The Concept of Science in Mevzû’Âtu’l-’Ulûm of Tasköprîzâde (Isâmeddîn) Ahmed Bin Mustafa 1495-1561

The Concept of Science in Mevzû’Âtu’l-’Ulûm of Tasköprîzâde (Isâmeddîn) Ahmed Bin Mustafa 1495-1561

Nuri Çevikel

Abstract

As a branch of philosophical sciences, a new field of research under the name of sociology of scientific knowledge has been put forward in Europe for the last 40-50 years in order to study the nature, purpose, topic and method of science with its place in private and social life of man. In this field, translations from the western languages into Turkish have been made in Turkey for a few decades. In this article, Mevzûíâtüíl-íUlûm (subject matters of the sciences) written by Tasköprîzâde Isâmeddîn Ahmed bin Mustafa (1495-1561) who was a professor (müderris), an encyclopedist and one of the most remarkable representatives of the sixteenth-century Ottoman world of science, is going to be analized with respect to the sociology of scientific knowledge. While handling the analysis, despite it is not among the main discussion topics of this work, in a few places, certain similarities and differences between the Islamic-Ottoman understanding of science represented by Tasköprîzâde Ahmed Efendi and the western approaches to science are to be pointed out. Mevzû’âtü’l-’Ulûm’s original name was Miftâhü’s-Sa’âde ve Misbâhû’s-Siyâde which was written in Arabic and consists of two volumes. It was translated into Turkish by Kemâleddîn Mehmed, son of the writter and published by Ikdam Matbaasi in two volumes with the title of Mevzû’âtü’l-’Ulûm in Istanbul in 1897. It is possible to see the traditional Islamic-Ottoman comprehension of science in the work of Tasköprîzâde Ahmed Efendi who lived during the Ottoman classical period. Within the framework of this understanding, since the preface of the Islamic history, the status of social science has been granted to the intellectual activities of human beings. It is, however, a fact that the scholars in Europe struggled a lot for that goal during the period from the second half of the eighteenth-century to the third quarter of the twenteeth-century. 

Keywords: İlim/bilim; Beşerî bilim; Bilimsel Bilginin Sosyolojisi; Geleneksel İslâmî/ Osmanlı ilim anlayışı; Taşköprîzâde Ahmed; Mevzû’âtü’l-’Ulûm.

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