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<title> ABSTRACT </title>I analyze the contrasting visions of history of science in the works respectively of an Ottoman and a Turkish man of letters, Ahmed Midhat and Adnan Adivar, and claim that they perceived the link between science and cultural identity in different terms. Ahmed Midhat conceived of science as closely tied to its cultural matrix, whereas Adivar settled for a less holistic view. Both authors saw science as the harbinger of a new social existence, but they evaluated the prospects of this existence in rather divergent ways. Ahmed Midhat was concerned with the detrimental effects of an unquestioning appropriation of European scientific traditions, while Adivar had no such qualms, and celebrated the universalism and progressiveness of reason as revealed in history of science. I suggest that these differences in their outlooks presented their readers with civilizational choices.


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