History of 20th Century PhilosophyJune 28, 2021
The philosophy of the 20th century is the philosophy period that includes the thought traditions and philosophical movements that have started from the end of the 19th century and continued until today. 20th century philosophy is the name given to contemporary philosophy. The concept of “contemporary” here means that we share the same age with the important philosophers of the period, and that people know the understanding and conditions of the age in which they live and bring them into their lives. A person is defined as a contemporary individual if he/she can comprehend the structure of the era in which he/she lives, knows the conditions of the era and can shape or lead his/her life accordingly.
Just as the philosophy of each age is interactive with its own social, cultural and political conditions, the philosophy of the 20th century has also been influenced by its own political and social developments. In this context, the events in the 20th century have constantly changed the explanations for the problems of this age. Rapid changes in the social and cultural field; It directs people’s lives, and their thoughts and ways of thinking are also affected by this situation. The current age shows that the future of societies that cannot protect their values and create new values will be troubled. Philosophy, on the one hand, leads to the learning and creation of universal values, on the other hand, it provides the orientation to the unique values of the society.
Science and Reason are at the Forefront in the 20th Century
The political events of the age, cultural and technological developments, new results in the scientific field, new trends of thought, all of which are seen in the philosophy of the 20th century, the questioning approaches to science, the attempts to question the mind, the interest in language, the discussions on the concept of subject, the problems of the mind, a new dimension. It forms the background of the winning knowledge problem, the investigation of sexuality, the problematic of alienation and power. The majority of the thinkers of this age somehow expressed the theoretical problems of the age in their works and sought answers.
It seems almost impossible to compile the 20th century of the history of Western philosophy without leaving anything out. What sub-headings should be included in a compilation aiming to present the past century in general is also a problem. Contrary to the past centuries, we are faced with a multitude that has an immanent method and content of thinking that is highly individualistic, in opposition to, as well as, systematic environments that develop in sub-specialties.
Especially in the second period of the 20th century, there are also approaches that can be found in the past, but that are much more critical and destructive, and approach directly to philosophy itself.
In addition, we should state that we are open to your warnings about the names that are not included or do not deserve to be included here, as we do not find the space and competence to evaluate the thinkers who are still alive today and who deserve to be included in the pages of the history of philosophy.
We should not ignore that thought is in the reality of life and is related to what is going on. This relationship is established in different thinking procedures and layers of existence. While thinking will move in a field of transcendence, it also tries to ground intersubjective fictions by claiming objectivity. On the other hand, thought attempts to analyze, understand, interpret, justify, transform life, or put forward alternatives for escape. In this respect, it will be possible to make sense of contemporary philosophies by evaluating them in their historical contexts (and in the life stories of thinkers).
In the 20th century, the frenzied run of western-centered humanity reached its climax, especially in the field of science and technology. The sciences guided by philosophy in the period of its emergence began to shake the existential foundations of philosophy in the environment of our age.
The depressed atmosphere of the end of the 19th century turned into an environment of relative optimism at the beginning of the 20th century with the effect of the capitalistic consumption economy. However, the competitive conditions and expansionist policies of the period caused conflicts that ended in war. The two greatest wars the world has ever seen, followed by the era of unarmed warfare, swept away all the promises of the century. Mass wars that caused great suffering were replaced, ironically, by the peace of balance of terror produced by weapons of mass destruction. But local and regional wars, large and small, never ceased. The détente that began in the last quarter of the century created a series of new political problems that resulted in the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Ethnic-based conflicts caused great suffering during the redrawing of borders.
While developments in communication, transportation, medicine, space technology and physics had a positive impact with their aspects that facilitate human life, environmental problems caused by mass production became visible at the end of the century. Heating, environmental pollution, hunger, major accidents causing environmental pollution have caused new problems beyond borders.
century “new world