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Learned PatriotsDebating Science, State, and Society in the Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Empire$
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M. Alper Yalçinkaya

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226184203

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226184340.001.0001

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A New Type of Knowledge for a New Social Group

A New Type of Knowledge for a New Social Group

(p.20) One A New Type of Knowledge for a New Social Group
Learned Patriots

M. Alper Yalçinkaya

University of Chicago Press

This chapter introduces some key themes of the cultural transformation of the Ottoman Empire in the late 18th – early 19th centuries, and describes the early stages of the emergence of a new class of “knowers.” It discusses the early attempts to establish institutions with more emphasis on the new sciences in their curricula. The students of these new Ottoman schools, young men sent to Europe for education, and the new diplomats of the Empire constitute the members of the emerging new “learned class.” Using data from official documents and the writings of the members of this class, the chapter shows how, at the beginning of the 19th century, the portrayal of European science as “new knowledge” gradually emerged, and how the members of the emerging class started to portray this “new knowledge” as their distinctive property, and grounds for redefining power and prestige in the Empire.

Keywords:   Ottoman Empire, science, ulema, education

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