THEME 8.Kazakh national philosophy. Phenomenon of philosophy in Kazakh culture. Russian philosophy XIX- XX centuries. .
The World of Islam is rightly proud of the great achievements in the field of spiritual culture that distinguished it in the history of the mankind and gave it a well-deserved place in the global civilizing process. The broad spread and centuries-old development of Islamic spirituality, fixed and expressed in the Moslem holy book – the Koran – enriched many states and regions of the world. Kazakhstan is no exception; It is an area of traditional Islamic expansion with a long history of Islamic values and the spatial expansion of its spiritual influence. Though Kazakhstan, due to geopolitical conditions, is to some extent "peripheral" to epicenters of Islam, one should emphasize that Islam in its essential, human features holds a strong position in Kazakhstan as well. However, it has undergone a certain transformation related, first of all, to the features of management and way of life of the nomadic Kazakh society. Therefore a peculiar syncretism, a synthesis with local traditions of tengryian and other religious beliefs, has become a specific trait of Islam in Kazakhstan. Having expanded into the Kazakh steppe, Islam has not become the leading principle of state life and policy, but is a strong part of the global orientation of the society, and an important part of the religious-cult and the public practice of religion. Proceeding from primacy of human rights, in particular the right on choose or not to choose one’s religion, in the civil society being formed in our Republic a person must have the right to use freely the achievements of both secular and religious culture.
The universal outlook of Islam, especially in the sphere of morality, from the time of the expansion of Islam into the Kazakh steppe and later, has been reflected both in the practical experience of everyday life of the people and in the philosophical thoughts of the great thinkers of the Steppe.
How is this amazing vitality of Islam and its growing influence upon the spiritual climate of the millennium to be explained? In my opinion, it answers the cardinal principles of the modern epoch, being oriented upon polycentrism and democracy. Islam is open to the constructive dialogue, partnership, co-operation of the East and the West, of religion and science; it is capable of ethical contacts and cultural-historical interaction with the other cultures and religious beliefs. Islam is devoid of a spirit of intolerance and fanaticism – that is why many people in all parts of the globe accepted it, and why it spread overtime, while at the same time remaining loyal to the unique and peculiar postulates of its theology. The amazing cultural productivity of Islam and its abilities for dialogue and mutual understanding can be comprehended if we turn to the creative activity of such leaders of world culture as our famous ancestor Abu Nasr al-Farabi who has been praised through the ages for his wisdom; his follower, encyclopedically educated Ibn Sina, who opened the Gates of science; the prophet and sage of the Kazakh lands, mentor and Teacher of many and many generations, Hodja Akhmed Yassavi; and the great thinker and genius of the global culture Abay and his associate Shakarim. This cultural philosophical approach remains productive in XXI century. First of all we turn to the creative work of al-Farabi.
The development of philosophy on the territory of former USSR proceeded under banner of a militant atheism. Whereas a typical feature of most studies was a logical-gnoseological direction, which stipulated the primary development of the cognitive aspect of the philosophical outlook, yet philosophy in its essence is an overall reflective outlook, synthesizing the results of both the cognitive and the moral, the aesthetic and the religious attitude toward the world.
Modern practice of the independent development of Kazakhstan and Kazakhstani philosophy has shown that the primary orientation of a person to cognitive culture and the cultivation of rationality in the form of scientific knowledge is an important component of personal development, but not the only one. Moreover, without being complemented by other important components of personal development, including, first of all, morality and spirituality, this can lead to a deformation in education. Consciously rejecting every hypostasis of a personal culture, scientifically oriented philosophy has lost in its content since its studies have mostly become lacking in spirituality and personal meaning. Presently we have an opportunity to read works in a totally new way, through the prism of his religious Islamic outlook. It is no use to present him as a materialist and atheist; rather, his key ideas: reason, science and philosophy are ways of understanding the One who is First, namely, Allah. Al-Farabi’s creative activity reveals that Islam promoted the development and flowering of philosophy, in ways which from the beginning were tolerant and democratic.
OBLIGATORY READING MATERIALS. In Russian Segisbaev. O.A. “Kazakhskay philosophiy”
ADITIONAL READING MATERIALS: Internet
Abai Kunanbaev - great poet, philosopher, writer, public figure, founder of the modern Kazakh written literature.
Chokan Chingisovich Valihanov - the Great scientist-historian, ethnographer, geographer, economist, traveller.