Action, Society and Normativity

Boğaziçi University,

Istanbul JF 507

December 8th, 2017


1.30- 3.00 Jeremy Koons (Georgetown, Qatar), “Can the Moral Point of View Be Defended Against Rational Egoism?”

3.00-4.30 Bill Wringe (Bilkent), “‘Collectivism, Consequentialism and Community: What Sellars Could and Should Have Said.”

4.30-6.00 Ken Westphal (Boğaziçi ) “Intelligible Possession, Justice and Social Ontology.”

ABSTRACT:  (for the talk by Jeremy Koons). Wilfrid Sellars was ambivalent as to the prospects of deriving the “reality…of an ethical community consisting of all rational beings” (SM 7.XX.144/p. 225), and hence vindicating the moral point of view—and particularly ambivalent that the moral point of view could be rationally justified vis-à-vis rational egoism (RE).  Sellars’s ambivalence reflects a common set of assumptions in analytic philosophy: either (a) that the moral point of view stands in opposition to self-interest, or (b) that the moral point of view must be justified by appeal to self-interest.  I think the prospects are rosier than he anticipated, and set out to prove the reality of this community—and hence to vindicate the moral point of view.  I argue that rational egoism (RE) cannot be established just by considering the nature of practical reason.  Nor does RE embody the most plausible theory of the good: an agent cannot consistently hold that her welfare is the only good (for her).  I will argue that central elements of rational agency are constituted by collective attitudes, which essentially depend on the community, its practices, and its attitudes.  Thus, rational agency itself cannot be understood apart from the community.  Nor can the agent’s welfare, autonomy, or other essential goods or capabilities—indeed, various essential elements of her identity.  Thus, there is no meaningful way to argue that an agent’s well-being matters, but the welfare of the community—that (partially) constitutes her agency, her welfare, and so on—does not matter.

Support for this workshop is provided by Lucas Thorpe’s TÜBİTAK project “Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action” ( 114K348) and 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) and Lucas Thorpe’s BAP project 9320.


Embodied Agency: A Workshop with Hong Yu Wong (Tübingen)

Boğaziçi University,

Istanbul JF 507

November 30th and December 1st, 2017


Thursday, November 30th


 Keynote SpeechThe Unitary Nature of Sounds

Talk by Matthew Nudds (Warwick)

Response by: Elvira Di Bona (Jerusalem)




 Session 1: Bodily Awareness in Action and the Body Schema

Presentation by Hong Yu Wong (Tübingen)

Response by Eylem Özaltun (Koç)


 Session 2: The Intimate Connexion

Presentation by Hong Yu Wong (Tübingen)

Response by Matthew Nudds (Warwick)


 Session 3Ownership and Acting with My Body

Presentation by Hong Yu Wong (Tübingen)

Response by István Aranyosi (Bilkent)

Friday December 1st


 Sessıon 4: Balance

Presentation by Hong Yu Wong (Tübingen)

Response by Jack Woods (Leeds)




 Sessıon 5: Embodiment

Presentation by Hong Yu Wong (Tübingen)

Response by Lucas Thorpe (Boğaziçi)


 Sessıon 6The Self and Immunıty to Error through Misidentification

Presentation by Krisztina Orban (Tübingen)

Response by Ville Paukkonen (Helsinki)


 Sessıon 7The Personal and Sub-Personal

Presentation by Hong Yu Wong (Tübingen)

Response by Jedediah Allen (Bilkent)

Support for this workshop is provided by Lucas Thorpe’s TÜBİTAK project “Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action” ( 114K348).


The Second Annual Arda Denkel Memorial Conference

“Social Cognition”

Boğaziçi University,

Istanbul NH 203 December 16th, 17th 2016


Friday, 16/12/2016

12.50-13.00     Introduction: Stephen Voss (Philosophy, Boğaziçi)

13.00-14.10     Bill Wringe (Philosophy, Bilkent)
“Things We Can Get Excited About: Shared Emotions and Other Minds”

14.10-15.20     Terry T. Eskenazi (Psycology, Koc)
“Social Influence and Metacognition.”

15.30-16.40     Michael Schmitz (Philosophy, Vienna)
“Joint Attention and Understanding Others”

16.40-17.50     Gaye Soley (Psychology, Boğaziçi)
“Children’s representations of social groups”

18.00               Dinner: BUMED

Saturday, 17/12/2016

13.00-14.10     Lucas Thorpe (Philosophy, Boğaziçi)
“Why should a Kantian care about Social Cognition?”

14.10-15.20     Annette Hohenberger (Cog-Sci, ODTU)
“Effects of joint action on timing and co-representation: Explorations with                                the social Simon Task

15.30-16.40     Angelica Kaufman. (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. Lichtenberg-             Kolleg/Leibniz Institute for Primate Research)
“Unobservable Goals”

16.40-17.50     Jedediah Allen (Psychology, Bilkent)
“An action-based approach to social cognition”

18.00               Dinner: Bakar

Support for this event was provided by Lucas Thorpe’s TÜBİTAK project “Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action” ( 114K348) and by the Boğaziçi University Rector’s Conference support fund.


Interactivism and Enactivism with Mark Bickhard

Boğaziçi University, Istanbul TB 130

June 1st, 2016

3pm-5pm: The Interactivist Model

Abstract: A shift from a metaphysical framework of substance to one of process enables an integrated account of the emergence of normative phenomena. I show how substance assumptions block genuine ontological emergence, especially the emergence of normativity, and how a process framework permits a thermodynamic-based account of normative emergence. The focus is on two foundational forms of normativity, that of normative function and of representation as emergent in a particular kind of function. This process model of representation, called interactivism, compels changes in many related domains. The discussion ends with brief attention to three domains in which changes are induced by the representational model: perception, learning, and language.

5pm – 7pm: Interactivism and Enactivism: Some Thoughts and Comparisons

Abstract: Interactivism and enactivism spring from some similar insights and intuitions. There are, however, some arguably significant divergences, and I will explore a few of the important similarities and differences. Topics addressed include the basic notions of how cognition and mind emerge in living systems; how growth, learning, development, and adaptation can be modeled within the basic frameworks; and how phenomenological investigations can be taken into account and their phenomena modeled.

This talk is organised as part of Lucas Thorpe‘s TÜBİTAK project “Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action” ( 114K348).


Situatedness and embodiment of computational systems

Boğaziçi University, Istanbul TB 130

May 9th, 2016


Marcin Miłkowski (Polish Academy of Sciences) will give a talk at Boğaziçi University next Monday (09/05/2016) on the “Situatedness and embodiment of computational systems”. The talk will take place from 5-7pm in TB130. Everybody welcome.

This talk is organised as part of Lucas Thorpe‘s TÜBİTAK project “Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action” ( 114K348).


Anti-representationalism about thought and about perception

Boğaziçi University, Istanbul TB 130

May 5th 2016


ABSTRACT:  The term ‘anti-representationalism’ and its counterpart ‘representationalism’ are used in a variety of different contexts in contemporary philosophical discussion. In this largely exploratory talk I will try to relate three of these different contexts to one another and sketch a more overarching anti-representationalist theory that draws on elements from each, hopefully thereby increasing the credibility of anti-representationalism both at local and global levels (so to speak). I take as my starting point the neo-pragmatist anti-representationalism associated especially with Richard Rorty and Huw Price. According to this (‘anti-representationalism about thought’, or ART) thoughts are not to be understood in terms of substantive relations of reference or truth to reality, an idea which is also meant to undermine many of the traditional metaphysical and epistemological concerns of philosophy.  Following Price’s lead, I will nevertheless pursue the question whether ART can be vindicated in a naturalistic setting. To this send, I first consider the representationalist versus anti-representationalist debate in cognitive science, suggesting that ART is not  inconsistent with either camp, though more naturally gels with the latter (ARCS). I then also consider a final debate where the distinction has been used, namely that about the nature of perception and perceptual experience. Here I suggest ART is in serious tension with representationalism about perception (since this involves, in Burge’s terms, a ‘non-deflationary’ conception of content), and consider different forms of anti-representationalist accounts that might instead be allied to it (i.e. of ARP). I argue however that neither the official neo-pragmatist nor recent so-called naïve realist accounts of perception are satisfactory to this end. I end with suggesting that a variant of enactivism ­– a form of both ARCS and ARP ­– can be seen as a more promising bed-fellow for ART and indeed as also standing to benefit from its alliance with the latter.

This talk is organised as part of Lucas Thorpe‘s TÜBİTAK project “Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action” ( 114K348).


Thinking the Same:

A Workshop on Mental Files

Boğaziçi University, Istanbul TB 310

September 15th-17th, 2015


Konferans 2 - Thinking The Same (Tubitak 114K348)



Tuesday, September 15th

10.30 – 12.00 Francois Recanati (CNRS, Paris) “Co-reference De Jure”

Chair: Kaan Arikan (Boğaziçi)

12.00 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 15.00 Paolo Bonardi (Eidos, Geneva) “The Identity of Modes of Presentation and Mental Files”

Chair: Zübeyde Karadağ (Hacettepe)

15.00 – 16.30 Lucas Thorpe (Boğaziçi, Istanbul) “Reidian Direct Perception and Structured Event Files”

Chair: Çağlar Çömez (Boğaziçi)

16.30 – 18.00 Rachel Goodman (Leeds) “In What Sense are Mental Files Diachronic?” CANCELLED

19.30 Dinner at BÜMED

Wednesday, September 16th

10.30 – 12.00 David Papineau (KCL, London) “Public and Private Concepts”

Chair: Nazım Gökel

12.00 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 15.00 Ilhan Inan (Boğaziçi, Istanbul) “Inostensible files”

Chair: Umut Eldem (Boğaziçi)

15.00 – 16.30 Aidan Gray (UIC, Chicago) “Is Coreference a semantic Primitive?”

Chair: Gozde Yildirim (Boğaziçi)

16.30 – 18.00 Anna Giustina (Institut Jean Nicod, Paris) “Phenomenal Concepts: Toward an Indexical Model”

Chair: Ceren Bozkurt (Galatasary)

19.30 Dinner TBA (Somewhere near campus)

Thursday, September 17th

10.30 – 12.00 Robin Jeshion (USC, Los Angeles) “A Partial Defense of Cognitivism and a Mental Files Framework for Singular Thought”

Chair: Oğuz Erdin (Boğaziçi)

12.00 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 15.00 Bernard Molyneux (UC, Davis) and Paul Teller (UC, Davis) “modeling de se Belief”

Chair: Arzu Gokmen (Boğaziçi)

15.00 – 16.30 Angel Pinillos (Arizona State, Tempe) “De Jure Anti-Coreference and Mental Files”

Chair: Lucas Thorpe (Boğaziçi)

16.30 – 18.00 Keith Hall (USC, Los Angeles) “”Intantial Terms, Quantifiers, and Individual Concepts”.

Chair: Aran Arslan (Boğaziçi)

19.30 Dinner at Müşterek

Organizing Committee: Lucas Thorpe (Bogazici, Istanbul), Sun Demirli ((Bogazici),  Michael Murez (Jean Nicod, Paris), Andrea Onofri (Graz, Austria)

This project was organised as part of the Tubitak Project 114K348, Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action, run by Lucas Thorpe.

Enriching Embodied Cognition

With Daniel Hutto (Wollongong) and Erik Myin (Antwerp)

Boğaziçi University, Istanbul Demir Demirgil Salonu

June 9th-11th, 2015


Konferans 1 - Enriching Embodied Cognition (Tubitak 114K348)

Tuesday 9th of June 2015

10:00-11:20 Daniel Hutto: “REC: Revolution Effected via Clarification”

11:30- 1:00 Erik Myin: “Radicals Assembled: The Case of Perceiving”

2:30-3:30 Anita Leirfall (Bergen, Philosophy) “A Proto-Proprioceptive Affected Causal Power of Thinking?

Kant on the Directions of Mind”

3:30-4:30 Victor Laughlin (Antwerp, Philosophy) “Anticipatory Mechanisms, the Hard Problem of Content

and Wittgenstein”

5:00-6:00 Matthew Jernberg (Bogazici, Philosophy) “Reformulating the Coupling-Constitution Fallacy”

Wednesday 10th of June 2015

10:00-11:20 Daniel Hutto: “An Overly Enactive Imagination?”

11:30- 1:00 Daniel Hutto & Erik Myin: “Extensive Minds”

2:30-3:30 Bill Wringe (Bilkent, Philosophy) “Some Worries about Embodied Imagination.”

3:30-4:30 Istvan Aranyosi (Bilkent, Philosophy) “Extensive Pain”

5:00-6:00 Annette Hohenberger (METU, Cog-Sci) “When is Cognition Embodied or Disembodied?

Evidence from Behavioral Discontinuities.”

Thursday 11th of June 2015

10:00-11:20 Daniel Hutto: “The Natural Origins of Content”

11:30- 1:00 Erik Myin: “Radically Enactive Computation: Reasoning tis but RECkoning”

2:30-3:30 David Davenport (Bilkent, Computer Engineering) “”Not Content? Think(ing) Computation!”

3:30-4:30 Mathew Harvey (Southern Denmark, Philosophy) “Language without Representations”

5:00-6:00 Jasper Van Den Herik (Rotterdam, Philosophy) “Getting Real About Words”

Support for this conference was provided by BAP project 9320, “Kant n Character, Virtue and Impossible Ideals” and Tubitak Project 114k348 “Concepts and Belief: From Perception to Action”.