Professor, Koç University, History
Period of residence: 
8 janvier - 13 juillet 2018
Research project: 
Politikon. A History of Sociability
Summary of the research project: 

The main issue of this research is to understand the formation of the European ideas about the sociability of man and the origin of human societies. The question of how in the past humans formed the phenomenon called society is accompanied by a parallel question about the nature of man, as they were posed by post-Renaissance political philosophers. From 1500 onwards, a fictional speculation (man’s primordial liberty as a source of terror and obstacle for the formation of society but also as the main source of the idea of social contract and the creation of the state) will form the basis of modern politics. This fiction is neither Biblical, nor Aristotelian: it comes most probably from the reading of Lucretius’ book V and Ulpian’s initial sentences of the Corpus iuris civilis in which he defines the natural law. Vico deals essentially with this problem, in order to criticize Hobbes and through these critics and the reinterpretation of the idea of “contract” and “rights” a new political culture will flourish in Europe.

Lien(s) web: 



Levent Yilmaz is a professor of intellectual history. He worked at Istanbul Bilgi University and Koç University. His research focuses on European historiography (14th-18th centuries). He received his Ph.D from EHESS (2002) with a dissertation on the Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns and the emergence of modern time. He also directed the Turkish translation of Yves Bonnefoy's Dictionnary of Mythologies. His publications include Le Temps Moderne (2004), Giambattista Vico and the Basic Concepts of The New Science (2007) and The Vico Road (2016). His current research is on the historical-legal sources of the New Science. He was a Senior Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute and Directeur d’études invité at the EHESS. As well as Mellon Fellow at the Villa I Tatti (Harvard University).

Curriculum Vitae: