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  Osmanlı Bilimi Araştırmaları>Cilt 7, Sayı 2 >Özet 1 <geri

Adnan Adıvar's works in history of science:
Prior to the La Science chez les Turcs Ottomans and thereafter

Feza Günergun

A well known figure of the 20th century Turkish politics and intellectual life, Dr. Abdülhak Adnan Adıvar (1882-1955) was also a pioneer in the Turkish historiography of science. He researched in a field hitherto disregarded: the history of science in Turkey under the reign of the Ottomans. His major work Osmanlı Türklerinde İlim (1943), first published in French in 1939, surveys and evaluates science in Turkey from the 13th up to 19th centuries.

A. Adnan Adıvar, became interested in intellectual history after he left Turkey in 1926. In a way, political circumstances which prevented him to return, led him to research in history of science during his exile years (1926-1939) in Europe. In London, he studied the interaction between science and religion, inspired by the conferences of R.A.Millikan, A.N.Whitehead, and A.S.Eddington published in late 1920s. His interest in the issue was probably associated with his view of reconciling religion with modernization, i.e. Islamic and Western thought in Turkey.

A.Adıvar settled in Paris in 1929. While carrying on his readings on science and religion, he became acquainted with historians of science associated with Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences and the Centre International de Sythèse. He started to correspond with G.Sarton and collaborated with Aldo Mieli, and it is during his stay in Paris that he undertook to work on Turkish history of science. He published his early articles on the issue in Archeion. His first book La science chez les Turcs Ottomans came out in Paris 1939, the year he returned to Istanbul. The Turkish enlarged edition entitled Osmanlı Türklerinde İlim (1943) was qualified by 'modernists' as an 'impartial work', but criticized by 'traditionalists' who considered it as a "document against the Turks and that it appropriates Turkish achievements to other races."

In his Istanbul years (1939-1955), A. Adnan Adıvar continued to publish on history of science. His study on the science-religion interaction saw the press in in two volumes in 1944 (Tarih Boyunca İlim ve Din). Despite his involvement in politics again in 1946, he chaired the editorial work of the Turkish edition of the E.J.Brill's (Leiden) Encyclopaedia of Islam, and wrote biographical articles for it. Adıvar was also popular with his writings in daily Istanbul newspapers. He not only contributed to the study of Turkish history of science but to introduce the Turkish studies on history of science to international community.

Key words: Abdulhak Adnan Adıvar, Turkish historiography of science, Ottoman science, Encyclopaedia of Islam, science and religion; Anahtar kelimeler: Abdülhak Adnan Adıvar, Türk bilim tarihi yazıcılığı, Osmanlı bilimi, İslam Ansiklopedisi, bilim ve din.



Son güncelleme: 01.11.2016

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