Philosophy in ASSOS   ---ASSOS'ta felsefe---


    "Philosophy in Assos", a platform founded by Örsan K. Öymen for the purpose of having philosophical discussion and dialogue in an informal and natural atmosphere, hold its first meeting on September 8-11 2000.
    Assos is the city where the great philosopher Aristotle taught philosophy and wrote some of his books. At the same time the home town of the Stoic philosopher Cleanthes, it is located on the Turkish coast of the Aegean Sea, south to the ancient city Troy, east to the Greek island of Lesbos. Örsan K. Öymen chose Assos for its importance in the history of philosophy as well as for its natural beauty and unspoiled authenthic Aegean culture.
    As he puts it himself, although he teaches philosophy himself in two major universities in İstanbul, "Philosophy in Assos" aims to create a philosophical atmosphere alternative to the one in universities: namely, create a spirit where philosophy is not perceived as a discipline in which one pursues an academic career but rather where philosophizing becomes a passion as it was the case in Ancient Greece. Within this framework, "Philosophy in Assos" plans to gather philosophers from all around the world at least once a year in Assos for dialogue and discussion on certain matters. "Philosophy in Assos" does not organize a conference and not even a "work-shop". "Philosophy in Assos" motivates and helps us meet at philosophical moments where philosophy and curiosity is prior to work and academic competition.
    The platforms September meeting started in the ruins of the Athena Temple overlooking the blue waters of the Aegean. Wine, local cheese and olives, sunset and getting introduced. People getting introduced to each other and to "Philosophy in Assos". As Örsan K. Öymen says all the future meetings of "Philosophy in Assos" will start at the Athena Temple: "This will become a tradition of our platform."
    Two topics were discussed in the following two days in the
 Old Bridge House: First discussion and dialogue was on the relationship between life and philosophy, (assuming that there is one), and the second one was on whether epistemology must justify knowledge claims or must in some way formulate the foundations of knowledge. Obviosly both discussions inevitably resulted in various opinions about what the concepts of life, philosophy, epistemology and knowledge mean.
    Most of the participants were teachers and students from philosophy departments of various universities in İstanbul and Ankara such as the Middle East Technical University, Yeditepe University, Hacettepe University, İstanbul University and Bosphorus University. It was good to see that there are still people in universities who are looking for alternative ways of approaching philosophy as well as alternative ways of teaching and learning philosophy.
    As Örsan K. Öymen said, September 8-11 2000 was a historic date for Assos. "We caused a revival of philosophy in Assos after more than two thousand years. We gave the start, the rest will follow and hopefully Aristotle's spirit is happy about it!"
    For further information about "Philosophy in Assos" and next years international meeting you may write to the following e-mail adress:

assostafelsefe@uk2.net or go to: The official web-site of "Philosophy in Assos"

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