New draft curriculum in Turkey excludes most of the prominent philosophers

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Last Friday (February 10), Turkey’s Ministry of Education completed the process of admitting suggestions for the new draft curriculum.

Author and philosophy teacher Şahin Aybek has shared his criticism of this new curriculum. In his report, Aybek underlined that the new curriculum drafted by current government officials does not include so many of the earth-shattering philosophers of the world, such as Karl Marx, Jean Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus. Aybek pointed out that virtually no anarchist, socialist and democratic philosophers are mentioned in the draft…

Author of the book titled ‘Political Philosophy of Karl Marx’, Şahin Aybek included the following comments in his report:

“While philosophy was covered in the previous curriculum in a subject-based manner, the new program has turned it into just ‘history of philosophy’, where chapters on branches of philosophy are completely eliminated… Another eye-catching point is that since philosophy of religion is also among such chapters that are voided in the new curriculum, there remains no mentioning of various philosophies and arguments on existance of God… Philosophy of nature and teaching of the Milesean school are also missing… On the other hand, philosophers of mysticism and theology are brought to the forefront… In regards to philosophy of Islam, while mystics Mevlana and Al-Ghazali are covered, rationalist İbn Rush is not even mentioned…”

Also highlighting that many of the 20th century thinkers from Turkey, whose contributions during the early years of the Republic are considered crucial, are not included, either, Aybek questions at the end of his report ‘the knowledge of those who prepared this curriculum.’ Aybek wrote: “The reason for us to ask once again if this curriculum was really drafted by scholars of philosophy or not is the fact that severl prominant philosophers of history are not included… For example, not covering philosophers of existantialism, such as Jean Paul Sarte and Albert Camus, who have impacted today’s world in various ways, is an indication of nothing but a lack of knowledge about the field of philosophy.”



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