Journal of American Studies of Turkey
3 (1996): 15-42.
John Dewey in Turkey: An Educational Mission
One of the great philosophers and educators of the 20th century, the American John Dewey, visited the newly established Republic of Turkey in the summer of 1924. This article deals with that visit, made on the invitation of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, first president and founder of the Turkish Republic. The visit was not intended as an analogy to Plato's visit to Sicily in order to materialize his utopian dream; Dewey was not a utopian and neither was his host. Turkey had just barely survived a brutal war of independence against Greece, Great Britain and France. What remained of the original Ottoman Empire was its heartland, Anatolia, with its new capital, the ancient village of Ancyra, now known as Ankara.
I intend to discuss the significance of Dewey's almost forgotten educational mission to Ankara, now a modern city in the heart of Turkey. Hitherto, not one essay, article, or monograph has been written on this mission. Dewey's other educational missions to China, Japan, the former Soviet Union and Mexico have all been well documented. Yet about Dewey in Turkey, nothing existed--not even the memory--until 1983, when the hardbound edition of Dewey's Collected Works was published. Volume 15, entitled The Middle Works: Essays on Politics and Society, 1923-1924, contains Dewey's essays, and, in print for the first time, his "Report on Turkish Education," fully documented with appended critical commentary. Dewey's educational mission took him to Ýstanbul (then still known as Constantinople), ýzmir (then known as Smyrna), the old Ottoman capital Bursa, and the newly established first city of the Turkish Republic--Ankara. I propose here not only to revive the memory of that historic visit and probe into the importance of the mission Dewey undertook, but also to inquire into the significance and relevance of Dewey's philosophy of education for Turkey, and, as it turned out, for developing nations. It becomes clear that Dewey's "Report and Recommendation" for the Turkish educational system, considered in its full text with the preliminary report, turns into a paradigmatic recommendation for an educational policy of developing societies moving towards modernity.
Atatürk invited Dewey in order to receive advice that would provide ideas for reforms and recommendations benefiting the Turkish educational system and propelling it towards a modern educational establishment. He must have been fully aware of Dewey's stature and significance in the United States. Dewey had gained world-wide recognition, although a little less in an elite-conscious Europe, for his progressive education project conducted in Chicago. "Progressive education" was a label associated with Dewey. Progressive meant the battle against a classical curriculum, entertained in elite institutions of Europe for the children of the elite. Progressive also meant the reformation of a classical curriculum towards educating the majority, the citizens of a country contributing to the basic foundation of a democratic society. The most essential element for a democratic society was seen to be the literacy of the masses, boys and girls alike, for without literacy democracy is not possible. It was on that common ground that Dewey met Atatürk in the summer of 1924 in Ankara.
The illiteracy among the Turkish populace in the 1920s was quite high. A modern educational curriculum was a necessity if the newly born Republic was to survive. Dewey was to make his contribution towards establishing such a curriculum. His daughter Jane M. Dewey pointed out, in the autobiographical section of the first volume of the famous Schlipp series of the Library of Living Philosophers dedicated to Dewey, that "His visits to Turkey in 1924 and to Mexico in 1926 confirmed his belief in the power and necessity of education to secure revolutionary changes for the benefit of the individual, so that they cannot become mere alterations in the external form of a nation's culture" (Schlipp 42. See also Farrell). It may be said that Dewey contributed to such a revolutionary change in Turkey, a nation steeped in traditional forms, by offering ideas that helped guide it toward becoming a modern, dynamic society. Although Dewey's visit was short, his mission was all the more intense.
The German-British sociologist Sir Ralf Darendorf once described the situation in the United States as a social experiment that was an "applied enlightenment." It is not totally out of line to describe Atatürk's quest for modernism for the Turkish nation as an analogous odyssey of somewhat smaller, but significant proportion. It is enormously difficult to change people with old-patterned habits into a trial-and-error, risk-taking society. Like the United States, Turkey is and remains, no doubt, a paradigmatic social experiment difficult to reproduce in any other country. I would venture that, in that sense, Turkey is a leading country of the developing world. At the time of Dewey's visit such terminology and categories as "third world" or "under-developed" countries did not exist. Europeans still spoke in the vocabulary of empire and its colonies. But Dewey saw an analogy between the great social experiment in America, especially its experience of the Old West, and Anatolia. (Note1) All the categories applied to the old American West, such as community, willpower, toughness, risk taking and purpose, could certainly be applied to the new Turkey. Dewey saw Atatürk and his republican followers as the frontiersmen and women of a newly established land, possessing a vision clearly focused on the future, not on the past. In Ankara he felt the pulse of a pioneer spirit, with strong courage and willpower, despite the heat, dust and malaria. The stage was set for Dewey's memorable mission.
2. The Turkish Context of Dewey's Visit
In the old Near East--as in all traditional societies--religious authority, i.e., the ulema, used to control educational institutions and programs. The Ottoman Empire was the first Near Eastern land that pioneered educational reforms initiated in the latter part of the 18th century. The contact with France was paramount (Göçek). It is no accident that Rousseau's father, a Swiss watchmaker, spent some time in the old Pera, the European quarters of ýstanbul (Constantinople).(Note 2) However, the first educational reforms were made in the technical military domain. Somewhat later, Comte's positivism and a simple scientific progressivism commanded the attention of educational reformers such as Ziya Gökalp (Parla). Yet, this was not unique to the Ottoman domain. In Egypt, too, since the return of the Egyptian student Rifaah al-Tahtawi, who turned out to be a most important educational reformer in that country in the latter part of the 19th century, positivism and progress were the tune to be followed in all areas of educational endeavor.(Note 3)
While military educational aspects, such as officers training and engineering, dominated during Selim III's (1789-1807) reign, Mahmud II (1808-1839) extended educational reforms to the civilian population. During the famous Tanzimat era (1839-1876), a Ministry of Education was established (1857). It promoted an extensive reorganization of the Ottoman state school system, including the elementary school (rüþdiye), lower and secondary school (idadiye and sultaniye), and the university. Some pioneering work in girls' education was initiated, while some progress was even made during the more conservative reign of Abdülhamid II (1876-1909). The first modern university in the Muslim world was founded with the Darülfünun (1900) in ýstanbul. During the last decade of the Ottoman Empire (1908-1918)--during the second constitutional period (meþrutiyet)--a pedagogical method with emphasis upon terbiye, i.e., didacticism and education, rather than maarif (knowledge), was fostered.(Note 4)
In 1913, the most important legislative act affecting modern elementary education since 1869 was passed. The Provisional Law of Elementary Education dictated that the control of elementary schools would be administered by the Ministry of Education and, as was the age-old tradition, by the ulema through the evkaf, pious charitable foundations. However, the elementary schools, the sübyan and the mektep, were still not progressive enough to yield any modern practical result among the young. It should be remembered that, during the same time in the United States, Dewey was very active in trying to reform the traditional "book-oriented" and classical curriculum of American elementary schools within his progressive school project in Chicago. There is a historical conjunction to be noted here in the fact that at the same time as the Ottomans were trying to modernize the educational curriculum of their young, Dewey was trying to innovate the American elementary school by the needs and practical interests of children of peasant European immigrants, especially those from Eastern Europe. It is not without passing interest that there is something in common between Dewey's educational experimentation in Chicago and the modernizing curriculum programs aimed at developing countries, especially since the end of World War II. Seen in this light, it should be of no surprise that Dewey, the educational reformer in terms of relevance and praxis, should have been invited by Republican Turkey and its leader Atatürk. Dewey was, no doubt, the right man, at the right time, at the right place to give advice.
Before Dewey arrived in Turkey he had already been on educational missions in Japan and China. During his stay in Japan, in 1919, he lectured at the Imperial University in Tokyo. These lectures were subsequently published in 1920 as Reconstruction in Philosophy . While still in Japan, he accepted an invitation to visit China. Dewey stayed in China from May 1919 to June 1921 (See Hu Shih; also Berry; and Smith). Thus, Dewey had plenty of contrasts to choose from when he arrived in Turkey. He was in the process of writing one of his major works, entitled Experience and Nature, published in 1925.
Of course, history did not stand still, especially in Turkey. On 9 October 1923, Angora became Ankara, the capital of Turkey; on 29 October, the same year, the Turkish Republic was proclaimed, with Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) as its first president. On 23 March 1924, the Caliphate was abolished, and on 18 April of the same year the evkaf were. Also abolished was the þeriat, replaced by the Swiss civil code in 1926. Finally, the Republic of Turkey was declared a secular state in 1937.
Dewey appeared in the summer of 1924. Born in the same year as Darwin's Origin of the Species was published, at the age of 65 he was a renowned educator, a famous American philosopher and public figure. As could be imagined, conservative forces in the United States, especially classics-oriented teachers and scholars, had been opposing Dewey's progressive educational project. In Turkey also, as was to be expected, the traditional teachers, hoca s, objected to the innovative aims in the elementary schools. Atatürk himself, it should be noted, received a modern secular elementary school education in his native Salonika, before proceeding to the most advanced modern and westernized institutions of education in Turkey, the military academies. Along from Atatürk, Ziya Gökalp and the poet Yahya Kemal Beyatlý fought, with a high level of conscious sensitivity, the battle between the new and old ways of education within their generation. Halide Edib Adývar, Turkey's leading lady in the realm of women's rights, recorded in her memoirs the transitional period between the old Ottoman ideal of girls' education and the development towards equal opportunity for young women in the early 20th century Turkey. (Note 5)
The basic core of an Ottoman elementary education had been the rote learning of the Quran with the aim of turning a child into a hafýz, someone who knew the Quran by heart. Of course, the hoca s, the village school teachers, enjoyed the sympathy and respect of the villagers, rather than clean-shaven young men sent by the government to instill modern ways of thinking in the village youth. At issue was religion--the hoca s were understood to be the guardian of religion and the sacred ways. The government teachers had a difficult time and were often considered to be sent by the devil himself. It was on the elementary school level that the tension between religion and the new pedagogical methods confronted each other--modern education met head on with traditional beliefs and ethos. In the early 1920's the medrese, the time-honored institution of higher Islamic learning, still reigned supreme within the educational hierarchy in Turkey, and in the Muslim world at large (See Makal, Stirling, Yalçýn, Yakýn, Tapper, and Delany).
Atatürk realized that in order to instill reform and a modern psychological attitude towards the world of education, especially on the elementary level, the structures of education had to be radically revised. This was no easy task. In any society--as can be observed in many countries--to revise the elementary educational system means to meddle with people's children. Needless to say, parents react instinctively and strongly, very often against reform, of whatever color or -ism.
The year 1924, the year of Dewey's visit to the newly established Republic of Turkey, was a dramatic year in general, as much as for educational reforms. A law for the Unification of Instruction (Tevhid-i Tedrisat) unified the entire Turkish school system. This meant that all educational institutions were placed under the control of the Ministry of Education. Private and foreign schools, as well as the medrese s and its waqf ministry, were eliminated. Furthermore, co-education was introduced at the ministry level during the academic year 1923-1924. No doubt, this law, as well as others in due time, was to be a part of a vast legalistic promotion to secularize Turkey. (Note 6)
3. Dewey's Turkish Itineraries
Dewey and his wife arrived in ýstanbul in late June 1924. There he was greatly interested and inquisitive, visiting the major historic sites. (Note 7) Of special interest were the educational institutions. This was especially true for ýstanbul University, Robert College (now Boðaziçi [Bosphorus] University) and the famous Galata-Sérail Lycée. The Deweys visited the old Ottoman capital Bursa and travelled in the countryside. He finally visited Angora, or Ankara, the newly established capital of the Turkish Republic, and its first President, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. (Note 8)
Arriving on the famous ýstanbul-Baghdad railway, Dewey remained in Ankara for two weeks during July. Of his visits to Ulus, the historic section of Ankara, Dewey mentions the imposing Citadel ("walls dominating the scene") and comments on Roman remains, i.e., the column of Julian from the 4th century A.D. ("the old column of a later Roman Empire"), and the temple of Augustus from the second century B.C. (Dewey, "Angora, the New" 330-334). Of course, it could not have escaped Dewey's sense of history that Ankara had a colorful past: founded by the Phrygians in the 10th century B.C. as Ancyra, it served as a major base for the Lydians, Persians, Galatians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs; the Seljuks, under their great commander Alparslan, took over Ancyra in 1073, and the Ottoman Turks, under Yýldýrým Beyazýt, took over in 1402. Dewey notes a "pioneer spirit," ". . . something akin to the work of the pioneer and the frontier in America" (Dewey, "Angora, the New" 334; see also Dykhuizen, 224 ff.). He constantly draws the analogy to the pioneering days of America's old West. He cites sandy roads, men building a modern highway, small boys riding donkeys and a special visit to the Mustafa Kemal school.
To Dewey Ankara must have resembled a California mining camp, like the one where another famous American philosopher, Josiah Royce, was born. No doubt Royce, too, would have liked the pioneering spirit of Ankara. The fact is that Dewey, and certainly Royce, understood from firsthand experience this type of spirit of renewal, transformation and progress. (Note 9) (Any perceptive visitor, even in the late 1980s, would still feel the pioneering and innovating spirit in Ankara. With the advent of a metro in the mid 1990s, Ankara has slowly grown up into a full-fledged modern Europeanized city. Yet, despite its Europeanization, Ankara retains a distinct Turkish feel compared to many sea resorts on Turkey's Aegean coast.) Dewey meditates while in Ankara: "It is paradoxical that it should be necessary for a nation to go into Asia in order to make sure that it is to be Europeanized. And history itself is an incredible paradox, of which the mingling of old and new in Angora is but a symbol" (Dewey, "Angora, the New" 334). It was exactly that type of symbol, sublating old and new, that had always guided Dewey's interest. He found it in the spirit of the Old West and in Anatolia.
As Dewey reports, "there are two Turkeys; the real Turkey, and that existing in the imagination of foreigners," said the Rector of the rejuvenated ýstanbul University, commenting on the dialectic of old and new, reality and appearance (Dewey,Character and Events 328). (Indeed, it can be said in the 1990s that the difference between the real Turkey and that imagined in the minds of Western television viewers, and, perhaps, tourists, is still present.) The question that needs to be asked is, Will the real Turkey stand up? The problem with this question is that it still cannot satisfactorily be answered, since the great experiment started by Atatürk in the 1920s in Anatolia has not yet been completed. It is an experiment, again, smaller in scale, that can be compared to the applied enlightenment experiment noted by Dahrendorf. The big American experiment has not yet run its full course; likewise, the smaller but very significant enlightenment experiment in contemporary Turkey remains open-ended. In that sense, Dewey's observations and recommendations for Turkey's educational institutions are still fresh and relevant.
Dewey concluded his two-month mission in Turkey, after a further stay in ýstanbul, on 18 September 1924. On his return from Turkey, he published a series of four articles in the New Republic, which appeared between September 1924 and January 1925. His "Report and Recommendation upon Turkish Education" was published in Turkish as Türkiye Maarifi Hakkýnda Rapor (Report about the Educational System of Turkey), first in 1939 and then again in 1952. The English version appeared in 1960, after it had been lost for some time. The complete version, with Dewey's "Preliminary Report on Turkish Education" to the Turkish Ministry of Public Instruction in Ankara under Vasýf Bey, was, as already mentioned, published for the first time in 1983 in Dewey's Collected Works, vol. 15. (Note 10)
Let us take a look at some essential philosophic aspects of Dewey's "Report." He notes that the basic aim and purpose of schools in Turkey ought to be reform and progressive gradual development (275). He also notes that the mission of elementary education lies in the formation of citizens, autonomous men and women, constitutive members of self-governing society; that the ability to think scientifically is a must in modern society and that the scientific spirit should go hand-in-hand with a democratic communal life. He especially emphasizes health promoted by sports activities, for girls as well as boys; vocational and industrial training, as well as good habits in intellectual pursuits as a foundation for the formation of a modern economic and social order. Dewey points out that education should be understood as primary investment in future generations who will be the ones responsible for fulfilling the promise of the Turkish experiment. According to Dewey, knowledge is not merely power; it is precious capital for the modern state.
I would like to single out two paragraphs which, combined with his unfailing faith in the great democratic experiments of both America and Turkey, give us the gist of Dewey's progressive educational view. He feels that the Ministry of Education should take an enlightened leadership, while taking into account that general public education was overcentralized by the leadership:
. . . there is danger that too much and too highly centralized activity on the part of the Ministry will stifle local interest and initiative, prevent local communities taking the responsibilities which they should take and produce too uniform a system of education, not flexibly adapted to the varying needs of different localities, urban, rural, maritime, and to different types of rural communities, different environments and different industries . . . There is also danger that any centralized system will become bureaucratic, arbitrary and tyrannical in action . . . (280; see also Kazamias.)
Needless to say, Dewey promoted modernization in education, but not dictatorial bureaucratization and centralized leadership by those responsible for Turkish education. He endorsed grassroots democratic developments in the multifarious communities across Turkey in the spirit of an enlightened educational system. Educational leadership does not mean educational dictatorship; Dewey is not a friend of the philosopher-kings' program. Rather, he advocates responsible leadership which promotes the development of young people into mature human beings capable of individual judgement as to their own interest and the interest of society and policy, as a whole. He has this to say in the "Report":
. . . While Turkey needs unity in its educational system, it must be remembered that there is a great difference between unity and uniformity, and that a mechanical system of uniformity may be harmful to real unity. The central Ministry should stand for unity, but against uniformity and in favor of diversity. Only by diversification of materials can schools be adapted to local conditions and needs and the interest of different localities be enlisted. Unity is primarily an intellectual matter, rather than an administrative and clerical one. It is to be attained by so equipping and staffing the central Ministry of Public Instruction that it will be the inspiration and leader, rather than dictator, of education in Turkey. (281. Italics mine)
Certainly, these remarks are as timely for Turkey in the 1990s, as they were in Atatürk's time. Unity is achieved through a common purpose, i.e., to renew a traditional society and transform, adopt, and integrate modern structures into Turkish society so as to make them work for Turkey's Sonderweg. The unique psychological, intellectual, as well as geo-political situation of modern-day Turkey, between Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia, adds a certain urgency to this purposive progress towards unity. The precise goal of this specific Turkish purpose was summed up well and authoritatively by Gökalp, in the following statement:
In our acceptance of Western Civilization, the most important point on which to be alert is the problem of the preservation of our national unity and integrity . . . the only part of our life that we can improve by conscious control is civilization. Civilization, in itself, is the product of individual consciousness. We have to accept the civilization of the West, because, if we do not we shall be enslaved by the powers of the West. (Turkish Nationalism and Western Civilization 266. Italics mine.) (Note 11)
Again, the basic demand, reemphasized by Gökalp, is the unity of the Turkish Nation in the face of enormous challenges: the integration of a western value-system, at least partially, into a home-grown Turkish-Islamic tradition. This unique experiment is still in progress--there are signs of successful adaptation--but we must be cautious, for the price for such adaptation may turn out to be very high. The Turkish experiment, forcefully fostered by Atatürk, Gökalp and their friends, had also been tried in Japan and Egypt, in the mid-19th century. Observing these three different countries and their special road towards modernity, it has become clear that such a cultural experiment is very difficult, costly and time-consuming. Only the 21st century will tell how these countries and others like them will fare. Interestingly enough, Japan, Turkey and Egypt are, with the reference to the process of modernization, at different stages of progress. Japan counts among the leading industrial nations, but, as is well known, the psycho-cultural ramification underneath its modern glitz is still very much traditional. In that sense, Turkey is more complex and may, perhaps, be closer to a cultural modernist attitude than Japan. It is not without reason that Turkey is not described as a Third World or underdeveloped country. Based upon my everyday living experience in Japan, Turkey and Egypt, I suggest that Turkey be given a Sonderstellung; i.e., it has carved out for itself a social and cultural category of its own. Egypt, a former Ottoman province with a very ancient and noble history, is clearly still a developing country. (But again, there are significant differences between Upper and Lower Egypt, rural and urban Egyptian life.) Be that as it may, there is no doubt that Dewey's progressive educational views are as timely as ever, particularly in an age in which most former colonies of the West have reached a stage of transition from traditionalism to modernism, albeit not without doses of violence and frustration.
At the basis of this transition is education, or more precisely, literacy. This was an issue Atatürk grasped immediately: in order to initiate social change, from traditional to modern ways, there must be a reasonable level of literacy. Prior to the Republic,Osmanlýca had been used, with its Arabic script and Arabic and Persian loan vocabulary, throughout the literate life of the country. It would take roughly three years to learn to read and write Osmanlýca on an elementary level, and the whole matter was rather time-consuming. Assessments have it that about 90 percent of the Ottoman population, especially that of Anatolia, was considered illiterate. With the introduction of the Latin script in 1928, illiteracy dramatically decreased. The new Turkish alphabet with Latin script was decreed on 24 May 1928, and by 15 December of that year the first Turkish newspaper appeared in the new typescript. This was an unusual experiment in which Dewey takes a place of honor.
Eleanor Bisbee, professor of philosophy at Robert College between 1936 and 1942, in her extremely valuable memoirs on the birth of the "new Turks," as she calls the newly established Republic, points out that "practical use of Latin letters can be learned in from six months to one year. While considering this, Atatürk conferred with the American philosopher and educator, John Dewey, who advocated the change" (28). (Note 12)
In the long run, as is well-known now, the enlightened pragmatism of Atatürk, Gökalp and Dewey won the day. The specific philosophical problem of how ideas, programs or paradigms relate to praxis and action was shown by Atatürk in the realm of the body politic, by Gökalp in the realm of cultural transformation, and by Dewey in the realm of progressive education. In the "Report," Dewey restates, in a nutshell, his fundamental educational conviction by emphasizing the dignity and respect that is due to the child. This is certainly a modern child, to be respected in terms of its own specific development towards a mature reasonable human being. The relevant remarks in the "Report" are formulated thus:
The great weakness of almost all schools, a weakness not confined in any sense to Turkey, is the separation of school studies from the actual life of children and the conditions and opportunities of the environment. The school comes to be isolated and what is done there does not seem to the pupils to have anything to do with the real life around them, but to form a separate and artificial world. (293)
This text reaffirms Dewey's conviction in his progressive school ideas, worked out at the turn of the century in his Chicago school laboratory. In Chicago, huddled masses from Eastern Europe, and elsewhere, were to be integrated into the mainstream of American society; in Turkey, it was to be the rural peasants of Anatolia who were to be integrated into a great experiment, an enlightened and democratic Republic arising out of the ashes of a devastated Empire. Transforming the "Sick Man of Europe" into a blossoming youth was no mean achievement, accomplished by Atatürk and many patriotic Turks. I would like to think that Dewey made some contribution to that transformation process, the great enlightenment experiment in Anatolia, even if only in a small measure.
Dewey returned to the United States from Turkey in mid-September 1924. And it may be said that few have made, within such a short span of time, a more lasting and substantial contribution to the Turkish nation than Dewey in educational matters. (Note 13)
4. Dewey's Basic Philosophic Position
Dewey expressed his basic contentions in the numerous books he wrote, including Democracy and Education, Nature and Experience, Reconstruction of Philosophy, or Art as Experience. (Note 14) A fair view of Dewey's on-going thought process, especially during the 1920s, may be attained by a look at fundamental statements he made in his Gifford Lectures of 1929, published as the Quest for Certainty, in which he focused on the relationship between knowledge and action. (Note 15) This is of course the field where Dewey, Atatürk and Gökalp meet; it takes the form of the issue of how to transform ideas (particularly educational ones) into action--an issue that activates Atatürk's mind as well as that of Gökalp. Yet, this is not a mere theory-praxis problem. It is the question of how to transform, in effect, a whole society steeped in traditional ways of thinking and doing things into one with a more efficient, modernized attitude, by no means a small feat. Dewey, a product of a particular socio-historical moment in America, was the right man and thinker to appear at the right time in Turkey. So, let us recall some of his basic tenets as they relate to his conception of the fundamental structural dynamics of knowledge and action, ideas and their realization.
At the outset it should be made clear that the supremely logical thought of Charles S. Peirce, America's greatest philosophic thinker, was incorporated in Dewey's schemes. Some Hegelian ideas as well as Darwin's evolutionary ones had their respective influence on Dewey, too. (Note 16) However, two notions that are primordial in the American experience have always been at the bottom of Dewey's thinking: that ideas are realized actions and that these actions can transform society's reality. This essential presupposition was already formulated by Peirce in notes dating from the early 1860s, "Pragmaticism makes thought ultimately apply to action exclusively--to conceived action" (see Peirce,Values in a Universe of Choice xxii). The watchwords are "conceived action" (See Fisch 441-446) (Note 17)--ideas are not merely fiction or imagination run wild, but are conceived with an intended purpose--to act and make the idea concrete. This is somewhat reminiscent of the old Hegelian-Marxian debate on theoria and praxis. Yet, Peirce's pragmaticism, extended by Royce, and expounded by Dewey as a social philosophy of pragmatic instrumentalism, rejects the perennial philosophical presuppositions. The Peirce-Royce-Dewey axis not only negates Descartes' "quest for epistemological security" (which puts it squarely into a conservative mold), but also rejects ideological and eschatological categories embedded in the Marxian perspective. (Note 18) This is one of the reasons why philosophy never needed to return to Marx, for Marxian roots are steeped in European social, political and economic units of thought--not to mention the Judeo-Christian twist to these modes of thought. America did not need a Marx, because it produced a Dewey. (Note19) What Dewey tried to do for the Eastern European immigrants in the 1890s through his progressive educational project in Chicago, Marx attempted for the proletariat through his critique of class conflict in industrialized society. But whereas Marx's ideas seem to have been largely discredited by events in late 20th century, Dewey's ideas still appear in active process around the world.
The Gifford Lectures afford insight into a clear-cut perspective that exhibits Dewey's commitment towards the betterment of the world (albeit a commitment that looks naive in the face of events in Bosnia in the early 1990s), and the firm belief that "in the long run" (a term from Peirce), ideas that are useful will become practical and carry the moral import of goodness. The basis of John Dewey's philosophy, especially his educational outlook, was always moral. Education meant, not merely instrumental usage of information, but ideas, as plans or instruments to be realized, on behalf of the enlightenment and betterment of human beings, preferably toward a truly democratic order. For Dewey, the democratic order, despite its obvious shortcomings, did not mean the rule of the masses, but the rule of the morally good for the benefit of the democratic citizen. Education was the heart of this order and Dewey wanted to make certain that this was emphasized (see Chambliss; and Saiyidain, for an interesting comparison with Dewey).
Dewey envisioned a democratic order for Turkey, too. He was aware, of course, that the newly-founded Republic of Turkey had to deal with different historical presuppositions, be they of Turkish or Islamic origin. But he was convinced that, despite this, a democratic order, with its heart occupied by education, would turn out to be of universal value. In that sense, Dewey was a true son of classical Enlightenment ideas. He felt that, although Europeans conceptualized these ideas, North America was where they were actualized. He also felt, and this transcends his texts on Turkey, that Atatürk's Republic had the strength, toughness, and vision as well, to be able to realize an Enlightenment by direct application to its youth. Knowledge, ideas, and action, institutionalized through educational media, were to be the motor of this applied Enlightenment.
Thus, I would contend that it was not a mistake or accident that Atatürk invited Dewey to Turkey. The Turkish leader and Gökalp were intellectually closer to Dewey than meets the eye. The basic difference was a special mix of Enlightenment ideas with Comtean positivism on the part of Gökalp, while Dewey strongly favoured Hegelian dialectics. But the ideas of development and progress were shared by Atatürk, Gökalp and Dewey. Atatürk wanted to deconstruct the old medrese education, while Dewey, not burdened by the tradition of this venerable institution of classical Islamic education, vigorously promoted a reconstruction of Turkish educational institutions along the line of an enlightened pragmatism, in which the ideas implanted in the young would flourish in the next generation into action--action on behalf of moral virtues that designated a responsible citizen as well as a useful and appreciated member of Turkish society. It was in that respect that he expressed his desire for Turkish unity in mind and heart, and not mechanical uniformity through a bureaucratic centralism.
Some of Dewey's comments from the Gifford Lectures are worth quoting in order to "feel" the Dewey pulse promoting an enlightened pragmatism in democratic cloth. To illustrate:
. . . the state of education is perhaps the most significant. As the means of the general institution of intelligent action, it holds the key to orderly social reconstruction. (Dewey,Quest for Certainty 252)
Any philosophy that in its quest for certainty ignores the reality of the uncertain in the ongoing processes of nature denies the conditions out of which it arises . . . . If existence were either completely necessary or completely contingent, there would be neither comedy nor tragedy in life, nor need of the will to live. (Dewey,Quest for Certainty 244)
Clearly, Dewey takes education seriously for the very precise reason that life's events are incalculable and open-ended. If it were true that life in general follows a prescribed course, then, indeed, why would there be need for education? Education is the corrective in terms of Aristotle's Golden Mean, but with a democratic underpinning. The watchwords are "intelligent action," not merely action for the sake of action. For a body politic to function in an orderly yet civilized way, intelligent decisions and actions are necessary. Order for order's sake provokes dictatorships; likewise, leisure for leisure's sake promotes laziness and vice. Education, as an institution of social engineering, provides society with a means to correct extremities of passions. Thus, the educational system must be viewed as a social reconstruction promoting a democratic society.
Despite drawbacks and the horrors of war in the 20th century, Dewey remained optimistic. I have no doubt that this elderly professorial gentleman, with a keen sense of justice and humanity, saw the events of the 1920s in Turkey in a very favorable light. Ideas and action were synthesized in one man in the person of Atatürk. True, it is an open secret in Turkey that Atatürk had his weaknesses, for he was, in fact, very human; but he never forgot the purpose towards which his will and actions were directed: a secure, independent, democratic and modern Turkey. It is interesting to speculate whether Plato would have had any influence on Atatürk: I doubt it, seriously. On the other hand, it probably did not escape Atatürk's notice that in Dewey he had found a shrewd, but sensitive mind which understood intuitively what was at stake in Ankara. And there was certainly a great deal of tragedy to be found during the War of Independence and the aftermath. There was also great uncertainty: with the Treaty of Sèvres, it was not clear whether Turkey would remain independent or not, or, if partitioned, would be able to survive. The Ankara of the 1920s was not a pretty spa to retire to or to play golf in. Dust, heat, and malaria during the summer; heavy snow, muddy roads and extreme cold during winter, and no modern conveniences--that was Ankara when Atatürk singled out this simple village to represent the strategic unity of the Turkish people. No doubt, Dewey saw in Ankara an analogous small American community of the old West, struggling to survive the extremities of climate, with the odds heavily against it. The achievement that can be witnessed in present-day Ankara is certainly a worthy tribute to Atatürk's will, and a reflection of Dewey's wise and somber pragmatic enlightenment. Many Turkish intellectuals, somewhat seduced by the grand theory of Marx, would be wise to see in Dewey's pragmatism a congenial framework which gives added force to the political will of Atatürk, whose basic goal was none other than to prepare favorable conditions so that the average Turk could live his life in dignity and self-respect.
5. Consequences of Dewey's Progressivism
Before he went to Columbia University as professor of philosophy in 1904, Dewey had been a professor of pedagogy at the University of Chicago, home of the "laboratory school" where he attempted to put into practice the ideas of "progressive education" formulated in The School and Society and Democracy and Education. Dewey's orientation was experimental, seeking the practical verification of hypotheses through ceaseless innovation. He would have been on the side of John Locke and Robert Hooke in the famous Royal Society of the 17th century, rather than on the side of those, such as Newton, who supported the mathematical method. Dewey was more of an Aristotelian than a Platonist. However, his was a curious kind of Aristotelianism with a kind of Hegelian twist. His so-called instrumentalism is not naive, nor merely the vulgar American cash-value epistemology portrayed by such luminaries as Max Scheler and Max Horkheimer. It is a subtle and original pragmatic philosophy, one that tried to make ideas really work in the real world. (Note 20)
In order to come to terms with Dewey's philosophy of education, I will try to place him within the context of the contemporary discourse between the American educational psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg, professor of developmental psychology at Harvard University, and the German social philosopher of the so-called Frankfurt school, Jürgen Habermas. (Note 21)
Kohlberg develops, alongside the genetic psychology of Jean Piaget, a cognitive developmental perspective of child psychology and childhood education. (Note 22) He places Dewey within the context of a developmental approach to educational psychology. By the early 1920s, Dewey had understood quite well what was expected from education in a modern age. He could no longer even compromise with classical Plato scholars at the University of Chicago, such as Paul Shorey, whose work What Plato Said was a standard volume in every respectable library of American Plato scholars. (Note 23) Shorey still defended the classical curriculum transferred to the United States from Europe, especially from Great Britain and Germany. Dewey understood, especially after the disaster of World War I, that the canon of the classical curriculum could no longer satisfy the demands of a modern society and democracy. While for Shorey and his followers the classical text still retained its time-honored function as a grindstone of critical text analysis, and yardstick for High Cultural attainments, for Dewey and his "progressive school," these had little to contribute to the goal of education as experience, the aim of which is the development of children for whom that experience must consist in an odyssey of self-emancipation from traditional shackles of inhibition and control. Experience, problem solving, relevance, critical thinking, and a sense of optimism towards the future--the traits of a peculiar American mode of educational philosophy--constituted the basic platform of Dewey's cognitive developmental approach, i.e., his project for the development of the child towards an open future full of risk, but also possibility. Europe could never share this type of optimism--and after World War I had stopped to promote a future for its children. Dewey and America had been different from Europe, and still are, to this day. Education regulated social life for Dewey's America, while in Europe class divisions were far more important in ordering social, economic, and political life. This is the reason why Dewey always understood education as being an integral part of the body politic, and not a mere appendix to the established political and social order. Without literacy there cannot be a democracy, and education provides the foundation of literacy for all, thereby promoting the condition for a possible democratic body politic. (Note 24)
Kohlberg classifies three broad philosophies of education operating in the Western world: a) romanticism; b) cultural transmission; and c) progressivism, or the cognitive-developmental theory of childhood education. (Note 25) Let me briefly assess these educational philosophies in the light of Dewey, the contrast between America and Europe, and the relevant applicability to the contemporary Republic of Turkey.
Kohlberg sees the roots of the "romantic view of education" in Rousseau. The center is the child and the satisfaction of its innate needs during the psycho-physio-adulthood. I should emphasize that the child, as a "child," was first discovered in the 18th century. Of course, children have always been children, but they were not legally, pedagogically, and psychologically recognized until then as independent little human beings developing towards mature adulthood. One example should suffice: the famous painting "Las Meniñas" by Velazquez (also discussed by Foucault 3-16) portrays a little girl, her puppy dog, and adults. Yet the portrait, charming and subtle as it is, does not really represent children, but only adults. That is to say, children are recognized only as little adults. Childhood, as a specific stage of development within the human life cycle, had not yet been identified as a legitimate stage in the over-all psychological development of the individual. Although he may have been a subtle painter, Velasquez was quite conventional in his understanding of child psychology; in fact, he does not portray children, but little adults. No doubt, it was Rousseau's Emile which promoted, for the first time, the idea of childhood as a special stage within the educational framework of childhood developing towards adulthood. (Note 26) The child, and with it child psychology and pedagogy, is the creation of the Enlightenment. When Voltaire, towards the end of his Candide, suggests to Leibnizians, in the wake of the earthquake of Lisbon in 1755, that they should tend their own garden, he was in fact suggesting a kindergarten without knowing it. For the foundation of a "day care" in England and the Kindergarten in Germany during the late 18th and early 19th centuries was a special awakening toward transforming and reconstructing society. (It is an open secret, by the time we reach mid-20th century, that revolutions start in the day care and kindergarten, and not through a revolutionary council and the guillotine. It can be said that the lasting value of the romantic view of elementary education is the discovery of "childhood" having its own value and developmental stage.) Clearly, the kindergarten was the organic response to an industrialized world, conceived exclusively in terms of material production. Nature was to be used to counteract this urbanized attack upon traditional rural society. Ironically, kindergartens, day cares, and pre-schools were to underscore the special individuality of the child in relation to the family. A shift took place: the child as an individual was to be the basic unit of education and psychological considerations, rather than, exclusively, the classic extended family. Although Kohlberg does not see Dewey within the tradition of Rousseau, it seems likely that without Rousseau Dewey would not have been possible.
The second view of basic education in Western society is identified by Kohlberg as the "cultural transmission perspective." He sees the classical academic curriculum functioning as a paradigm for knowledge transmission from one generation to the next. Conservatism, in the literal sense, is its intention. The idea of the transmission theory is to transfer to subsequent generations the basic canons of Western classical culture in the form of classics. Tradition and the past are the guiding principles of this sort of curriculum. Norms, skills and social behaviour are to be reinforced by this conservative curriculum. Kohlberg summarizes the contrast between the romantic and transmissional educational goals as follows:
In contrast to the child-centered romantic school, the cultural transmission school is society-centered. It defines educational ends as the internalization of the values and knowledge of culture. The cultural transmission school focuses on the child's need to learn the discipline of the social order, while the romantic stresses the child's freedom. The cultural transmission view emphasizes the common and the established, the romantic view stresses the unique, the novel, and the personal. (Kohlberg,Child Psychology and Childhood Education 49)
It should be noted that Kohlberg does not make a distinction between these educational perspectives in terms of America and Europe. This may be a somewhat unfair critique on my part, since Kohlberg aims at explicating the Dewey perspective within the context of his own long-range empirical research. Before discussing Dewey's and Kohlberg's "progressivism," I should return, for a minute, to this American-European distinction and to how that distinction is relevant to modern-day Turkey. It is clear that the transmissional perspective would fit more closely to European society with its traditional division in terms of class, gender, religion, language, and even race. European educational institutions were monopolized, until the 18th century, by the Roman Catholic Church. Rousseau and Les Philosophes basically attacked the church and its traditional curriculum, as well as an educational system whose goal of preservation of social hierarchies held no place for the masses aside from the basic imperatives:ora et labora--pray and work--Latin directives which embody the elitist function of traditional European education. Indeed, education was a phenomenon of the sacred, of the candidates for the priesthood, for male children only, who were basically trained for the services of the church. The replacement of Latin by national languages, in the 17th and 18th centuries, was a first step towards an educational development for the masses. Locke, Descartes and Kant were the philosophical forerunners of "nationalizing" philosophy--the philosophical text was no longer conceived in Latin, but in English, French and German respectively. Newton published his Principia Mathematica in Latin, but his Optics, intended for scientific minds, is written in skillful and elegant English. Atatürk's language reform should be seen in the light of these European nationalizations of basic texts, written within the sphere of the academic world of education. The European enlightened mind, as well as that of Atatürk, understood quite well that as long as the masses were excluded from the ABC's of education, no social, political, or economic reform was possible. Thus, the French Revolution, just like the Turkish Revolution of the 1920s, was a revolution on behalf of the masses and literacy. As soon as the masses had access to education in their own native tongue, the monopoly of the classical Latin curriculum, just like that of Osmanlýca was broken. Educational institutions had to provide for the children of the masses and thereby reform towards the relevance of their own social, political, and economic reality. In that sense, Atatürk's educational reform was inspired by Rousseau and the French Enlightenment. He had hoped, and rightfully so, that Dewey could express the more advanced version of a progressive education, suited for a new modern society on the soil of Anatolia. (Note 27) He was of course aware of the obstacles, but may have misjudged the stubbornness of traditional psychology to adjust to a new situation. In order to "install" a modern psychological attitude necessary for urban life, a transitional pedagogy was needed that would teach how to relearn the methods of learning.
Turkey in the 1920s was in a unique situation: it had some European remnants in its psychology, but had not entertained the stark and distinctive class structure of classic capitalist societies. Ironically, the millet system of the Ottomans had promoted a type of democratic community in terms of religious freedom. Unfortunately, this was not well understood by the planners of a Republican Turkey. Despite the War of Independence, the millet system could have been used to promote religious tolerance, which, in the long run, would have strengthened, rather than weakened, the Turkish majority's determination to support the Republican idea. That determination, I believe, is still there--but the conflicts and controversies that accompanied Atatürk's reform in the religious sphere would not have been necessary. (Note 28) People know by heart what their religion is, but they also know what is in their interest. In the case of Republican Turkey, there would not have been a problem between the heart and the mind of the people. I suggest, that, silently, Dewey understood this point quite well and may still be a fountain from which clear and unspoiled water can be fetched. (Note 29)
The educational elite of Europe never liked Dewey's ideas. Postwar Germany rejected Dewey's educational ideas for the very reason, it argued, that American ideas were not fit for highly educated humanistic institutions. (If this was true, why did Atatürk and Turkey have to save more than one hundred eminent German professors from certain death in the concentration camps? (Note 30) If the classical curriculum, with all of its political and sociological undercurrent, was the more adequate and morally superior canon to Dewey's cash-value theory of education, how can the moral bankruptcy of the German teachers and professors in the face of Hitler and his thugs be explained? Contemporary Germany, especially since its unification in 1990, is paying a heavy price for not reforming the ideals and purpose of its curricula.) Needless to say, Dewey's ideas were poison for the ruling classes of Europe. Equality of education was pronounced to be mass education--their children no longer held the time-honored tradition of having privileged access to a curriculum which, in the first place, was to insure the future status quo of the elite's grandchildren. Great Britain, France and Germany had been paradigmatic cores of this situation. Dewey's educational ideas certainly were not part of their equation, until the late 1970s, when a majority of young people in Western Europe demanded education as a right of a citizen in a democratic community. This demand has been reinforced in the 1980s, and there is no end in sight. Dewey was taken out of the closet, reluctantly, and applied piecemeal to the respective European conditions. Considering the Western European situation, Turkey has a chance to open itself up to Dewey's ideas that fit far better into a Turkish Republican landscape, than they do in Europe's geometrical gardens.
The third philosophy of education Kohlberg discusses is progressivism. Dewey's educational philosophy proposes a child-oriented curriculum which promotes problem-solving strategies, conflict resolutions, critical thinking, and negotiation skills towards moderation; in short, towards the development of a mature adult human being, within the context of rights, obligations, and political freedom, to exercise those rights and obligations. Dewey's progressive perspective promotes the interaction between the child and its environment; it aims not at containment, but at an open-mindedness toward risk and possibilities, which open the gateway of free choice and opportunity. Life is full of risks and there is no fail-safe insurance company or agent that can guarantee success without risk--failure is always a possibility within the context of trial and error. But we can also learn from failure--in Dewey's vision both child and adult may try again to rectify some failures--for the possibility of failure means as well the possibility to be truly human. Dewey's pedagogy promotes change, development, and the progress of individuals and their respective societies. He is, of course, aware of the problems, but feels that as long as human beings promote change and development, they will see the positive aspect of such a point-of-view--not the Heideggerian "Holzwege," but the spiritual road of courage--in terms of variables which only strong, just, and tolerable leadership will be able to manage. (Note 31)
For Turkey the goal should not necessarily be to be the first in GNP, the first in electronics, the first in technology, but to be a developing society that promotes emotional well-being, social security, health, inquisitiveness, reasonability, judgment and a golden mean for its citizens and its foreign guests and residents--since ultimately the real question in life is not a matter of being number one, but of whatever life is worth living, worth living from ýstanbul to Hakkari, from Samsun to ýzmir. If these high ideals can only be realized minimally, the Sonderweg of Turkey will turn out to be a guiding principle for many to emulate.
In conclusion we may ask what relevance Dewey's progressive philosophy of education has for contemporary Turkey. The reply may turn out as follows:
Turkey need not adapt wholesale all of Dewey's educational proposal;
Turkey should make reasonable adjustments of Dewey's pedagogy, taking into consideration the special conditions that prevail in Turkish society;
Turkey should look forward and gamble on the future, for the future is already part of the present ideas;
Turkey's present ideas should promote loyalty to its national identity in order to promote a healthy psychology of its people not in a "uniform" manner, but in a spirit of a community of justice, freedom, and equal opportunity for boys as well as for girls, men as well as for women;
Turkey has the unique opportunity towards a Sonderweg--this "special road" need not be compromised;
Turkey is still, despite the dramatic changes taking place in Central Europe and Russia, the mediator between Western and Eastern Civilization; as such,
Turkey has a special responsibility to both. I venture to suggest that an amalgam of Gökalp, Dewey, Kohlberg, and perhaps Habermas, can provide a theoretical framework for a Turkey that must hold on to the dream of the Enlightenment, the dream of Atatürk, and the faith of a John Dewey in the fundamental belief that human beings can change, despite adverse conditions, for the better. A democratic order of government and investment in people, the most precious capital of any nation, and the opportunities offered to future generations towards a free non-oppressive society, are efforts well spent. The applied Enlightenment has not yet completed its task.
In order to appreciate the analogy between Ankara and the Old American West, see Billington, and Hine. An excellent philosophic interpretation, in the spirit of Dewey, of the influence of the Old West upon contemporary America, is presented by McDermott; also relevant is Wilson.
See J. J. Rousseau's Confessions. Unfortunately, Rousseau does not tell us more about his father's activities in Pera (ýstanbul), aside from his having been there.
Useful for a concise and quick overview of Egyptian modern history, see Marsot; and, highly relevant, Reid; also the instructive work by Hamed; see also Shann.
See Miller; more specifically, on the topic, somewhat neglected in standard history, of modern educational developments in Turkey, see Akþit. I would like to thank Prof. Bahattin Akþit, of the Sociology Department at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, for some excellent insights into the whole topic on contemporary Turkey, during a visit in February 1994. See Winter, useful for a compact overview. See Robinson, excellent for an assessment of the accomplishments of the newly founded Turkish Republic.
A balanced and fair biography of Atatürk is presented by Kinross; for a more eccentric approach, but, at times, insightful, see Volkan and Itzkowitz; and highly informative and useful, the collection of essays mainly by Turkish scholars, Renda and Kortepeter. Unfortunately, Ziya Gökalp is little known outside Turkey, but see Berkes, Turkish Nationalism and Western Civilization: Selected Essays of Ziya Gökalp. As chairman of the Official Committee for Writing and Translation in Ankara, Gökalp was responsible, since 1922, for overseeing the publication and translations of European classics. It is almost certain that Dewey met Gökalp during his two-week visit in Ankara. Also see Gökalp,Principles of Turkism. ýnalcýk states that "there is no doubt that his [Gökalp's] teachings provided an intellectual foundation for the modernization of Turkey" (195). For one of the earliest recognitions of Gökalp's importance for Modern Turkey, see Hartmann. A standard work is that of Heyd. Halide Edib, later known as Adývar, was to be the translator and assistant of Atatürk in Ankara, during Turkey's War of Independence. She became an instant public figure throughout Turkey after her famous speech to thousands of Turks at the Sultanahmed Mosque in Istanbul on 6 June 1919. The speech electrified the masses and turned into a symbolic act in terms of Turkish patriotism and the emancipation of women. She is also known as a formidable novelist describing the events of the War of Independence. Also see her fascinating autobiographical works, originally written in English and published in the United States: Adývar,Memoirs;Turkey Faces West; and Inside India. These works give us a unique account of Turkey's change from the latest episode of the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic. Halide Edib met British historian Arnold Toynbee, during his visit to Ankara in the Summer of 1923, and was to lecture at Columbia University during the academic year 1931-1932, returning to Turkey to be professor of English Literature at ýstanbul University, between 1939-1950, and elected member of the Turkish Parliament in the same year. She also met Dewey in Ankara and must have continued the contact while lecturing at Columbia University. Both Halide Edib and Dewey enjoyed excellent relations with Charles Crane, President of the Board of Trustees of the American College for Girls in Constantinople, former American Commissioner on Mandates in Turkey, an advisor to President Wilson on Eastern affairs at the Paris Peace Conference, as well as former US ambassador to China in 1920, the country Dewey had visited prior to visiting Turkey. This author discovered the personal copy gift to Charles Crane by Halide Edib of her Memoirs, inscribed with thanks on 24 August 1926, in the George Washington University Library, Washington, D.C. (Signature: DR 592 A4 A3). Also see Kemal,Memed My Hawk and Wind from the Plains.
The problem of secularization is as relevant in the West as it is in the East; for some basic literature on this complex problem, see Berger; Eliade; for the classic with a touch of enlightenment irony, see Becker; for a more academic treatment in the line of Weber, see Stark; and somewhat neglected, Schluchter; also Berkes,The Development of Secularism in Turkey; and recently Lubbe, a stimulating treatment in the German academic community of religion within the postmodernist context. Two interesting works that deal with the secularization process of Turkish guest workers in Germany and the effect of religion upon those who reintegrate themselves in the Turkish homeland are Strube; and Prator.
Cf. the letter of transmittal for the preliminary report on Turkish education by Robert M. Scotten, First Secretary of Embassy, in charge, US High Commission to the US Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, on September 23, 1924. This letter, only recently made public, gives us some details of Dewey's visit to Turkey--see Dewey, "Report on Turkey." Dewey probably read the excellent and handsomely illustrated photographic presentation by H.G. Dwight (567) to prepare himself somewhat for his encounter with ýstanbul. H.G. Dwight's father, Professor Henry Otis Dwight was also the author of an excellent guide to ýstanbul with which, no doubt, Dewey must have been familiar, see H.O. Dwight, see especially ch. VI, Schools and School Teachers (199-243); of historical interest and relevant from a social history view, see Duben and Behar.
Modern Ankara is clearly the greatest tribute to the political will and vision of Atatürk. Unfortunately, even present-day Ankara is not on the touristic itinerary; it has the reputation among European tourists of being dull and without historic, or aesthetic interest. So much for a liberal arts education. In order to alleviate the situation somewhat, note the following: British historian Arnold J. Toynbee paid Ankara and Atatürk a visit, during the summer of 1923. He relates his Ankara visit accordingly: " At Angora in 1923 it was possible to catch the spirit of Revolutionary France still moving over the face of the waters; and if it is true that a visit to Angora in that year assisted a Western observer to re-create the spirit of the French Revolution in imagination, the converse is equally true, that, without some comprehension of the spirit which reigned in Paris from 1789 to 1795, the political history of Turkey since 1920 is incomprehensible" (Toynbee and Kirkwood 129). Toynbee relates in his autobiographical writings that he did, in fact, have a memorable discussion with Atatürk and singles out Halide Edib and her husband Dr. Adývar (Experiences). On 13 April 1923, Toynbee writes to his wife Rosalind from Ankara, after dining with Atatürk: ". . . undoubtedly a great man . . . you would swear that he was an Austrian or German. He is sympathetic but not amiable . . . a little like a leopard preparing to spring." (qtd. in Mc Neill, 117). On the history of Ankara, see Faroqhi. See the symposium on "Ankara Beyond Appearances;" and an excellent illustrated essay by Yýldýrým Yavuz, "Turkish Architecture During the Republican Period," which deals almost exclusively with Ankara and its great Austrian-German master architects (e.g. Bruno Taut, C. Holzmeister, or city planner Fritz Reuter, later Mayor of West Berlin) who found refuge in Ankara from the Nazis (267-283). See also Fehmi Yavuz. Also of interest, Ellison; von Bischoff; and Klinghardt.
The idea of community in American thinking is very much akin to some of the ideas of Gökalp. No doubt a common theme for an interesting discourse on the pioneer spirit and its realization can be had in the writings of Peirce, Royce, Dewey, and the American historian Frederick Jackson Turner--this discourse can be applied to the birth of the Turkish Republic. Atatürk and Gökalp no doubt found in Dewey a congenial thinker who combined an enlightenment spirit with American pragmatic instrumentality; see Wolf-Gazo, and Reidl.
For a complete and detailed information on "The Report" and Dewey publications concerning his observations on Turkey, consult "Textual Commentary," and numerous important footnotes by the editors of Dewey's Middle Works.
Berkes had this interesting complementary comment: "The Turkist attitude to the West, or rather to the Western Question, was different from the rationalist and intellectualist approach of the Westernists, and from the religious approach of the Islamists. Consequently, the Turkists were neither anti-West nor pro-West or, to put it another way, they were as pro-Western as any Westernist and as anti-Western as any Islamist. They accepted both attitudes, but only partially" (The Development of Secularism in Turkey 335).
The development of the rate of literacy in Turkey was followed up by a team of American sociologists from Columbia University headed by Professor Daniel Lerner, during the period 1950-1954. The village of Balgat, now a suburb of Ankara, was chosen for the research and fieldwork--the work resulted in a modern classic, Lerner's The Passing of Traditional Society (see 19-166 for literacy in Balgat). When Dewey was visiting China his translator, interpreter, and student was Dr. Hu Shih, who was to be Chinese Ambassador to the United States in 1940. Hu Shih was responsible for initiating a "literacy revolution," likewise, in China by substituting spoken language for classical Chinese, which was only understood by professional scholars. See again Hu Shih.
Professor Carl Cohen, in his fine "Introduction" notes aptly: "the value of this "Report," I submit, is very great: it is the single most important document in this volume. It speaks directly to the problems of school systems in all developing countries, today and for many decades . . . . In less than thirty pages Dewey here presents an enchiridion for educators in all developing nations . . . the "Report and Recommendation upon Turkish Education" is, in my judgement, the finest product of Dewey's thinking during the years represented by this volume" (xx-xxi, xxiii).
The Collected Works of John Dewey were published under the editorship of Professor Jo Ann Boydston. A useful essay of orientation of his own position within American philosophy is given by Dewey in "The Development of American Pragmatism" (23-40).
The Gifford Lectures are published in The Later Works, Vol. 4. Some excellent standard overview and interpretations on Dewey are available, e.g., Geiger (Geiger was the philosophy undergraduate teacher of the anthropologist Clifford Geertz, who introduced interpretive ethnology into the current discourse of post-modernism); Bernstein (Bernstein, from the New School of Social Research has entertained an interesting discourse with Habermas and the Frankfurt School people, on the relation between Dewey's pragmatism and Critical Theory); on a broader scale, Frankena; and more analytic, Tiles; and indispensible, Dykhuizen.
The early Dewey was a neo-Hegelian with some elements of Darwinian evolutionary theory; in his Essays in Experimental Logic he moves towards Peircean logic of the Scientific Community; useful on these matters, White.
Consult Peirce's major works, still useful with a systematic orientation,Collected Papers of C. S. Peirce. A chronological edition of Peirce's work under the editorship of Max H. Fisch is forthcoming from Indiana University Press; also, see the standard work on pragmatism by Thayer.
Dewey's critique of Descartes is, at the same time, a critique of European philosophy. Descartes' project of attaining certainty, which I labelled "epistemological security," is described by Dewey, as the title suggests, as a "quest for certainty." One of the fundamental differences between American pragmatic philosophy (Peirce-James-Royce-Dewey) and the tradition of European philosophy, empiricists, rationalists, idealists, as well as positivism, is the American emphasis upon the epistemological category of "future." Future, in the Peirce-Royce-Dewey constellation, means the practical anticipation of an idea by the philosopher. The truth is thereby already a part of the idea--Peirce called this methodology--abduction. See Rescher.
It is no secret that Marx never was taken seriously in North America, except among intellectual circles on the East and West Coast, who had special intellectual and traditional ties to their European counterpart, within the Neo-Marxian movements. See Smith, "Some Continental and Marxist Responses to Pragamatism"; and highly readable, Smith,America's Philosophical Vision; and Novack.
American pragmatism has had, perhaps, until recently, bad press among European intellectuals. Even the founder of the sociology of knowledge, Max Scheler, misunderstood a great deal of the basic tenets of pragmatism; see Scheler. Peirce was almost unknown in Europe until the 1960s. Horkheimer, one of the founders of the Frankfurt School certainly misunderstood pragmatism; see Horkheimer. There is, however, a real possibility that the witty and razy language of William James, who was the best known of the American pragmatists, added to the misconception of the essential pragmatic position. Habermas is still affected by this tradition of misreading American pragmatism, due to Scheler and Horkheimer. His treatment of Peirce in his well known Erkenntnis und Interesse presents Peirce in a quasi-positivist light (116ff). Dewey has been strangely neglected as a philosopher in Europe--although with Richard Rorty, who sees Dewey in a new light within the post-modernist discourse, Dewey's philosophic perspective is gaining respectability among Europeans. As an educator, however, Dewey was always honored across the Atlantic.
Lawrence Kohlberg has been associated with Habermas since the 1970s, alongside Habermas followers in the US such as Richard Bernstein, Thomas McCarty, Martin Jay, Sheila Benhabib. For a fair summary of Habermas's philosophy, see Horster. The triangular Auseinandersetzung between Habermas, Kohlberg, and Dewey is located in the following texts: Habermas,Moralbewußtsein und kommunikatives Handeln and Erläuterungen zur Diskursethik (see especially "Lawrence Kohlberg und der Neoaristotelismus" 77-99); lastly, Kohlberg,Child Psychology and Childhood Education (see especially "The Young Child as a Philosopher" 13-44, and "Development as the Aim of Education" 45-85).
Of specific interest to Turkey is Kohlberg's participation in psycho-social-educational studies of the moral development in Turkish children and male adolescents: see especially, E. Turiel, C.P. Edwards and L. Kohlberg, "Moral Development in Turkish Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults" and "A Longitudinal Study of Moral Judgement in Turkish Males."
I am indebted for the information and insights on the Shorey-Dewey Debate at Chicago University to my classics undergraduate teacher, Dr. John F. Latimer, late Professor Emeritus of Classical Languages, George Washington University, during the academic years 1966-1969.
Dewey's progressive school in Chicago shows analogies, on a broad level, with the development in Turkey of Halkevi (People's House) and Halkodasð; (People's Room)--community centers in Republican Turkey, introduced in the 1930s in order to bridge the gap between the village, i.e., rural areas and urban centers. The essence of the program in Turkey, as well as that of Dewey's in Chicago, was the promotion of literacy and integration of disadvantaged people, during the process of modernization, into the mainstream of national life. See Winter, and relevant at this point, Bernstein ("Dewey's Democracy: The Task Ahead of the US" 48-59).
See Kohlberg's classification of philosophies of education (46ff). Kohlberg relates the cognitive-developmental view in child psychology and education to Dewey, as follows: "[T]he Dewey view of educational psychology starts with the value assumption that development should be the aim of education . . . The tenets of progressivism, most clearly identified with the work of John Dewey, . . . we claim that the cognitive-developmental approach can handle these issues because it combines a psychological theory of development with a rational ethical philosophy dealing with the issues first proposed by John Dewey" (2-3).
It is a fact that John Locke was the first philosopher who took children seriously within his discussion of a tabula rasa developmental empirical psychology. Kohlberg places Locke within the environmental-learning school--the essential problem is, of course, still between nature and nurture. Yet, I would hold that Locke and the nurture-environmentalists are closer to Dewey than is generally supposed. It is ironic, and not without historical interest, that classical empiricists and rationalists (Locke, Berkeley, Hume--Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz) basically agreed on the idea of intuition as a legitimate source of human knowledge. But they did not say what value intuitive epistemology had within their own respective programs. See, for instance, the vague terminology and conceptualization used by present-day psychologists dealing with mind, body, and intuition, within child development ( Inagaki and Hatano).
See Patrick, and Gates. These are interesting accounts of firsthand experience of modernizing attempts in higher education (in ýstanbul, if not on Anatolian soil) according to Dewey's educational principles.
See Dawson; Hooykaas; Oberman; and Lubbe. These works show clearly a more sophisticated understanding of the role and function of religion within the intellectual processes of Western civilization. It is clear that a positivistic scientific assessment, especially in the form of Comte's positivism, is too simplistic to do justice to the role of religious organizations promoting intellectual activity.
See Dewey's sensitive and graceful statement as to religion in the life of humankind in A Common Faith.
The only work, in any language, that deals with the German academic exile in Turkey during the Nazi era is still Widman. A moving and sensitive account of the period of German exile is given by the economist Neumark.
See Peters, and Kimball for a general discussion of education from an anthropological view; also of interest in the spirit of Dewey, is Moffatt. Highly informative and thoughtful by a cultural historian of note is Cantor, on the genesis of modernity see Eksteins. Also of relevant interest, for the development of the kindergarten in the early 19th century as a modern educational institution that would replace the extended family parenting--the preschool child was born with the kindergarten and day care in Germany and England--see Günter Erning et al. (containing unusual historic photographic documentation).
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