Science and spirituality: Ottoman inconsistencies, Europe’s paradoxes

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    • Publication Information:
      Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 2017.
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    • Abstract:
      Ottoman and Turkish perceptions of Europe have commonly been analyzed with an emphasis on the contradictions they embody, and using the frame of a "love and hate relationship." In this paper I analyze the writings of the late Ottoman intellectual Ahmed Midhat Efendi who not only produced many works on Europe that exemplify these inconsistencies, but also acknowledged and analyzed his self-contradictory attitudes towards Europe. I argue that Midhat's inconsistent representations of Europe were not simply due to the turbulent political and cultural relations between the Ottoman Empire and the Great Powers; Midhat's observations were also about the contradictions of industrial capitalism as well as colonialism themselves. Finally, I show that Midhat saw in science and the professional identities of modern scientists the solution to the problem of Europe's inconsistencies.
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      electronic resource
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