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METU DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY MONDAY SEMINARS

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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.
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