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DARWINISM: داروينيزم [Darvinizm / Darwinism / Wahrheit und Irrthum im Darwinismus]




The first book on Darwinism, printed in Istanbul.

A translation of von Hartmann’s work on the Darwinism into Ottoman was an early reaction to the Darwinism in the Ottoman Empire. The translator and author of the influential introduction Memduh Süleyman considered the natural selection the biggest mistake of the Darwinism.


8°, original front wrapper with the cover, 127 pp. with a portrait, [1], later paper wrappers (Very Good, minor staining around the spine).



The work in Ottoman language is a translation of Wahrheit und Irrthum im Darwinismus (The Truths and Mistakes of Darwinism) by Eduard von Hartmann (1842 – 1906), first published in 1875. The translator Memduh Süleyman, who also commented the book, considered the natural evolution the biggest mistake of the Darwinism.

Memduh Süleyman (1889?-1920) was an important author and translator of the last years of the Ottoman Empire. His most famous work is a book on Nitzsche, Nietzsche Hayatı ve Felsefesi, from 1912, which he co-wrote in together with Ahmet Nebil-Baha Tevfik-Memduh.

This is the first book on Darwinism printed in Istanbul. The first book on Darwinism in the Ottoman language was issued in 1911 in Bitola. The book was published amidst the Ottoman debate on the Darwinism. The first mentioning of the term was made in 1863 in a magazine Mecmua-i Fünūn by Münif Pasha, who was at the time serving as a minister of education and did not believe, that the development of science would or should affect the religion.

In the time of the publication of our book, Darwin’s works were not yet translated into Ottoman. The first translation of On the Origin of Species in the Muslim world, was only issued in Arabic in 1918 in Cairo. Translated were only the first six chapters. For more chapters were subsequently added in 1928.

References: OCLC 67050243; BDK – ÖZEGE; 3637; MİL – TBTK; 12602; Daniel Varisco, Darwin and Dunya: Muslim Responses to Darwinian Evolution (https://www.lindenwood.edu/files/resources/14-39-darwin-and-dunya.pdf); Ceyda Özmen, Translating Science in the Ottoman Empire: Translator-educators as “Agents of Change” in the Ottoman Scientific Repertoires.

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