Philosophy in Turkey: Opportunities and Weaknesses

It is possible to read the history of modern philosophy in parallel with our experience of modernization. Therefore, in order to discuss ‘philosophy in Turkey’ we have to analyze ‘the Turkish modernization’ with its opportunities and weaknesses. In this session, our aim is to analyze the adventure of philosophy in Turkey during the time beginning from the Ottoman-Turkish modernization process until today.

  • Ways of receiving modern and contemporary philosophies
  • Types of relation with the classical philosophy
  • Attempts of becoming an ecole
  • Turkish as the language of philosophy
  • University and philosophy
  • Philosophy education
  • Philosophy publication

Contemporary Ontological Discussions

Although there was a period in the beginning of the 20th century in which metaphysics was seen doubtful, later it was understood that philosophy cannot be separated from metaphysics. This sticking together takes place not by renewing the traditional metaphysical discussions but by conversion of these discussions or by adding them new dimensions. In this context our aim in this session is to analyze the contemporary metaphysical discussions in the framework of content, possibility and dimension under the following headings:

  • Modality
  • Permanence
  • Personal identity
  • Mathematical objects
  • Structure of reality
  • Time
  • Principles of logic
  • Causality

Subject and Metaphysics

We know that subject has various aspects such as knowing, acting and living. It is generally asserted that there is a unity between knowing, acting and living rather than a distinction between the three things in ancient Greece and this unity is conceptualized under the term “metaphysics”. During the middle ages this metaphysical conception interacted with Christianity and Islam, however in the modern era this unity and the metaphysical thought could not continue to exist. In this session, our aim is to consider the epistemological, ethical and the existential dimensions of the subject under the following headings:

  • Metaphysical conception in ancient Greece
  • Praxis and episteme in ancient Greece
  • Subject’s construction of knowledge in modern period
  • Conception ofsubject in ancient Greece and in the modern world
  • Existentialism: the subject offered and opposed
  • The religious subject: conception of subject in Islam and Christianity

Contemporary Ethics / Political Philosophy

In this session, our aim is to show that philosophy as an activity of ethos and polis, has the capacity to consider the existing problems and to emphasize the thought producing and criticizing aspects of philosophy in living spaces. The themes and the problems will be discussed under the following headings:

  • Law
  • Legitimity
  • Conscience
  • Responsibility
  • Human rights
  • Problem of values/Tyranny of values
  • Categories of action
  • Irreducibility of the political
  • Biopolitics
  • Power and gender
  • Environmental rights and ecology
  • Right to the city and immigration

Islamic/Arabic Philosophy: Conceptual Transformations and Continuations

Philosophy developed first in a monotheist society by way of the translation movement which took place in the Islamic world in the middle of the 8th century. On one hand philosophy maintained its continuity by gaining new dynamism, on the other hand it has met important transformations. While this philosophical tradition, called ‘Islamic/Arabic philosophy’ in the modern period, was living its internal adventure, it has formed the basis for new ‘continuations’ and ‘transformations’. In this session our aim is to discuss both the transfer of the Ancient-Hellenistic philosophy to the Islamic world and also the conceptual transformations and continuations in various areas of philosophy (metaphysics, logic, psychology/epistemology, ethics, politics, and conceptions of philosophy) until the modernization period.

Contemporary Logical Discussions

20th century has witnessed the emergence of many new kinds of logic. Intuitionistic, deontic, modal, fuzzy and informal logic are just a few of these different kinds of logic. With these different kinds, logic continues to be an irreplaceable organon from the viewpoint of today’s thought. In this session the subject will be current discussions on logic, which are among the most productive areas of today’s philosophy. In this context, the extent, possibility and dimensions of current logical understanding will be discussed under the following headings:

  • The relationship between logic and philosophy
  • The relationship between logic and language
  • The relationship between logic and metaphysics
  • The relationship between logic and neuroscience
  • The relationship between logic and computer science
  • The relationship between logic and natural science