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TEXTBOOK OF BIOLOGY

Author: Stephan Konsulov

 

It has taken quite an effort to compile a short review on the author of this book. Prof. S. Konsulov /1885-1954/ is a polemical figure in bulgarian scientific thought. He has been widely discussed in the critical literature for his debates with another major figure in the philosophical horizon of Bulgaria - namely, with  Prof. D. Mihalchev /i.e., a long term editor of the most prestigious bulgarian philosophical journal "Philosophical Review"/. As a matter of fact, this was taking place in the years of fascist orientation of national and international political life in the country and bourgeoning of a wealth of theories on bio-racism and social darwinism.

Prof. S. Konsulov /i.e., a long term editor of journals with biological and educational content "Priroda i Nauka", "Prosveta", etc. - viz., transliteration is from bulgarian/ has been an outspoken leader of nationalism in anthropology and philosophy from that period. His propaganda was directed against liberalism and marxism in the society, while, some main points in his lectures and publications were concerned with a "new order", with "heredity of the pure races in society", with "disposal of the socially inadaptable strata of the population", etc. - namely, all this was a proponent of a new eugenics inclination in bulgarian cultural life and thought.

After WWII and a downfall of the reactionary forces, Prof. S. Konsulov was sentenced by the People's Court and put in jail for a lifetime. It has been interesting to follow his activities in prison from the undocumented memoirs of his daughter Anna Konsulova. He did some active research work there and concerning some important themes - viz., longevity and vitality, carcinogenesis and life, dental prevention /i.e., he has licensed an original bulgarian toothpaste "Pomorin"/, etc. Before and after the war Prof. S. Konsulov was a political opponent of the Theosophical Society in Bulgaria. This line of view against a current in modern philosophical thought - such as the anthroposophy, theosophy, dunovism /i.e., followers of Master Petar "Beinsa" Dunov/, etc. - are an extremely important point in an attempt to fight with the forces of religious mysticism and biological nihilism, which, were quite wide spread in academic scientific thought during the 50s of the past century. Have in mind that, no matter, how reactionary his eugenics propaganda and he was always based on sound biological principles.

With this supposition and we wish to present to the interested reader his textbook of biology, which, together with another one from Prof. Metodi Popov /i.e., look in the booklist for some literature from that author/ were the only sensible university textbooks and for a long time dispended tool for students in natural sciences. I wish to conclude with a statement on the genetic part of his book, which, in my opinion presents a very sound introduction to the concepts of Mendel and Weismann-Morgan theory for the genetic substrate of life.

 

Picture 1: In the following note, we have included biographical data with some important publications from Prof. Stephan Konsulov.

Biographical Note: Stephan Konsulov was born on 19 August 1885 in Sofia. He graduated First Male Gymnasium in the capital in 1902. Studied natural sciences in Sofia University from 1902 to 1907. Specialized biology in Triest /1912, 1913 and 1914/, zoology in Erlangen /1915/. During years 1920/21 he defended his doctoral thesis in Breslau under the supervision of Prof. Frantz Dorflein - viz., "On the cytology of Opalinidae (Mononuclear Protozoa or Infuzoria)". From 1923, Konsulov is appointed extraordinary professor at the Department of Comparative Anatomy, Physico-Mathematical Faculty, Sofia University. From 1935, he is ordinary professor on the "Systematics of Non-Chordal Animals". From 1945, Prof. S. Konsulov is sentenced to lifetime and dies in prison from deteriorated health /1954/.

Important Publications: Degeneration of cultural humankind. Fight with degeneration. - S., 1928; Laws of heredity. Inheritance in man. - S., 1928; Life, senility, death. - S., 1928; Mysteries of life from viewpoint of biology. - Philosophical Review, 1930, fasc. 5; What is nation? - Prosveta, 1939, fasc. 6; Fight for Life. - Priroda i Nauka, 1942, fasc.8; etc.

Others about Him: Mihalchev, D. Racism under defense by biology or scientific adventures of a bulgarian zoologist. - Philosophical Review, 1939, fasc. 2.

 

Copyright 2006 by the author.