Philo. What is unique about Philo is how he used the philosophical concepts and systems of Plato and, to a lesser extent, Aristotle, to explain the Torah. Augustine claimed only to understand the Bible after reading the works of the Platonists and whose Biblical commentaries dominated the Latin west. Ibn-Sina also wrote many commentaries on Aristotle and developed his own system in that dialogue. Thus, for 1600 years, whether by a pagan or Abrahamic philosopher, the dominant mode of philosophising was done by means of writing commentaries.

The conference will, thus, explore the development of the commentary tradition within the ancient pagan world and the influence of that Greek commentary among Jews, Christians and Muslims and will focus on what it means to philosophise in a necessary interaction with a set texts that marks it off from early modern philosophy.

Confirmed speakers:

Prof. Richard Sorabji, CBE, FBA, (Wolfson College, Oxford and Emeritus, King’s College, London) will give the key-note lecture. Prof. Zev Harvey (Emeritus Prof. at Hebrew University and Columbia University) will give the plenary lecture on Jewish account and Prof. Thomas Leinkauf (Westfälischen Wilhelms Universität Münster) on the Christian account and Asst. Prof. Olga Lizzini (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) the Islamic account.

Please submit an abstract of approximately 500 words by March 14, 2014 to  https://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=cpai14 [You must create an account there to upload your paper.] Notification of acceptances will be rolling. For further questions, please contact David Butorac at davidbutorac<atgoeshere>arxai.org and Marie-Élise (Lise) Zovko at lisezovko<atgoeshere>gmail.com. Papers will be 20-25 minutes long, although there may be some flexibility given some merit. Please see the conference website: http://www.arxai.org

The conference will take place at Sismanoglu Megaro (Greek Consulate) and Halki Seminary, Halki Island / Heybeliada, Istanbul from July 2-5, 2014.


Plato Society of Zagreb

Institute of Philosophy (Zagreb)

Confirmed Sponsors

The Onassis Foundation

The Consulate General of Greece in Istanbul

The Consulate General of Israel in Istanbul

Halki Seminary – Greek Ecumenical Patriarchate

Written by davidbutorac

March 11, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Series of Workshops in Istanbul organised by the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations.

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There is a series of workshops organised by the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, in Istanbul. Some of these may be of interest to philosophers. The first workshop is on 28/02/2014, and is on “Identity Construction through Materiality”. Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

David Butorac at ODTÜ / METU: Demiurgic Blues: can there be a Neoplatonic Science of Nature?

The paper will look at the Neoplatonic reception of the “Timaeus”, along with other Platonic conceptions about the nature of the sensible, and how this relates to the Platonic demand for stable objects of thought. However, I will argue, because everything other than the first principle – both the content of thought and the constitution of the sensible – is composed of the Dyad of limit and unlimited, it renders the human soul incapable of having stable object, apart from the One. A science of nature is, in principle, impossible. Further, I will show that Proclus was trying to overcome precisely the problem of the One’s separation from multiplicity and to ground a science in that principle, but could not achieve this end.

Monday, December 16, ODTÜ / METU, room B103 in the Beşeri Binası at 14.40.

Written by davidbutorac

December 16, 2013 at 5:22 am

Live like a Stoic week is coming up: November 25th – December 1st, 2013

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Philosophers from Birkbeck, University of London, and the University of Exeter, and psychotherapists are calling on people to live like a Stoic for a week, from 25 November – 1 December 2013. Details can be found here. And here’s a link to the Stoic Week 2013 Handbook.

Might be of interest to people into Philosophy as a way of life.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

November 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm

Two talks on Ancient Philosophy at Koc University: Nicholas D. Smith (Lewis & Clark College) and Stelios C. Zyglidopoulos (University of Cambridge) [22/04/2013 & 24/04/2013]

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Nicholas D. Smith (Lewis & Clark College)

‘Socrates on Practical Deliberation’

Monday 22 April 15.30-17.00, room CAS B34, sponsored by CSSH

An argument has recently been made for the claim that Socratic philosophy leaves little room for practical deliberation. The gist of this argument is both simple and powerful: Socrates appears to regard any decision-making that is done in ignorance to be unjustified. Contemptuous, for example, of the opinions of those he calls “the many,” Socrates seems only to offer, as an alternative, only the exhortation to “lead the examined life.” But this advice can hardly serve to tell anyone (for example Euthyphro, as he considers whether to prosecute his father) what they should do in any given case. In this paper, I offer an explanation of how Socratic philosophy can actually support a wide range of practical deliberation—even for those who, like Socrates, recognize that they are ignorant of “the most important things.”


Stelios C. Zyglidopoulos (University of Cambridge)

‘The ability to rule versus the ability to become a ruler in Plato’

Wednesday 24 April, 12.30-14.00, room CAS 124, co-sponsored by GSSSH, CASE, and GSB

ABSTRACT: In this paper, I argue that there are more subtle reasons behind Plato’s pessimism that reside within the philosopher herself and the training that she has to undertake in order to become a philosopher. In particular, I argue that Plato had three additional reasons behind his belief in the incompatibility, within the same person, of the abilities to rule and the abilities to become a ruler. First, physical limitations would most likely prevent one from becoming a philosopher while still having enough time to train and engage in the ways of conventional politics, needed in becoming a ruler. In the terms of the ship of state simile (Republic, 488a-489c) there is not enough time in one’s life to both learn to read the stars and the winds, and learn how to get the ship owner drunk and flatter the crew. Second, for psychological reasons, a philosopher most likely cannot compete for political power without having a disadvantage in such a competition. Third, the two abilities, ruling and becoming a ruler, are, according to Plato, as incompatible with one another as are the abilities of the cook and the doctor (Gorgias 465b) or more to the point the rhetorician and the philosopher, who is trained in dialectic.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

April 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Manuel Knoll (Fatih) on “Who Should Rule? Aristotle’s Theory of Constitutions.’ 1/03/2013

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Manuel Knoll (Fatih) will give a talk on Friday 1/03/2013 at Bogazici University, TB130, 5-7pm. Everyone welcome!

Who Should Rule? Aristotle’s Theory of Constitutions

ABSTRACT: According to Aristotle’s theory, kingship, aristocracy and polity (politeia) are good constitutions. In all of them the rulers govern for the common good and not for their personal advantage. However, among scholars it is disputed which of these three constitutions Aristotle prefers, and how his outline of the best constitution is to be understood. The talk introduces this controversy and argues that Aristotle’s political preference is an aristocracy in which the morally and intellectually best citizens rule. It concludes with some reflections on whether such a constitution could serve as a model to reform contemporary democracies.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 23, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Dominic O’Meara on Proclus, Geometry and the Architecture of Hagia Sophia

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As a part of the conference, Arxai: Proclus Diadochus of Constantinople and his Abrahamic Interpreters, Prof. Dominic O’Meara (Université de Fribourg) will present a public lecture entitled, “Geometry as an Image of the Divine in Proclus and in the Architecture of Hagia Sophia”. The lecture will take place on Saturday December 15, 2012, at 8pm at Santa Maria Draperis Church on Istiklaal. (In the direction of Tunel, the church is about 160 m past Galatasaray Lisesi, on the left, down a set of stairs.)

Together with the lecture,  the CorISTAnbul Chamber Choir and Orchestra, featuring Kevork Tavityan, baritone.

For further information about the choir, see http://coristanbul.com/.

About the conference:

The conference as a whole is sponsored by the Consulate General of Greece in Istanbul, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as a part of the celebration of “400 years of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey”, and the Consulate General of Israel in Istanbul. The university sponsors are Fatih University, Bogazici University and Yildiz Technical University. The conference takes place under the auspices of the ISNS.

For further information, see http://arxai.org/conferences/abrahamictrilogy/program and for questions, email David Butorac at davidbutorac@arxai.org.

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Written by davidbutorac

December 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm