General Characteristics of 20th Century Philosophy

General Characteristics of 20th Century Philosophy

December 22, 2019 0 By Felso

It is, of course, not possible to show the general characteristics of all current currents of thought. This is particularly true of some of the currents XIX. century, or more generally the line of modern (1600-1900).

However, other schools are trying to establish something radically new according to these trends. However, there are general characters that apply to at least most of them, if not all philosophers. Whitehead is a very typical phenomenon of dönem separation into two branches modern of the modern era. it seems to be completely justified. Thus, the separation between them is overcome, as we have seen before, subjectivism as well as mechanism is being defeated. Roughly speaking, there is a tendency towards an organic and undifferentiated conception of reality. “Additions of being lı separated by the gradual structure of reality are formally accepted. In addition, there are other characteristics that clearly define contemporary thinking, although they do not have a general value. subject.

Among these, let’s analyze the following:

a) Anti-factual attitude:  One of the features that can be observed almost everywhere is to turn away from the philosophers of matter and some idealistic philosophers. From this point of view, philosophers of life, phenomenologists, philosophers of existence, metaphysicists were preferred. In a general way, while opposing all kinds of values ​​that are the source of philosophical knowledge to the natural sciences, metaphysicists tend to give a certain place to the natural sciences.

b) Analysis:  XIX. In contrast to the 19th century, contemporary philosophers use analysis in particular, and often do so in certain new ways.

c) Realism:  Metaphysicists, most of the philosophers of life, philosophers of matter, and some of the philosophers of existence are realistic. Only the idealists are in opposition. The form of realism that they advocate is direct realism: it recognizes man’s ability to grasp existence directly. Again, Kant’s distinction between being and phenomenon in itself is almost denied by almost all philosophers.

d) Pluralism:  Today’s philosophers are usually pluralistic and XIX. century, they oppose the idealist and materialist conception of unity. But there are also differences: for example, metaphysicists Alexander and idealists Croce are monist. However, they are only a minority and their effects diminish when examined.

e) Operantism:  Almost all contemporary philosophers are performers. His main interests have been translated into being, which is increasingly designed as a phenomenon of historicity. The philosophy of science, which is regarded as the definitive criterion of irrational doctrines at the beginning of the century, was replaced by contemporary philosophy. The only privileged situation is the Thomasists and some British neorealists. Many philosophers even go further in their performances and deny the existence of unchangeable ideal forms. This is the case for matter and philosophy of life, and for all the idealist philosophers and philosophers of existence. However, operantism is bitterly criticized by other schools, especially neo-kantists, phenomenologists and metaphysicians.

f) Personalism:  Interest has in many cases been translated into human existence. Except for philosophers of philosophy of matter, all philosophers of our age have declared their spirituality from their own mouths and emphasize the dignity of the human being. Existential philosophers put forward this personalism in the form of tragedy in particular, and many phenomologists and metaphysics also firmly defend personalism. The contrast between contemporary philosophy and the past emerges at this particular point: Contemporary philosophy is much closer to the real existence of man than the philosophies that preceded it.

External Attributes

Apart from these inherent characters found in the doctrines themselves, many external characters determine contemporary philosophy. Contemporary philosophy is a philosophy that has gone to a great deal of specialization, has an extraordinary productivity and has several schools in close contact with each other.

a) Specialization:  Among the philosophers in the profession, there are almost no philosophers whose work can be compared to the proximity of the works of a Plato or a Descartes in simplicity. All schools (except dialectical materialism – in one sense, pragmaticism) have a level of specialized thinking, working with complex, subtle concepts, including an abstract and rich vocabulary. This is particularly noticeable in the philosophers of existence and neo-philosophers, and these two new doctrines are fundamentally distinctive features. The same can be said of idealists, phenomenologists and metaphysicians. Some philosophical arguments of our age, XV. It reminds one of Aristotle’s specialized technical works as well as recalls the subtle procedures of 19th century scholastics.

b) Productivity:  Philosophers produce large quantities of products. To give a few figures: in Italy alone, in 1946, more than thirty periodical journals were published, and a single international school, Thomasism, has more than twenty periodical publications in its own right. The bibliography of the International Philosophical Society (but not the full bibliography) shows more than 17,000 signatures for only one semester of 1938. In addition to this large quantity, attention should be paid to the publication of a large number of studies that are really important with the plurality of problems addressed. Of course, it is difficult to distinguish what is valuable for the future, but unless all these indications are false, many philosophies of our age, philosophical thought will leave lasting traces in history. It is not an exaggeration to put our age among the most productive periods of history.

c) Commitment to each other:  One of the distinctive features of contemporary philosophy in Europe is the density of the relations established between the most diverse and opposing philosophers. This is also true for the organization of relations between countries. The beginning of the century witnessed the birth of a series of international philosophical congresses that brought together a growing number of philosophers. In addition to these congresses, it is necessary to mention international meetings of more specific purposes, dealing with a single discipline or doctrine, as well as other types of studies in international languages ​​(idealist, Thomasian, neo-founder, etc.). National boundaries and doctrinal barriers have been crossed. The result of all this is an abundance of interpretation that was rarely seen in previous periods.

This has already been observed in the formation of contemporary schools. As a matter of fact, British neorealism arises simultaneously from object theory (close to phenomenology) and from some experimental ideas and metaphysical research (Leibniz in Russell). and even Husserl, the founder of the phenomenology. On the other hand, Husserl had a great influence on the philosophy of existence and a part of metaphysics. Idealism is again dependent on traditional rivalry. However, the most characteristic of these trends is the fact that the philosophical principles are fundamentally removed from the philosophy of life, provided support from metaphysics and


Contemporary European Philosophy; JM Bochensky; Translation: Serdar Rifat Kırkoğlu; Kabalci Publishing House; 1997