Salih Zeki and his Conference on Time
Meltem Akbaş
Professor of mathematical sciences at the Istanbul Darülfunun, Salih Zeki (18641921) lectured regularly to mathematics teachers and enthusiasts alike, on mathematical topics between the years 1914 and 1916. His conferences mainly covered nonEuclidian geometries. Salih Zeki also discussed the concepts of number, space and time, in the context of the history and philosophy of mathematics. The majority of his lectures were collated and published under the title of Darülfünun Konferansları (Darülfünun Conferences) in 1915/1916. Some conferences, however, remained unpublished. The present article aims to introduce one of these conferences, namely the one on "Time" given on March 1915.
The conference begins with a review of philosophical time and concentrates on both psychological and physical time concepts. Salih Zeki approached the subject in the context of time measurement. The conference heavily drew on H. Poincaré's (18541912) La Valeur de la Science which Salih Zeki had translated in Turkish. The translation titled İlmin Kıymeti was published in 1914, in Istanbul. Interestingly, Salih Zeki never touched the absolute versus relative time discussion, or the Einstein's relativistic time concept in the mentioned conferences.
Key words: time, Salih Zeki, Henri Poincaré, Darülfünun; Anahtar kelimeler: zaman, Salih Zeki, Henri Poincaré, Darülfünun
