István Aranyosi, PhD 2005
István Aranyosi was the first to graduate from the PhD program of the Philosophy Department. Since 2007 he is an assistant professor at the Philosophy Department of Bilkent University, the most prestigious higher education institution in Turkey, with the most competitive and highly rated philosophy department in the country. During his years at CEU István focused on metaphysics and philosophy of mind. He worked on his dissertation, having as topic the problem of how to accommodate mental phenomena within a physicalist/materialist picture of the world, with Ferenc Huoranszki and Howard Robinson, and defended it in 2005. His committee, consisting of Barry Dainton, Ferenc Huoranszki and Howard Robinson, awarded him Magna Cum Laudae.
István spent a year, between April 2006 and March 2007, as a visiting postdoctoral fellow at the Philosophy Program at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University.
István has numerous papers published or forthcoming in prestigious philosophy journals, such as American Philosophical Quarterly, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, The Monist, Mind, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophy, and International Journal of Philosophical Studies. His main contributions to the field include: (a) a novel attack on conceivability arguments against physicalism from the point of view of the causal account of properties (independently discovered and worked out, around 2006-2007, by István and Brian Garrett of the Australian National University), (b) a novel argument for the mental-physical identity thesis, based on probabilistic and anthropic reasoning, (c) discovery of two new puzzles, dubbed “the shadow of constitution puzzle” and “the Bilkent shadow puzzle”, related to the nature and perception of shadows (his work on shadows having been mentioned in the April 10 issue of the Times Literary Supplement), (d) a novel approach to Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles, based on some ideas from formal semantics, called “derivational contextualism” and the discovery of a related logical paradox, dubbed “the solo numero paradox”.
István is currently working on his debut book, titled Mind in a Logical Space, where he offers an original approach to the notion of logical space, with impact on topics as diverse as: the mind-body problem, the problem of being and non-existent objects, problems related to intentionality, intensionality, meaning, dispositions, counterfactuals, naturalism, ontological arguments for the existence of God, and even sociology of philosophical knowledge.
He lives in Ankara, with his wife, Ezgi Ulusoy Aranyosi, who is pursuing a career in literary studies and Middle Eastern studies.