Who is Hilmi Ziya Ülken?June 25, 2021
Hilmi Ziya Ülken was born in Istanbul. After graduating from the Faculty of Political Sciences of Istanbul University, he worked on the history of Turkish thought. It was sent to Germany by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to do research. After returning home, he was appointed as an associate professor to the Department of Turkish Intellectual History at the Faculty of Letters at Istanbul University; As a result of his studies, he became a professor of philosophy, sociology and art, and finally a professor of ordinary.
He came to the fore in philosophy with his works in the field of existence. Hilmi Ziya Ülken’s views on the field of knowledge and values are also formed within the framework of his views of being. He defines philosophy as the first science, just as Aristotle defined metaphysics. Philosophy, according to him, is an in-depth study of the field of phenomena and is the first science to be exact. He states that philosophy should get rid of dogmatic thoughts and turn towards the truth. He says that this situation will bring a system to philosophy.
According to Hilmi Ziya Ülken, reason is philosophy; Logic is also a tool for thinking. Philosophy uses reason and logic in matters that go beyond the limits of reason. However, he is of the opinion that the logic that gains a method in phenomenology will be beneficial to philosophy. Adopting the bracketing method of phenomenology, Hilmi Ziya Ülken states that information can be reached with logic.
Emphasizing the differences between classical logic and modern logic, Hilmi Ziya Ülken also analyzed the relationship between existence and logic. He agrees with the logical positivists, since the principles and rules of existence cannot be directly derived through logic.
According to Hilmi Ziya Ülken, there are two types of existence: finite and infinite existence. He states that man, who is a finite being, cannot have knowledge about infinite existence and that it is impossible for a finite being to experience infinite existence. He argues that the finite being can only think of the infinite being through reason and logic, and that he can feel it with intuition. Hilmi Ziya Ülken, who sees the basis of freedom of will and being responsible to others as being responsible to Allah, attributes the freedom of a person to his ability to think about finite existence. He states that reaching his own self is by orientation to his inner world and that the person who founded this world can produce all values for humanity.
Hilmi Ziya Ülken established his own philosophy with the explanations he brought on the discussions of philosophers who took their place on the stage of history. He focused on Turkish and Islamic thought and used logic in the discussions on these fields. He is of the opinion that the works of contemporary thought should be read and their content should be evaluated with faith.
In addition to his academic studies, he has also written many books. “Existence and Being”, “Love Morality”, “Moral Humanitarian Patriotism”, “History of Turkish Thought”, “Turkish Philosophers Anthology”, “Metaphysics”, “Ibn Khaldun”, “Islamic Thought”, “Introduction to Philosophy” and “Islam” History of Philosophy” are some of his works.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook