Mehmet İzzet’s Lost Work, Entitled ‘Ahlak’ (Ethics)

Mehmet İzzet is one of the leading names of modern Turkish thought. He lectured on ethics and sociology at Dar al-funun. He is known for his sociology works, but his moral studies are not known. The paper consists of two parts. In the first part, Mehmet Izzet Bey is introduced briefly, and the second part contains the work Ahlak which is only known by name. For today, when his articles are not taken into account, we should mention Mehmet İzzet’s (1891-1930) three works on morality. These are Psychology (Ilm al-ruh) he taught in Dâr al-khılafah al-aliyye Madrasah, and The studies of Ethics (Ahlak Mabahisi) and Ethics (Ahlak) he taught in Dâr al-funun. The second one is a work based on Kant’s philosophy, translated from Abel Rey. The philosophy that all three deal with is the human-based modern philosophy of morality. In the Ilm al-ruh, he defines the sciences of philosophy, reveals the human being as a living who wants to live well as a being of consciousness, and analyzes the existence style and characteristics of consciousness. He represents a definition of morality, its subjects, and aims in the Ahlak Mabahisi, and in his work Ethic, he deals with the metaphysics of Kant’s morality (örf mâbadettabiiyâtı) and makes the terms Turkish. Human is consciousness, that is the will (mawjud-i âkil) and the will is the practical mind. Human accepts himself well at himself with the desire to live well. He realizes his duty by the law. He respects the law. However, the law of behavior of the person should not be individual but should be universal. Because the key feature that distinguishes most from other virtues is this. With this idea, the intelligent being accepts that he is the lawmaking will, and becomes both lawmaker and obedient to the law with the idea of the social contract. Freedom of will consists in acting with the idea that it is a lawmaker. Mehmet Izzet’s morality is a metaphysic as morality and Kantian new ethics in Turkish thought.

İrfan Görkaş
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