Felsefi Düşün Issue:9 – Batı’da ve Türkiye’de Hümanizm: Dün-Bugün / October 2017
Issue Editor: Sadık TÜRKER (Kırklareli Üniversitesi)
Please click on the name of any article for abstract and keywords.
Cengiz Çakmak (İstanbul Üniversitesi)
Uğur Ekren (İstanbul Üniversitesi)
Hüseyin Subhi Erdem (İnönü Üniversitesi)
İlhami Güler (Ankara Üniversitesi)
Rahmi Karakuş (Sakarya Üniversitesi)
Enver Orman (İstanbul Üniversitesi)
Tunç Özben (Kırklareli Üniversitesi)
Hakan Poyraz (MSGSÜ Üniversitesi)
Harun Tepe (Hacettepe Üniversitesi)
Aydın Topaloğlu (İstanbul Üniversitesi)
Hüseyin Gazi Topdemir (Muğla Sıtkı Koçman Üniversitesi)
Kasım Turhan (Afyon Kocatepe Üniversitesi)
Celal Türer (Ankara Üniversitesi)
Şafak Ural (İstanbul Üniversitesi)
The Humanist Attitude in Abdullah Djevdet Thought
Humanism which is based on explaining events in the rational ground without recourse to the supernatural and see humankind as the highest value, and its roots goes back to Protagoras who says ‘man is the measure of all things’, is an important movement especially in Renaissance and after. Hence, this movement considers Ancient Greek’s ethics, art and philosophy as remarkable. The Ottoman Empire after the Tanzimat Reforms sought to understand the West systematically, and some institutions started to construct in a Western style. The politics of Abdulhamid II period thus is significant from this point in the Republican period of humanism and enlightenment. With the effect of nation state structure after World War I some man of thought in the Islamic societies came to the fore with humanistic viewpoint. This study deals with the thought of Abdullah Djevdet in terms of its contribution to the humanist movement of the Republican period. We look for, in Djevdet’s idea of Westernization, the similarities between humanism movement and the medieval and ancient Greek thought departing from a determination of the basic elements of the relation between them. We conclude that, a consideration of his life and works show that Djevdet, who is one of the prominent representatives of Radical Westernization, is among the forerunners of humanist movement in the Republican period and that consequently his thought is valuable in this regard.
Keywords: Abdullah Djevdet, Enlightenment, humanism, criticism, westernization.
Human and (Its) Posterior
Mind and conscience has become priority according to humanism which is based on the assumption that man is the measure of all thingshas found and become widespread in Europe. In a society where freedom of thoughts and beliefs exists, pursuit of truth about human and its limits, is related with the pursuit of truth on nature and universe. Therefore, the pursuit of truth as the history of Western civilisation is based on scientific and industrial developments. In Western history, sublimation of mind by humanism, has always been a driving force on developments of science and technology. According to this connection, to evaluate the relation of human and nature, it is important to emphasize the modern idea of “human” by regarding the process from exploration to conquest of nature. Taking this connection into consideration, the purpose of this study is to evaluate modern idea of “human” in relation with the concept of posthuman and the concept of transhuman. According to this purpose, approaches on posthuman supported by Rosi Braidotti, and transhuman that is influenced by previsions of Ray Kurzweil, will be argued. Also in the light of these concepts, human-nature connectedness will be discussed in connection with scientific and technological progress through humanism.
Keywords: Human, post-human, trans-human, technology, nature
Transhumanism As A Radicalization Of Humanism
Human being as an ill-pleased with the condition, the space and the mental process has always found itself in a quest and adventure since his beginning or creation. As a matter of fact, we track human’s quest and adventure in the story beginning with Adam, in the mythology he has built, in the philosophy-science he has developed, within its approach in Renaissance and Enlightenment periods, on commercial capitalism, at industrialization and finally in the time of technology. Human has dared to alter the conditions with a fruit consumed, with a fire lightened and the re-positioning of God in his mind, that is to say, with mythological imagination and theological approaches, with the imagination of mind and philosophy (philosophy-science) on the thought and the phenomenon and with the use of tools and machines (technical-industry). The human-god unity in medieval Christianity, the secular-materialistic approach during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, the courses of industrialization and capitalism triggered by positivism, gave birth to a materialized person who is deprived of metaphysics. The humanism process –an attempt displacing god with the human- has not relieved the human being. The high tech process in 1970s created transhumanism that transcended humanism. Not to be satisfied enough by replacing himself with the god, human has started a struggle to overcome aging, disease, biological defects, pain or ache, foolishness, even death. Now, in a cause of constructing the trans-human, the human being seeks welfare for his own generation, to make them live in a world that is painless and discrete. By trying to transcend biological and physical boundaries of himself, the human being has put himself into both cyborg and deification processes. He has not contended with humanism but rushed to enter in the course of transhumanism.
Keywords: Humanism, transhumanism, technology, cyborg, bionic man.
Humanism In Italian Political Thought: Machiavelli, Gramsci and Ciliberto
The article aims to discuss and shed light on the concepts of humanism and Renaissance in Italian political thought. What is humanism? Why do we still discuss it even today? Are a new idea and definition of humanism possible? Such fundamental questions will be asked and answered in compliance with the thoughts of some important, both modern and classical, Italian thinkers such as Nicolò Machiavelli and Antonio Gramsci. The former clarifies the human condition and the human nature through his new political concepts of virtù and fortuna. His solution for the crisis of human condition, product of his/her nature, is possible through political action. Machiavelli’s originality is based on his view of human being not through ethical or moral, but political terms. On the other hand, Gramsci’s critique of humanism and the Renaissance, and his suggestion for a new idea of humanism through the praxis philosophy helps us to comprehend a different point of view of humanism and the Renaissance. Undoubtedly, the condition of human being is the main question of humanism and the Italian Renaissance. Within this framework, the new book of the contemporary Italian thinker of Renaissance Michele Ciliberto, Il nuovo umanesimo (New Humanism), is particularly useful to re-examine the concept of humanism through the humanist texts of the XV and XVI centuries.
Keywords: Humanism, Renaissance, human condition, human nature, virtù, fortuna, Machiavelli, Gramsci, new humanism, essere, apparire, rovesciamento.
Humanism, Theocentrism And Jacques Maritain
Since the beginning of 20th century, the different and even contrary notions of humanism in western thought have turned the question of what is humanism into an open discussion among western humanist thinkers. A typical example for this is the claim of theocentric humanism of Jacques Maritain (1882-1973), new Thomist French philosopher. In his theocentric humanism, Maritain reinterprets, by referring to the divine essence of man, such ideas like centrality of man, man’s self-reliance, value and dignity of man, human freedom, humanitarianism and importance of human reason, all of which take place in humanist tradition of thought. To him, the concept of man needs to be re-evaluated from a holistic perspective including two dimensions of human existence, natural and supernatural. This paper attempts, on the one side, to make it clear the nature of debate on the definition of humanism through making a distinction between descriptive and normative definitions of humanism, and on the other side, tries to describe the understanding of Maritain’s theocentric humanism defined in a normative way and then to consider it on the base of three criteria: (1) relationship between man and god in humanism, (2) the connection of humanism to humanitarianism, and (3) ideal of free thought for humanism
Keywords: humanism, theocentric humanism, problem of definition of humanism, transcendental humanism, secular humanism, man, god, free thought, humanitarianism.
Seeking Humanism in Turkish Thought: A Moment in Construction of A National Identity
The emergence of humanist thinking in Turkey coincides with the first years of the Republican Era and thus constitutes a part of the construction of a political identity. The effort to revive the humanist mind and the effort to invent a Turkish humanism is an effort to create a national identity that will pay off to the newly established nation state and it must be created in a secular frame as it is in every national identity. It is in this context that trying to create a similar analogy of humanist thought, which is regarded as an important stop in the attainment of a national identity by Western societies, is coming to the fore and the humanist approach seems to be important in forming the content of concepts such as national pride and national consciousness. However, when it comes to Turkish humanism, it is seen that the Westernization debates, one of the important divisions of the Turkish thought, are also included in the discussions of humanism and the change of the political atmosphere in Turkey changes in the approach of humanism. The commencement of Turkish humanism as a semi-official movement, not as a civilian thought, has led to a failure to achieve the expected outcome of Turkish humanism.
Keywords: Turkish Humanism, nationalism, westernisation, official ideology, national identity.
The Meaning and Extent of Humanist Revolution in Renaissance Italy
The subject of this article is the definition of humanist culture as it emerged especially in the Renaissance Italy. In general, the article also emphasizes that the Renaissance humanist culture whose meaning and extent are tried to be defined in its historical context is one of the founding elements of the modern world and life. This historical humanism in its philological characteristic form was based on the belief that the level of distingue and refined taste that might be obtained by the revitalization of the ancient culture and languages of Greece and Rome with a new enthusiasm would also supply an improvement in the mentality and worldview of men. In this regard, first, we dwell on the similarities and differences between the humanist approach which has a claim to be new and its antecedents in the Middle Ages, to expose what is original to humanists. After defining the true origins of humanism, we try to determine two crucial effects of these origins on culture and mentality through the narration of Jacob Burckhardt, supposedly the father of Renaissance historiography. Lastly, we mention about the ultimate level of humanist culture which is related with the social and political results it produces and apparently effect the foundation of the modern viewpoints.
Keywords: Italian Renaissance, humanists, ancient age, language, culture, politics.
Transhumanism and Unhuman Human: A Search For A Transhumanist Ethics Free Of Humanist Commitments
Human nature is the key element of humanist thought and politics, and humanist thought and politics is a side of a struggle in transforming it. Whether human nature is changeable and if yes, the realization of the change in question in accord with ‘humanist’ goals is an essential question of a debate for the parties who share humanist thoughts. The description of human nature, the identification of the mechanisms, that determine the human nature, the modification of human nature through these mechanisms, and the dream of creating ‘the non-human human’ are the elements of humanist thought and politics which undermine the thought itself. In this paper, the reason for these thoughts being undermining themselves, the meaning [or the futulity], within in the humanist project, of the fight against ‘human nature’ and of the ‘naturalization of human’ are explained, and finally, it is claimed that transhumanism is actually an expected and ordinary result of the humanist project. It will be shown that, for the new human of transhumanism has far more needs, in terms of quantity, than the construction of the new human of humanist projects, there is a continuity between humanism and transhumanism rather than a disengagement and that the reason for there is an interruption between the two rooted in the fact that the political ground of the modern life, which is originated from a particular understanding of humanism, is endangered. With this respect, it can be said that between transhumanism and marxism, as a particular form of humanism, beyond the structural commonalities, a ground for a closer political commonality between the two has been formed. However, there are more profound points of discrepancy between them which undermine this political commonality. These points of discrepancy are concentrated on the dispositions of them for undermining themselves, which depend on their non-scientific assumptions which can be summarized as ‘fighting against human nature’, and which are common to almost all forms of humanist politics. For the very reason, there is an emerging possibility of disengagement between transhumanism and humanism. By this means, the project of realization the political ideal of humanism is left to an other, to transhumanism to be realized.
Keywords: Humanism, transhumanism, posthumanism, human nature, natural law.
The Humanist Ethics Conception in Machiavelli’s Political Theory
The thought of Humanism, which takes place in the Renaissance Philosophy, characterizes the works that put in the center the notion of ‘human’ or, in other words, “humanistic”. Machiavelli’s political theory, grounding on human and historical facts, accords with basic principles and the tendencies of Renaissance and Humanism thoughts, which began in Italy. Machiavelli was undoubtedly an important part of it. Machiavelli lived in Italy when Renaissance proceeded all its richness and magnificence and defined the notion of human as an individual who pursues his/her own passions and interests. This definition coincides with the notion of human who has the power of self-fulfillment, and as someone who improves oneself as an individual, same as Humanism thought. The concept of ‘virtues’ has an important place in the Machiavelli’s political theory. In this regard, it could be said that his theory includes an ethical part. Machiavelli’s ethical consideration has a humanistic character. That is to say, he centralizes human and humanistic in an appropriate manner with the spirit of his time. It could be said that Machiavelli conceives moral with reference to the different humanist virtues, which involves the notions of ‘sovereign’ and ‘citizen’ when discussing his consideration on moral. It is because Machiavelli appears to distinguish between the sovereign’s virtues and the citizen’s virtues. In this work, we shall discuss Machiavelli’s virtues theory and its ethical conception in his political theory.
Keywords : Machiavelli, humanism, ethic, virtue, citizen, sovereign, Christian Moral.
Humanism in Terms Of Historical Act and Meaning
Humanist narration / discourse involves the texts which can ensure the necessary collective and spiritual justification for placing the individual in the centre of the society and the world. In accordance with this discipline, The God-centered perception of the world ruling the Middle Age was replaced by the human-centered world. Humanism can be understood as the name of the discipline comprising a basis for construction of the independent bourgeois individual after the Middle Age in general. In the course of the process from the Ancient World to the Humanism centuries, we come across the different apprehensions of the world. These apprehensions differ from each other in terms of the problem they focus or the subject of it; and determine their period by means of it. From the viewpoint of Humanism, human being is an insufficient and immature creature. Again in front of us stand the perfect God and the mankind created by him as an insufficient creature, who was scrutinised throughout the Middle Age. The man needs to be educated to evolve from his insufficient situation to a complete being. In the basis of this education, there exists the aim of reaching the ideal man. The entities of Ancient Greek and Rome are supposed to be grounded on as an example of the ideal man. Accordingly, we can say Humanism is separated to two main streams in itself within either Christian or secular inclination. Among the construction periods of European history, Humanism constitutes the first example inscribing itself as “the declaration of universality”, which can be identified as the beginning of subjective efforts and voluntary processes. It can be asserted that the objective and physical back ground of this voluntary process were determined by the “early period capitalism”. From the 16th century on, The West, which had enriched its objective financial power with appearance of the capital and commerce bourgeoisie, proliferation of overseas movements, bourgeois revolutions and industrialisation processes, started to strengthen its spiritual power as well with the Renaissance, Reform, and Enlightment Movement. The Globalisation Movement resulted from Europe’s spread to overseas in the mentioned century led to this civilisation’s justification of identifying itself with the title “universal” by gaining a second dimension thanks to the mobilization of the capital. It can be observed that in company with and by means of its idiosyncratic and autogenous conflicts, the globalisation process having started those times has reached to the current level without any interruption.
Keywords: Capitalist Civilisation, capital, secularism, education, press, reading canons.
The Analytic Fission: The Question of Analytic Thinking in The Postmodernist-Posthumanist Era
The question ‘How we are able to understand beings?’ is answered referring to the point self by Descartes onwards. Thus while that which is temporal is understood through spatializing in the Ancient philosophy, that which is spatial is understood through temporalizing in the modern philosophy. The being that which understands itself within this point time without extending space is that what philosophers call the self, intellect, or soul. However towards the end of modern period there has been appeared the opinion that this point time is not satisfactory in explaining the facts. Therefore it has been needed much smaller points those are comparable to nothingness, and an idea of order between these points, an order which is neither Euclidian nor Aristotelian. The developments those leave mark on the postmodernist-posthumanist era have been arisen from the way of attainment and application of this new temporal model. In this study it will be discussed whether there are objective justifications for an understanding of analysis peculiar to the postmodernist-posthumanist era, and if there are how they can be explained.
Keywords: Point self, time, space, analysis, analytic fission.
Humanism And Humanitarianism in The Framework Of Human Rights
Even though the world was shaken by many political and economic earthquakes in the 19th and 20th centuries, the new process that the world entered since the II. World War, made the concept of human rights a focus of intellectual interest more powerfully especially in the 1980’s. In this period, when Western Culture was criticized, Humanism, which was a significant concept in Western culture since early modern times placed itself naturally on the agenda of the ‘new world order’ process with ‘human rights’ and ‘humanitarianism’ concepts. However, Marxism, post-structuralism, subjectivism and anti-humanism, the main currents of the 20th century philosophy did not deal with human beings and its’ derivatives due to their own reasons. Going through the question of whether the turn of human rights contribute to the revival of humanism or not, this article examines how it links with the humanitarianism problem today. Nowadays, humanitarianism is seen as a type of humanism or even a contemporary version of humanism. One of the main reasons of this can be that both approaches are derived from the roots including a kind of ‘philanthropy’ understanding. However, the meaning of the analogy made today between the humanitarianism, which is described in the 19th century based on the concept of religious virtues and compassion and humanism, which is understood as the mode of thought of the secular world, must be sought in the relationship of these which they aim to create particularly with human rights. The dimensions of this relationship will lead us to rights of man, which humanism regards as the objective, but the bindingness has always been controversial, from human rights of humanitarianism in which assign a constitutive role in the new colonial period.
Keywords: Humanism, humanitarianism, human rights, citizenship, the political, democracy.
A Search On The Possibility Of Heidegger-Sartre Controversy Bringing A Solution To Humanism’s Current Terminology Problem
When humanism is thought, especially within the borders of 20th century philosophy, one of the things that first comes to mind is the statements which have occurred in 1950s between Martin Heidegger and Jean Paul Sartre, can be named as Heidegger-Sartre Controversy on Humanism and mainly based on two texts. Sartre, in one of his speeches, builds an essential connection between humanism and existentialism and in here he defines Heidegger as an existentialist like himself. In return, Heidegger, probably as a criticism to Sartre’s attribution to him, told about his thoughts on humanism within the expanded version of one of his earlier letters. By this controversy the context and content humanism had been expanded, the understanding of humanism is deepened. The aim of this article is to manifest if there are some things that the controversy between Heidegger and Sartre could contribute to the terms -as a problematic humanism has nowadays- like post-humanism, trans-humanism, meta-humanism, super-humanism, alter-humanism whose terminological meanings aren’t quite well-defined. It is to investigate if there are any solutions that humanism -which is being shaped again and obtaining new contexts through these terms- could gain by this controversy against this current terminology problem.
Keywords: Humanism, Heidegger-Sartre Controversy, existentialism, ontology, terminology problem, post-humanism, meta-humanism, trans-humanism, terminological meaning.
Turkish Translation of The Humanist Manifesto (1933)