Hesperus is Bosphorus

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Archive for the ‘Kant’ Category

Two talks on Political Philosophy by David Owen (Southampton) at Boğaziçi on 19th and 20th of April, 2018

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“Conflict and Norms in Kant and Nietzsche: Freedom as Independence, Self-Love, and the Rivalrous Emotions”

Thursday, April 19th, 5pm-7pm, JF507

Abstract: In Daybreak Nietzsche presents his project of re-evaluation as, in part, oriented to the following task: ‘we shall restore to men their goodwill towards the actions decried as egoistic and restore to these actions their value – we shall deprive them of their bad conscience!’ (D s.148) Why is the distinction between ‘egoistic’ and ‘unegoistic’ significant for Nietzsche? In this paper, I address this question by considering Kant’s and Nietzsche’s contrasting views concerning freedom, conflict and the rivalrous emotions. The central claim advanced is that Nietzsche’s concern with restoring goodwill towards, and the value of, (a range of) egoistic actions is motivated, first, by a revaluation of the ethical value of self-love as orientation of the self to what is noble (i.e., as non-instrumental rather than instrumental value) and second by the view that competition between persons to cultivate their relevant excellences of character is integral to securing the practical relation to self constitutive of autonomous agency and hence that rivalrous emotional responses to others may be expressions of virtue. A Kantian legal order of non-domination may, on this account, be decadent in a way that Kantian morality exacerbates.

“Refugees and responsibilities of justice”

Friday, April 20th, 5-7pm, JF507

Abstract: This essay develops an account of the shared responsibility of states to refugees and of how the character of that responsibility effects the ways in which it can be fairly shared. However, it moves beyond the question of the general obligations that states owe to refugees to consider ways in which refugee choices and refugee voice can be given appropriate standing with the global governance of refuge. It offers an argument for the normative significance of refugee’s reasons for choosing states of asylum and linked this to consideration of a refugee matching system and to refugee quota trading conceived as responsibility-trading, before turning to the issue of the inclusion of refugee voice in relation to the justification of the norms of refugee governance and in relation to the institutions and practices of refugee governance through which those norms are given practical expression.


David Owen is Professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Southampton. He has published widely across three main research areas: Nietzsche and post-Kantian critical theory encompassing post-structuralism and the Frankfurt School); Problems of Political Community addressing issues of multiculturalism and migration; and Democratic Theory ranging from foundational to policy-relevant levels of analysis. His current research projects address the structure of agonist political theory and its relationship to perfectionism and realism, and the ethics and politics of migration and transnational citizenship. His most recent books are Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morality (Acumen, 2007) and two co-edited volumes Multiculturalism and Political Theory (Cambridge University Press 2007) and Recognition and Power (Cambridge University Press, 2007). He is co-editor of the Critical Powers book series for Bloomsbury Academic and of Citizenship Transitions for Palgrave Macmillan, and Book Reviews Editor for the journal Political Theory. He also serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Nietzsche Studies, Max Weber Studies and Political Studies Review. In recent years he has been Visiting Professor of Politics (2008) and of Philosophy (2010) at the Goethe University, Frankfurt.


The talks are organized a part of the joint Boğaziçi -Southampton Newton-Katip Çelebi project AF140071 “Agency and Autonomy: Kant and the Normative Foundations of Republican Self-Government” run by Lucas Thorpe (Boğaziçi) and Andrew Stephenson (Southampton).

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 21, 2018 at 6:32 pm

Talk at BETİM: Kant’s Anthropology – by Marc Rölli (Zürich), Thu. 28 May 2015

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Kant’s Anthropology: Between Universalism and Inegalitarianism

Prof. Dr. Marc Rölli, Zürich (Switzerland)

Thu. 28 May 2015, 5.15 – 7.15 pm

(Talk in English)

Dr. Rölli Tr-En Çal  tay Afi i

Click on poster to enlarge

All welcome, registration not required.

for directions see



Written by rainerbroemer

May 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Posted in Ethics, Kant

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Kant Reading Group at Bogazici (Spring 2015, Thursdays, 5.15-7pm)

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We will be continuing with our Kant reading group at Bogazici this semester. We will meet in TB365 on Thursdays, 5.15-7pm.

We will start this Thursday (12/02/2015) by looking at Kant’s essay “On the Common Saying: that may be true in theory, but is no use in practice”. A copy of the essay can be found here.

During the first meeting we will decide what to read for the rest of the semester.

If you would like more information, or would like to be added to our mailing group, please email Melisa: melisakurtcan@gmail.com

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 9, 2015 at 11:47 am

Posted in Kant

Professor Kenneth Westphal has joined the Bogazici University Philosophy Department.

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Professor Kenneth Westphal, the internationally renowned Kant and Hegel Scholar, has joined the Bogazici philosophy department as a full-time member.

Ken Wesphal is the author or editor of 8 books, including, as author:

(1)  Kant’s Transcendental Proof of Realism (Oxford University Press)

(2) Hegel’s Epistemology: A Philosophical Introduction to the Phenomenology of Spirit (Hackett)

(3) Hegel’s Epistemological Realism: A Study of the Aim and Method of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (Springer)

(4) Hegel, Hume und die Identitat wahrnehmbarer Dinge (Klostermann)

And as editor:

(1) The Blackwell Guide to Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (Blackwell)

(2) Realism, Science, and Pragmatism (Routledge)

He has also published more than a 100 papers and articles.  Ken will be a valuable addition to the philosophy community in Turkey, and we welcome him to the department and to Turkey.

Kant Reading Group at Bogazici (Mondays, 5.15-7pm)

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Lucas Thorpe and Ken Westphal will be running a Kant Reading Group at Bogazici University that will meet every Monday from 5.15pm-7pm in TB365 (starting on Monday October 13th 2104).

We will start by reading the manuscript of Ken Westphal’s new book – Moral Constructivism: Hume’s and Kant’s Natural Law Constructivism.

Once we have finished this we will decide collectively what to read next. If you would like to join the reading group, be sent a copy of the manuscript, and be added to our mailing list, please email Zubeyde: zkaradag(at)gmail.com.

Everyone welcome.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

October 5, 2014 at 12:17 pm


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Dr. Ruhi Demiray (Keele/Kocaeli) is organizing the following panel at the European Congress of Political Research in Glasgow in September, 2014, and asked me to advertise the following call for proposals.


The ECPR General Conference that will take place at the University of Glasgow between 3-6 September 2014 will include a section on “Kant and Kantian Constructivism”. We are to convene a panel under this section with the title of “Kantian Constructivism in Legal Philosophy”, the topics of which is described below. We will welcome your paper proposals until 8 February 2014. Proposals should include an abstract (max. 150 words) and basic information about author(s). Please send your proposals to ruhidemiray@ymail.com or m.r.demiray@keele@ac.uk.

Description of the Topic:

Political and legal theory is divided by two competing approaches, namely, the family of positivist approaches based on moral scepticism or moral indifferentism, and the family of ethical approaches based on substantive normative values that their protagonists consider self-evident but others, controversial. Dissatisfaction with the guidance these approaches could provide in dealing with the political and legal problems of the societies of contemporary world is a major reason for the recently raising interest in Kantian Constructivism among political and legal theorists. For Kantian Constructivism promises to provide a normative account of our political and legal practices on the basis of ideas of Right and Public Reason without falling into the pitfalls that approaches appealing to substantive normative values are faced with. This panel is thus designed to discuss what insights Kantian Constructivism brings about with regard to various dimensions and instances of our political and legal practices, such as the legitimate scope of legal regulation, the nature of legal obligation, juridical review over legislation, the separation of powers, political rights, political participation, and voting.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 1, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Talk in Istanbul: Uygar Abaci (University of Richmond) on ‘Modality and Morality in Kant: A Theory of Practical Cognition’ 24/12/2013

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Uygar Abaci (University of Richmond) will give a talk at Istanbul Technical University, on Tuesday  December 24, 2013 at 13:30 in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

ABSTRACT: In his preface to the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant defines “the enigma of the critical philosophy” in terms of the following conundrum: how can we, as epistemic subjects, retain a theoretical agnosticism with respect to the reality of objects such as freedom, God and the immortality of the soul that lie beyond the limits of our possible experience, and yet assert the reality of these objects “from a practical point of view”, that is, when it comes to considering ourselves as moral subjects (5:5). The solution to the enigma, I suggest, lies in the practical application of Kant’s critical conception of modality. According to this conception, modal concepts such as possibility, actuality and necessity signify the ways in which objects are related or given to the subject rather than the ways objects themselves are. In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant insists that in the theoretical domain objects can only be given to us through a connection with sensible intuition, which makes it impossible for us to grant a real modal status to these supersensible objects and thus renders their concepts merely “problematic” ideas for theoretical reason. However, Kant’s account of moral action in the Critique of Practical Reason assumes that in the moral-practical domain objects are given to us through a connection with the moral law. I argue that it is this special relation that enables us to make modal assertions even of those objects that cannot be given to us in sensible intuition.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 23, 2013 at 4:08 am

Lucas Thorpe (Boğaziçi) talk at ITU 19th November, 13:30“Can We Have a Duty to Kill Our Neighbors? : Moral Pluralism, Moral Conflict and the Duty to Enter the Civil Condition in Kant”

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“Can We Have a Duty to Kill Our Neighbors? : Moral Pluralism, Moral Conflict and the Duty to Enter the Civil Condition in Kant”

Lucas Thorpe (Department of Philosophy) Boğaziçi University

Tuesday November 19th, starting 13:30. Abstract can be found here.

Istanbul Technical University (Central Campus Maslak)

Faculty of Science and Letters

Department of Humanities and Social Science

Seminar Room

Campus is next to ITU metro station

Written by Barry Stocker

November 16, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Ivan Soll (Wisconsin-Madison) on “In Praise of Illusion.” 18/07/2013

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Professor Ivan Soll (Wisconsin-Madison) will give a talk at Bogazici University on Thursday 18/07/2013, in TB130 from 5-7pm. Everyone welcome.

“In Praise of Illusion.” 

ABSTRACT: A wide ranging discussion of various attitudes to illusions, both perceptual and intellectual, in Descartes, the Empiricists, Kant, Schopenhauer, 20th century aesthetic theory, and Nietzsche, and including my own views about the matter.


Written by Lucas Thorpe

July 14, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Sorin Baiasu (Keele) on “The Normative Force of Kant’s Formula of Universal Law” 18/04/2013

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Sorin Baiasu (Keele) will give a talk on Thursday, April 18th at Bogazici University, room TB130, from 5-7pm.

“The Normative Force of Kant’s Formula of Universal Law”

ABSTRACT: There is a perceivable shift in the literature on Kant’s Categorical Imperative: whereas for many years commentators have been engaged in disputes over how the Formula of Universal Law (FUL) should be interpreted in order to provide a test for the moral permissibility of maxims, more recently they have started to doubt and even reject the normative force of the FUL, and have focused instead on the Formula of the End in Itself (FEI). Moreover, in contrast to those interpreters who have used the FEI to argue for the value-based character of Kant’s ethics, more recent commentators reject a value-based reading of Kant. In this paper, I examine Mark Timmons’s recent innovative interpretation, and I aim to challenge his claim that the FUL does not have the normative force to distinguish between morally permissible and morally impermissible actions.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

April 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Workshop on Kant’s Doctrine of Right at Bogazici, run by Nuria Sánchez Madrid (University Complutense of Madrid) and Lucas Thorpe (Bogazici University), March 28th and 29th.

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Nuria Sánchez Madrid (University Complutense of Madrid) and Lucas Thorpe (Bogazici University) will run a two day workshop on Kant’s political philosophy at Bogazici on Thursday March 28th and Friday March 29th from 2-6pm, in room TB130. Everyone is Welcome.

In this workshop we will provide an overview of Kant’s Doctrine of Right, as well as presenting some of our own recent work. The Doctrine of Right is the first section of the Metaphysics of Morals (1797). We will be using the English translation by Mary Gregor found in Kant’s Practical Philosophy.

The event will be run as a seminar, with the possibility for discussion. The schedule and some suggested readings can be found below the fold.

UPDATE: I’ve added a handout here for the first two sessions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Alberto L. Siani (Münster/Pisa) on “Kant’s Aesthetic Judgement as non-aesthetic Knowledge” (14.03.2013)

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Alberto L. Siani (Münster/Pisa) will give a talk on Thursday March 14th in TB130 from 5-7pm.

“Kant’s Aesthetic Judgement as non-aesthetic Knowledge”

ABSTRACT: One of the most interesting aspects of Baumgarten’s project of aesthetics as the younger sister of logic lies in a sort of “heterogenesis of ends” to be ascertained in its later reprises. Later philosophers who implicitly or explicitly referred to it incurred in productive misunderstandings, as they developed the original project in directions having little or nothing to do with it. Nonetheless these developments brought forward with surprising outcomes the idea of the aesthetic knowledge as a mediation between sensibility and intellect or reason. My presentation will focus on Kant’s understanding of the aesthetic judgement, taken in its non-aesthetic relevance, but rather as the paradigmatic site of free intersubjective consent. Unlike similar discussions of this issue (like the one by Hannah Arendt), however, I will not claim an objective relevance of the aesthetic judgement for the practical-political sphere. Rather, I will show that the Kantian aesthetic judgement does not so much lay the ground for aesthetics as a specific philosophical discipline, but rather for a new understanding of subjectivity and of knowledge that will find its fully developed actualisation in Hegel’s philosophy.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

March 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Koc University Political Philosophy Symposium – February 15 2013 Friday in Beyoglu

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Koc University Political Philosophy Symposium

February 15, 2013 Friday 9:00am-5:30pm

Philosophy Department, Koç University

Political Philosophy Symposium

Friday February 15, 2013

Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations

Details under the fold:

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Talk at Bogazici: Saniye Vatansever (UIC) on “KANT’S ACCOUNT OF THE HIGHEST GOOD: WHAT CAN WE HOPE FOR? AND WHO ARE “WE”?” (04/01/2013)

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Saniye Vatansever (UIC) will give a talk this Friday (04/01/2013) at Bogazici University in TB130 from 5-7pm on:


ABSTRACT: In the second Critique Kant argues that for the Highest Good to be possible we need to postulate the existence of God and the immortality of the soul. There Kant implies that the Highest Good is attainable only in the noumenal world. In his later writings, however, he argues that the Highest Good is attainable in the phenomenal world through mere human agency. It seems that Kant has two different and competing conceptions of the Highest Good, namely a theological and a secular conception. In this paper, I argue against both the theological and the secular readings. Instead of focusing exclusively on either the early or the latter writings, I argue that we need to understand why Kant writes in different and seemingly incoherent ways about the Highest Good.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Talk at Bogazici: Ralf Bader (Oxford) on “Kant’s Theory of the Highest Good” 21/12/2012

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Ralf Bader (Oxford) will give a talk at Bogazici University on Friday, December 21st, from 5-7pm in TB130.

“Kant’s Theory of the Highest Good”

ABSTRACT: The highest good is the culmination of Kant’s ethical theory. It systematically combines all objects of practical reason, integrating everything that is good into an unconditioned totality. By doing so, it bridges the dualisms between moral and pathological value, between duty and prudence, as well as between virtue and happiness. It thereby gives rise to a unified necessary system of ends. This paper provides a systematic account of Kant’s theory of the highest good, addressing in particular the question why happiness is included in the highest good, why it should be distributed in proportion to virtue, and in what sense the highest good is something that we are meant to bring about.

Ralf Bader received his phd at St Andrews university. He was then a Bersoff Fellow and Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow of Philosophy at NYU. He is currently a research fellow and University Lecturer at Oxford University. His research primarily focuses on value theory (axiology, intrinsic value, organic unities, agent-relativity, population ethics), contemporary metaphysics (intrinsicality, supervenience, coinciding objects, counterpart theory, dispositions, causation, identity, mereology), and Kant scholarship (highest good, happiness, imperatives, tables of categories, transcendental idealism). He is also interested in neo-Kantian and early analytic philosophy, as well as in political philosophy. Some of his publications can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

December 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm

CFP: Alternative Enlightenments (Bilkent).

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Bilkent University presents:
Alternative Enlightenments
An interdisciplinary conference in the humanities
26-8 April 2013, Ankara (Turkey)

Keynote Speakers:
Professor Wijnand Mijnhardt, Professor of History and Director of the Descartes Centre, University of Utrecht
Professor Felicity Nussbaum, Professor of English, UCLA

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to wcoker@bilkent.edu.tr by December 1, 2012.

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Written by Lucas Thorpe

October 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Conference: ‘Ideals and the Ideal in Kant’, Bogazici University, May 23rd-26th, 2012

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All talks will be in the Turgut Noyan Salonu (North Campus, next to the library). Details can be found here.

The program (including links to some handouts) is below the fold.

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Written by Lucas Thorpe

May 20, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Sorin Baiasu at Bilkent

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Sorin Baiasu, from Keele University, will give the following talk on Tuesday 10 April, 15.40, G160.


The attempt to discuss the process of practical justification in Kant encounters several difficulties. First and paradoxically, although an examination of Kant?s justification of various (especially practical) norms
is under way in the literature and most of the Kantians have something to say about this topic, yet not much has been written on Kant?s view of justification [Rechtfertigung]. Secondly, what has been written on Kant?s Rechtfertigung suggests that practical Rechtfertigung in Kant is a non-epistemic notion and, hence, a notion that cannot be placed within an account of Kant?s moral or practical epistemology. Thirdly, Kant makes use of the notion of Rechtfertigung in many ways and many contexts, so much so that it sometimes looks like we are dealing with more than one concept under the same name. In this paper, I hope to answer all these questions in a way which shows that Kant?s view of practical justification is unitary and coherent, that it is significant for practical epistemology and that it overlaps with the contemporary notion of justification in a way which makes it relevant for the numerous current debates.

All welcome.

Written by Sandrine Berges

March 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Johannes Fritsche (Boğaziçi) at Fatih University

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My first attempt at blogging, sorry for potential mishaps

Tuesday 27 March 2012


Johannes Fritsche (Boğaziçi Üniversitesi)

“Kant’s Ethics as an Explanation of Common Sense”

Fatih University is at the Hadımköy exit of the TEM motorway towards Edirne

Public transport: 418 bus from Yenibosna Metro (ca. 60 min), E-60 bus from Mecidiyeköy (less than 60 min, but quite rare – will miss beginning of talk)

see http://www.fatih.edu.tr/?ulasimbuyukcekmece&language=EN

Written by rainerbroemer

March 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Conference on the Ideal and Ideals in Kant at Bogazici (May 23rd-26th, 2012)

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I’m organising a conference on Ideals and the Ideal in Kant that will take place from May 23rd – May 26th at Bogazici University.

The Keynote speakers will be: Paul Guyer, Jens Timmermann and Ken Westphal.

Details can be found here.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

February 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Posted in Events in Turkey, Kant