Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Archive for the ‘Self’ Category

Two-Day Conference on Neurology, Philosophy of Biology, and Artificial Intelligence, organized by Koç University Philosophy Department (Venue: Beyoglu – RCAC)

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  • Speakers include but are not limited to: Bernard Stiegler (Université de Technologie Compiègne), Alva Noë (University of California, Berkeley), Barry Smith (University of London), and Güven Güzeldere (Harvard University)Poster

Conference Program

May 25th  Saturday

9.30 Opening

9.45-11.45 First Session

  Hilmi Demir: “A Recent History of Philosophy of Mind: Convergence Points between Cognitive Sciences and Phenomenology”

 Barış Korkmaz: “Self: Neuroscience and Psychoanalysis”

Aziz Zambak: “Plasticity: The Forgotten Principle in Artificial Intelligence”

11:45-12:00 Coffee Break

12:00-13:00  Second Session

Bernard Stiegler: “From Neuropower to Noopolitics”

13:00-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30:16:30 Third Session

Patrick Roney: “Neuro-aesthetics”

Zeynep Direk: “Neuroethics and the question of alterity”

Stephen Voss: “What do I mean when I say I”

May 26th Sunday

 9:30-10:30 First Session

Alva Noë: “The Fragile Manifest: Presence in Thought and Experience”

10:30-10:45 Coffee Break 

10:45-12:45 Second Session

Barry Smith: “Are Flavours in the Brain? The Phenomenology and Neuroscience of Flavour Perception”

Güven Güzeldere: “Unity of Consciousness in a Divided Brain?” 

 12:45-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30-16:30 Third Session

Fuat Balcı: “Reward Maximization: The Role of Time and its Psychophysics”

Emrah Aktunç: “On Bickle’s ‘Ruthless Reductionism in Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience: What are they Reducing?”

Hakan Gürvit: “Plasticity: Via Regia to the Neuroscientific Subjectivity”

Venue: Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations – Beyoglu

Venue Map

The Peripheral Mind (OUP, 2013) now on pre-sale

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My debut book, The Peripheral Mind. Philosophy of Mind and the Peripheral Nervous System (OUP, 2013) now on pre-sale. Check out the official FB page of the book for all the relevant links. The cover art by Alex Robciuc, as well as advance praise by Shaun Gallagher are pasted below. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Richard Taylor on the Islamic Reception of Proclus

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As a part of the conference, Arxai: Proclus Diadochus of Constantinople and his Abrahamic Interpreters, Prof. Richard Taylor (Marquette University & KU Leuven) will present a lecture entitled, “Proclus Arabus and Divine Primary Causality in the Arabic/Islamic Tradition”. The conference will take place on Friday December 14, 2012, at Bogazici University (South Campus), at 5:30 pm, İbrahim Bodur Oditoryumu.

Abstract:  In this presentation I first provide information on the works of Proclus influential on the Arabic / Islamic philosophical tradition.  As an illustration of that importance, I then turn to the philosophical issue of primary  causality and show the importance of Proclus in the metaphysical thought of al-Kindi and Ibn Sina / Avicenna on the nature of God’s causal influence over all created being.

About Prof Taylor:

He is the chief organizer for the “Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ International Working Group,” a group of philosophers deeply interested in Arabic / Islamic philosophy in its own right and in its influence on European thought. They are very interested in collaborations with scholars of similar interests throughout the world.  They have annual conferences in Europe (early Summer now usually 2 conferences) and in North America (Fall) but hope soon to expand our connections to North Africa and the wider Middle East. See www.AquinasAndTheArabs.org.

He also organises annual summer conferences on “Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions” at the University of Denver and Marquette University in alternate years.

From November 2011-November 2012 he was president of the American Catholic Philosophical Association and had the privilege of naming the conference theme for the November 2012 annual meeting which was on “Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions.”

For further information about Prof Taylor see:


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.

Proclus in Istanbul Conference POSTER SMALL

Written by davidbutorac

December 13, 2012 at 12:30 am

Talk at Bogazici: Thomas Metzinger (Mainz) on “Body Representation and Self-Consciousness: From Embodiment to Minimal Phenomenal Selfhood” 04/12/2012

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Thomas Metzinger (Mainz) will give a talk at Bogazici on Tuesday, December 4th, from 5-7pm in TB130:

“Body Representation and Self-Consciousness: 
From Embodiment to Minimal Phenomenal Selfhood.”

ABSTRACT: As a philosopher, I am interested in the relationship between body representation and the deep structure of self-consciousness. My epistemic goal in this lecture will be the simplest form of phenomenal self-consciousness: What exactly are the essential non-conceptual, pre-reflexive layers in conscious self-representation?  What constitutes a minimal phenomenal self? Conceptually, I will defend the claim that agency is not part of the metaphysically necessary supervenience-basis for bodily self-consciousness. Empirically, I will draw on recent research focusing on out-of-body experiences (OBEs) and full-body illusions (FBIs). I will then proceed to sketch a new research program and advertise a new research target: “Minimal Phenomenal Selfhood”, ending with an informal argument for the thesis that agency or “global control”, phenomenologically as well as functionally, is not a necessary condition for self-consciousness.

Thomas Metzinger is a leading contemporary German philosopher. He has been active since the early 1990s in the promotion of consciousness studies as an academic endeavour. As a co-founder, he has been particularly active in the organization of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC), and sat on the board of directors of that organisation from 1995 to 2008. He served as president of the ASSC in 2009/10. Metzinger is director of the MIND group and has been president of the German cognitive science society from 2005 to 2007. In 2003 Metzinger published the monograph Being No One. In this book he argues that no such things as selves exist in the world: nobody ever had or was a self. All that exists are phenomenal selves, as they appear in conscious experience. He argues that the phenomenal self, however, is not a thing but an ongoing process; it is the content of a “transparent self-model.” In 2009 Metzinger published a follow-up book to Being No One for a general audience: The Ego Tunnel. In English he has also published two edited works, Conscious Experience (1995), and Neural correlates of consciousness: empirical and conceptual issues (2000).

Written by Lucas Thorpe

November 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Dan Zahavi at Bogazici, September 27th.

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Dan Zahavi (Copenhagen) will be giving a talk at Bogazici university on Thursday, September 27th from 5-7pm, entitled ‘”Figuring the self: Can we learn anything from philosophy?”

Jointly organised by the Bogazici philosophy department and cognitive science program.

Venue: Turgut Noyan Salonu (North Campus, next to the library)

Abstract: In both ancient and modern times, the existence of self has been called into question. Frequently, the claim of the self-skeptics has been that the self, if it exists, must be some kind of unchanging and ontologically independent entity. Given that no such entity exists, there is no self. In my talk, I will argue that this philosophical definition of self contrasts rather markedly with how the self is approached, understood, and explored in a variety of empirical disciplines, including developmental psychology, social psychology, neuroscience and psychiatry. I will consider two cases in particular, namely research in autism and the study of facial self-recognition. On the basis of these examples, I will discuss how one ought to conceive of the relationship between philosophical analysis and empirical investigation when it comes to the study of self.

Here are some papers that might be good for background reading:

Dan Zahavi: “The experiential self: Objections and Clarifications. ” In M. Siderits, E. Thompson, D. Zahavi (eds.): Self, no self? Perspectives from Analytical, Phenomenological,  & Indian Traditions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, 56-78.

Dan Zahavi: “Is the self a social construct?” Inquiry 52/6, 2009, 551-573.

Dan Zahavi: “Self and other: The limits of narrative understanding.” In D.D. Hutto (eds): Narrative and Understanding Persons. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 60.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007,  179-201.

Dan Zahavi is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Danish National Research Foundation’s Center for Subjectivity Research at the University of Copenhagen. Zahavi writes on phenomenology and especially the philosophy of EdmundHusserl. He is co-editor of the journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, and author of Intentionalität und KonstitutionHusserl und die transzendentale IntersubjektivitätSelf-awareness and AlterityHusserl’s PhenomenologySubjectivity and Selfhood: Investigating the first-person perspective,Phänomenologie für Einsteiger, and (with Shaun GallagherThe Phenomenological Mind.

Written by Lucas Thorpe

September 23, 2012 at 10:21 am

Jeremy Bell at Fatih Üniversitesi

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Taking Pains: Plato on the Care of Self and Others

Mon. 10 Sept. 2012 12:00 noon

Hadımköy Campus, room A-306 (İbn-i Haldun Anfisi, previously known as Blue Hall)

Speaker’s abstract:

In this paper, I analyze the relationship between ethics and politics in Plato’s thought in order to demonstrate that Plato understood this relationship to be characterized by an ineradicable element of agonism and instability.  Drawing upon texts such as the Apology, Alcibiades I, Gorgias, and Symposium, as well as upon Foucault’s late works, I take the epimeleia heautou, “the care of the self,” as the organizing theme of my analysis, in order to show that this agonism has the aporetic result that, though Plato conceived of the ethics of the care both of oneself and others as the truest form of statesmanship, he was nevertheless unwilling or unable to generalize it into an unproblematic political system.

How to reach us:

By public transport: Thankfully, the metrobus extension has been completed. Direction TÜYAP, get off one stop before terminus (misleadingly called Hadımköy), take the blue bus 418 or the yellow (sometimes green or red and white) HT18 towards Hadımköy (ca. 15 min. to Fatih Kampüsü)

By car: leave the TEM at Hadımköy gişeleri, turn right and follow the signs for Fatih Üniversitesi

Remembering Ulric Neisser

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Ulric Neisser, an American psychologist and one of the founders of cognitive psychology died last month. Neisser’s life, including his major contributions to the revolution of the study of the human cognition is well documented; see for instance, the NY Times obituary and the Mind Hacks blog. My intention is not to replicate what has appeared elsewhere but to add to it by focusing on Neisser’s later work in ecological psychology, more specifically, his interdisciplinary research on the self which has guided the content and methodology of my own work. I take this as an opportunity to remember him, with the added hope of sparking the interest of those less familiar with his later work.

Behaviourism dominated the scientific study of the mind in the first half of the 20th century. Behaviourists declared that psychology should not attempt to address internal mental events and mechanisms but should focus on the observable markers of cognition, such as stimuli, responses, and the consequences of these responses. Despite its contribution to the development of rigorous experimental techniques and to the domain of learning, behaviourism was limited in explaining many interesting dimensions of human cognition, such as the development of language.

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Written by Serife Tekin

March 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm