Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Posts Tagged ‘ontology

Talk at Bilkent: “Revisionary Ontology with No Apologies”, by Dávid Kovács

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“Revisionary Ontology with No Apologies”

By Dávid Kovács,

Department of Philosophy, Cornell University

DATE: Thursday 24 March 2016

TIME: 15:40 – 18:00

PLACE: H-355, Bilkent University, Ankara


Revisionary ontologies appear to disagree with common sense about which material objects there are. There are powerful arguments for these views, but even after having provided them, their proponents face the Problem of Reasonableness: they need to explain why most reasonable people hold beliefs apparently incompatible with the true ontology. According to mainstream approaches to this problem, the mismatch between ordinary belief and the true ontology is either merely apparent or superficial. In their place, I propose my unapologetic view, which consists of a causal and an evaluative component. In the causal component, I argue that our tendencies to form beliefs about material objects were influenced by selective pressures that were independent from the ontological truth. In the evaluative component, I draw a parallel with the New Evil Demon Problem and argue that whatever is the best treatment of this problem, the revisionary ontologist can apply it to ordinary people’s beliefs about material objects. I conclude that the unapologetic view emerges as an attractive, stable, and hitherto overlooked solution to the Problem of Reasonableness.

Written by István Aranyosi

March 23, 2016 at 8:26 am

3-day seminar on Parmenides and Plato at GSÜ (July 15th, 17th, 19th)

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“Ontology as Wisdom Practice:

Parmenides’ Poem, Plato’s Republic (Book 1), Ion and Parmenides

Summer Seminar at Galatasaray University

July 15th, 17th, 19th, 2013.

Seminar leader: Eric Sanday (University of Kentucky)

Logistics: The seminar will take place from 18:00 to 20:00 at the Seminar Room at GSU. If you encounter problems getting in the university, call Ömer Orhan Aygün at 0543-3815091. The sessions will be in English. Hesiod’s Theogony is also a recommended secondary reading.

Content: The purpose of this seminar is to study what is called in the Platonic dialogues the “turning of the soul from becoming to being.” We’ll start with reflecting on the difference between being and beings in Parmenides’ poem. We’ll then see how Socrates’ appeal to forms as a normative basis for knowledge and expertise in Republic 1 and Ion draws on the ontological insights we were invited to witness in the poem. In the third session, which is on the first part of Plato’s Parmenides, we’ll see that the ontological insight in the poem and in Republic 1 is immediately subject to, and intelligible in terms of, categories that we know cannot properly apply to being.  That is to say:  we can win for ourselves true insight into the meaning of being, and yet we cannot help but submit this insight to inappropriate categories. The practical ramifications of this study are significant. I claim that it provides us with a model of rationality and divinity that is caringly attentive to the sources of being while remaining properly self-critical.  In short, what we win from this study is a robust conception of rational theology that has a praxical dimension and does not fall prey to certain key historical misconceptions and misappropriations of the Platonic project.

Written by Ömer Aygün

July 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

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