FALL 2014 METU DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY MONDAY SEMINARS The Monday seminars are normally held Monday afternoons from 14:45 pm in the Large Seminar Room (B-103) of the Humanities Building. 20.10.2014 Title: A Little Time in Its Pure State: Debating the Structure of the ‘Specious Present’ Abstract. Although time is a notoriously elusive concept to define, phenomenologists are nonetheless able to analyze our experiences of it to determine some of its structural features. For example, the present seems to have a thickness of about one second, but it is under debate whether or not this ‘specious present’ really extends or if it is an illusion caused by retentions of the immediate past being just as vivid as an instantaneous present. After examining Barry Dainton’s extensional ‘overlap’ model of the specious present, I will propose instead an intensional instantaneous model based on a more precise conceptualization of the instant. Presented by: Corry Shores (Ankara University) Corry Shores is a Deleuzean phenomenologist currently teaching at the Political Science faculty of Ankara University. 27.10.2014 Title: John Rawls's A Theory of Justice. A Critical Introduction Abstract. TBA Presented by: Manuel Knoll (Bogazici University) Prof. Dr. Manuel Knoll earned a PhD in Philosophy, Political Science and History from the University of Munich in 2000. Since 1998 he has been lecturing at the University of Munich and at the Munich School of Political Science. In 2008 he achieved his habilitationand venia legendi in Political Theory and Philosophy. In 2011 he became a Professor of Philosophy at Fatih University, Istanbul. In 2013 he became a member of Instituto "Lucio Anneo Séneca", Madrid, and started to teach atBoğaziçi University, Istanbul. His main research and lecturing interests are Ancient, Modern and Contemporary Political Philosophy and Ethics, in particular Ancient and Contemporary Theories of Justice, Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Nietzsche, Rawls and Michael Walzer, Social Philosophy and Critical Theory, Greek Philosophy of Classical Antiquity. 03.11.2014 Title: A Recent History of Philosophy of Mind: Some Convergence Points Between Cognitive Science(s) and Phenomenology Abstract. In this talk, my main aim to point out some issues from the recent history of philosophy of mind that show convergence points between Cognitive Science and Phenomenology. The issues that will be covered fall under three categories: i) the debate between Good Old Fashioned Artificial Intelligence and Connectionism, ii) the organism's perspective versus the observer's perspective as two different methodologies for studying and understanding human cognition, iii) Different interpretations of the notion of computation which lead to different models of the human mind. On the basis of the convergence points that I show within the context of these three issues, I conclude that a serious dialogue between Cognitive Science(s) and Phenomenology has a great potential in improving our knowledge of the human mind and cognition. Presented by: Hilmi Demir (Bilkent University) Dr. Demir received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the Philosophy of Department of Boğaziçi University. He went to Indiana University, Bloomington for his Ph.D. in Philosophy & Cognitive Science. After completing his Ph.D. in 2006, he served as an Assistant Professor with tenure-track in California State University, San Bernardino, where he spent only one year. Since 2007, he has been working as an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy Department of Bilkent University. His main interests are Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Information, Computation, History of Cognitive Science and Philosophy of Probability. 10.11.2014 Title: TBA Abstract: TBA Presented by: David C. Wood (Vanderbilt University) Dr. Wood's interests lie in the possibilities of reading and thinking opened up by contemporary continental philosophy and by nineteenth century German thought. Current philosophical projects include: reworking/displacing Heidegger's treatment of time within fundamental ontology; developing a nonprescriptive posthumanistic approach to ethics; providing an account of truth that does justice both to its normative, 'existential' and metaphysical dimensions; various different approaches to the philosophy of nature (environmental philosophy, animals rights, thinking boundaries etc.). 17.11.2014 Title: A Philosophical Survey of the Human Subject Abstract. This talk will revisit questions and considerations of the human Subject in the history of philosophy with a particular interest in Post Husserlian phenomenology and deconstruction. I shall be examining the constructions and questionings of subjectivity in various philosophical texts. My guiding question will be Jacques Derrida’s simple intervention, namely the split between the what and who of the subject and the implications of this split. Presented by: Özger Ejder Johnson (MSGSU) Özge Ejder (Ph.D.) teaches phenomenology and aesthetics in the Department of Philosophy at Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul. Her most recent publication is on the Deleuzean reading of Spinoza on the concept of body. She has published on reconsiderations of various concepts, including death and boredom, in relation to post-Husserlian thought. She is the translator of Arthur Danto’s The Transfiguration of the Commonplace and other texts in the theory of art into Turkish. Bsc METU Philosophy/Studies in Politics 1998 MFA Bilkent FADA “Thematization of Death in Philosophy and Art” 2000 Ph.D Bilkent FADA “Spaces of Boredom: Imagination and the Ambivalence of Limits” 2005 24.11.2014 Title: On the formalization of mathematics Abstract. In this talk we discuss some of the crises in mathematics which finally led to an ambitious project, known as Hilbert's formalization program. An essential ingredient of this project was the notion of effective computability. We briefly explain this notion and then discuss Gödel's incompleteness theorem including the reasons behind it. Presented by: Ahmet Çevik (Leeds University) Ahmet Çevik, is a logician who received his PhD in pure mathematics at the University of Leeds. He worked as a research and teaching assistant at Atilim University in the Department of Computer Engineering during the years 20072010. He was a member of the editorial board of Beytülhikme An International Journal of Philosophy in 2013. He is now conducting research along the lines of recursion theory, degrees of unsolvability, large cardinals, and philosophy of mathematics. He published a number of papers in mathematics and philosophy journals. He has also given numerous talks on mathematical logic and similar areas. 01.12.2014 Title: Knowledge as a primary good Abstract. Knowledge, which is central to human flourishing and essential for self-government, is the result of extensive cooperation mediated by various institutions. What changes would be required in contemporary thinking about justice when we pay close attention to this fact? In this article, we answer this question in the context of John Rawls’s theory of justice. We argue that Rawls’s list of primary goods should be extended to include knowledge necessary for citizens’ deliberation about the common good, their individual good and the pursuit thereof. This, in turn, will require the social structures, such as educational establishments, universities, research centers and news media, to produce and disseminate knowledge that people need to reason about the common good and their individual life plans and provide people with the means and skills they need to make use of this knowledge. Presented by: Faik Kurtulmuş (Sabancı University) Faik Kurtulmus is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Sabancı University, Turkey. He completed his DPhil in Political Theory at the University of Oxford in 2010. He is interested in egalitarian challenges to John Rawls’ theory of justice, questions of justice in the distribution of knowledge, and the role of science in democratic societies. 15.12.2014 Title: Determining the Underdetermined: Evidence and Inference in Functional Neuroimaging Abstract. Brain images have become central elements in contemporary cognitive science, but the reliability of these images as sources of knowledge has been called into question by philosophers of science as well as cognitive scientists. The epistemological literature on neuroimaging has focused mostly on two major issues; one is the question of whether or not cognitive scientific theories are underdetermined by neuroimaging data. The other is the general claim that the methodological/technical complexity of neuroimaging lowers the reliability of inferences in cognitive neuroscience. I will argue that, once we gain a clear and accurate error-statistical understanding of neuroimaging, neither issue should worry us. When we approach the criticisms of neuroimaging as problems of evidence and inference and apply Mayo’s error-statistical account of experimental inquiry, we can develop novel and useful conceptualizations of these problems. This account helps us clarify the evidential import of neuroimaging data and address problems of underdetermination. Thus, we gain a more accurate understanding of what we can reliably learn from neuroimaging. Finally, I will discuss the implications of this understanding for novel construals of cognition and cognitive architecture in light of new developments in neuroscience. Presented by: Emrah Aktunç (Özyeğin University) Dr. Emrah Aktunç obtained his B.A. degree from Koç University, Department of Psychology in 1999, M.A. in Psychology from the University of Iowa in 2003, and Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2011. His research interests are interdisciplinary and fall in the intersection of cognitive science, philosophy of science, history and philosophy of psychology, and philosophy of experimentation and statistics. He currently works on problems of scientific evidence and inference in functional neuroimaging, ontological analyses of memory, problems of reductionism in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience, and novel approaches to cognitive architecture.