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Philosophers of Azerbaijan


Afandiyev Asif Gasım oglu (Asif Ata)
Philosopher, literary critic, critic.
Asif Ata graduated from the Criticism department of the Institute of Literature named after M.Gorky in Moscow. He lectured in high schools (the Institute of Russian language and Literature named after M.F. Akhundov) on Western literature, Russian literature, aesthetics, dialectics and historical materialism subjects. Asif Ata founded “Ethic and aesthetic moral upbringing club” in the year of 1976, though it was prohibited after three years and underwent repression, he later carried out activity in republican Bilik society with the name Ojaq. Asif has taken the nickname “Ata” (ecclesiastical holy father) from the year of 1981. He renounced all the diplomas given by the Soviet government. (from the year of 1990). The problem of man and modern life have been raised in his philosophical and literary criticism “Circles”, The way of a man”, “Reaching history”. He is the author of about seventy unpublished philosophical books (apophthegms, dialogues, expressions, truth). The philosophy of faith to absolutism, priesthood, meanings, contrasts etc finds its commentary here. He is the author of the works Wisdom authority, Faith and doubt, Faith to the absolute, Way. Father’s word, Superior to the politics , Absolutism etc. 

Abulhasan Bahmanyar Azerbaijani 
was one of the prominent representatives of Eastern peripatetic philosophy, the founder of Azerbaijani philosophical school, disciple of the great scientist Ibn Sina. Like most eastern peripatetics, Bahmanyar Azerbaijani wrote his works in the Arabian language. Having great importance not only in Azerbaijan, as a whole in the history of Eastern philosophy, the philosopher established his own school with the valuable scientists that he taught. Abulhasan Bahmanyar was the most prominent disciple and follower of Ibn Sina, the encyclopaedist scientist of the East. The stage of eastern peripatetic philosophy of XI middle century is directly connected with his name. To protect and preserve Ibn Sina traditions raised serious and responsible duties before the philosopher. He had to secure the development of Aristotelian philosophy forward with all his might. Bahmanyar gave wide place to the excerpts from Ibn Sina’s works in his creative activity, strived to the propaganda of his teacher’s ideas at most.
Names of the following works of Bahmanyar have been mentioned the sources and references: Education” (is about logic, metaphysics and nature), Argumentations”, Explanation”, (At-Taliqat) etc.

Jamal Vali oglu Mustafayev
He graduated from the faculty of Philosophy at Moscow State University. His first scientific researches have been on the subject of Philosophical and aesthetical views of Nizami”. He further defended a doctoral thesis on the subject of The world of ideas of Nizami and modernism”. 
J. Mustafayev has published a number of powerful works in the field of Azerbaijani Middle Ages philosophical thought. Especially his works on Nizami philosophy, XII century Azerbaijan thought is known to wide reader mass. His works have been printed in Moscow and in the influential journals of other cities. His research works on Moslem social utopia and other works have been translated into foreign languages.

Afrand Firudun oglu Dashdemirov (1942)
He is a philosopher, scientist, doctor of philosophical sciences, professor, academician of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, and academician of Moscow Academy of Pedagogical and Social sciences.
He conducted researches on the socio-philosophical theories concerning the theoretical and methodological problems of national relations, ethno-political processes in the modern world, problems of national identity, ethnic certainty, and educating people patriotically and internationally, the formation of culture in the international relations.
He has been professor of Russia State Service Academy under the President of Russian Federation since 1991. A.F.Dasgdemirov has been engaged in the study of ethno-political tensions that emerge on the ethic and geopolitical basis and the nature of conflicts. 
He is member of Federal Council of Azerbaijanis’ National-Cultural Autonomy and the founder of “Azerros” newspaper, which is published in Russia.

Ahmad Agaoglu (Ahmad bey Agayev) 
He was a prominent Azerbaijani public figure, journalist, pedagogue and writer. Leaving for Paris in 1888, Ahmad got acquainted there with famous French orientalists Ernest Renan and professor James Darmestete.  During those years Ahmad got education in the St. Petersburg and the famous Sorbonne university of Paris.  Perfectly fluent in five languages, Ahmad commenced writing interesting articles both in local and foreign press at that time.Coming back to the Caucasus in 1894 in order to teach French, the writer soon moves to Baku. Influenced by the European democratic ideas and the works of French orientalist scientists during the time he studied in the France, very soon Ahmad bay begins spreading the ideas about national consciousness and Turkism. 
In his works Ahmad bay mentioned that the way to national salvation went through the cultural and educational development of society. Spreading the ideas of women’s liberty and displaying it as a basic factor of freedom struggle, Agaoglu was one of the first intellectuals among Azerbaijani intelligentsia calling for granting the equal rights to the women. In his book titled “Woman in the Islamic world”, published in 1901, he proved the thought there can never be national development without free woman”   These wishes and ideas of Ahmed bey Agaoglu soon became a reality. (By granting voting rights to Azerbaijani women in elections in Azerbaijan Democratic Republic – an event that might set an example at that time not only for the East, but also for the advanced countries such as USA and Great Britain – Ahmed bey’s ideas turned into reality. His basic works are Three cultures, India and England”, “In the country of free men”, “What am I”, “Turkic law history”, etc.

Alibey Huseynzade (Ali Huseyn Turan)
An outstanding Azerbaijani writer, philosopher and literature critic, one of the most prominent representatives of Azerbaijani-Turkish public opinion in XX century. He had exceptional contributions in the fields of Azerbaijani press and social and political journalism of XX century.  A. Huseynzade grew up under the patronage of his grandfather Akhund Ahmad Salyani, who was the Sheikhulislam of Caucasus at that time. He finished (1875-1885) Tiflis gymnasium, learned Turkish, Persian, Arab, German and Russian languages in his childhood and studentship. He entered the faculty of Mathematics at the St. Petersburg University in 1885 and he listened to the lectures of prominent professors in the Eastern faculty.
A.Huseynzade researched and propagated all-Turkish moral values with his productive pen all his lifelong and fought for the sake of Turkic progress with the whole strength of his bright talent.
Examples of national press have played an important part in the formation and regulation of public and political opinion at the beginning of XX century.  Journalism’s turning into public opinion tribune is the product of the same historical stage.  The contributions of the journal “Fuyuzat” published by A. Huseynzade and its editorial staff are noteworthy in all sense. 
Ideological and moral values of Azerbaijani citizen symbolized in three colours (blue, red, green) in the national flag of Azerbaijan People’s Republic is connected with the same thesis of Huseynzade and historical contributions of Fuyuzatists.
A. Huseynzade got education in the Emperor Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg as well and is an author of a number of portraits and panoramas. His drawings are kept in the museums of Baku and in private collections in Istanbul and Paris.

Eynelguzat Abdullah Miyanachi 
He was from the Miyana city of South Azerbaijan by origin. Miyana city is famous for delivering a great generation of talented poets, prominent scientists in XI-XII centuries.
When he was 28-29 years old, Eynelguzat was persecuted by lawyers for his free-thinking. In separate places he was declared an unbeliever, death judgment was pronounced upon him.
The keynote of Eynelguzat Miyanachi’s works, which he wrote until the age of twenty-four mainly, encompass the problems of literature, story, interpretation, law, apophthegm, as well as peripatetism. In his following books such as “The essence of truth”, “Prefaces”, “The complaint of an outlander”, the philosopher interpreted different aspects of sophism and they acquired a complete philosophical content.
Working out the principles of identity of all existing things with God, Eynelguzat Miyanachi was a person of pantheist views.
In the philosophy of Eynelguzat Miyanachi, substance and accident, as a whole, shape an existence with God, important existence with potential being. In his opinion, the existence and non-existence of things comes forth from the correlation between them and God.
It is known from Eynelguzat Miyanachi’s works that he was close to Eastern peripatetic’s position in the interpretation of sensual and mental stages of cognition. The conceptions of two contrary concepts The Good and The Evil, their dialectician connection have widely been researched by Eynelguzat Miyanachi. According to the philosopher, the good and the evil exist in correlation with a reality perceiving the object corresponding to its nature with an opposition, in other words, with a human being.

Fazlullah Naimi
He was an outstanding scientist, poet philosopher, Azerbaijani Turk by origin.
Naimi Shah Fazlullah ibn abu Mohammed Tabrizi (Fazl) was the founding figure of Pantheism (Hurufi), a mysticism movement and one of the giant Sufis in Azerbaijan. Pantheism was founded by Fazl at the end of XIV century in Azerbaijan and was spread to Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and other countries of the Moslem East from here. In the main Turkish peoples sympathized with this doctrine. 
Hurufi is derived from the word huruf, the plural form of “letter” in Arabian language. Letters, figures of the Arab alphabet and their numerical meanings attain special mystical conception in Pantheism and they were accepted as symbols of the periodic movements of the world. Pantheists regard words as the basis of existence. Words have been the substance of the world in the Koran and revelations disclosed by God by means of “Koran”. Pantheistical idea of God’s manifestation by means of words in the “Koran” comes from here as well. 
Naimi described comprehensively philosophical bases of the pantheism in his “Javidanname” (“The Book of Eternity”) or “Javidani- Kebir” (“The Great Eternity”), “Novmname”, “Testament”, “Love letter”, “Heavenward”, “Iskendername” books and other works. 

Firudin Kocherly 
Academician Firudin Kocherly was the postgraduate student of the Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov from 1950 till 1953. 
The scientific-research activities of academician F.Kocherly were mainly aimed at the examination of the history of philosophy and public opinion, dialectician and historical materialism, problems of ethics and aesthetics in Azerbaijan. He conducted researches on the philosophical views of many scientists and cultural workers of Azerbaijan and the results of his researches were reflected in his books and monographs. Simultaneously, these researches have been included to the book “The history of philosophy in USSR” published in Moscow. His work “The life, activity and the outlook of Nariman Narimanov” and “The outlook of M.F. Akhundov” was welcomed with interest in the science world. 
F.Kocherly held the position of the Chairman of Philosophical Society of USSR, Azerbaijani Department for a long time. He made significant contributions to introduce Azerbaijani philosophy to the world. He made noteworthy speeches on philosophical problems of East in the Czech Republic, Canada, and Scandinavian countries.

Fuad Gasimzade
He is a well-known Azerbaijani philosopher, academician.
F.Gasimzade’s main research area was Azerbaijani philosophic public opinion, social philosophy, ontology, theory of knowledge and aesthetics.
He defended doctoral thesis titled Fizuli’s outlook”. His monograph Caravan of sorrow or Light in the darkness” was printed in 1968. In the following years more than 20 scientific articles of him about  Fizuli were published.
Fuad Gasimzade’s book titled “Sport, beauty and aesthetics” was printed in 1970.

Huseynov Heydar Najaf oglu
He was a well-known Azerbaijani soviet philosopher, public figure and scientist. He was the student of Pedagogical University named after Lenin in 1927-1931, both Oriental studies and Pedagogical Faculties, mastered Arab and Persian languages perfectly. Along with teaching philosophy in 1930s, Heydar Huseynov had written the first textbooks of “Dialectical Materialism”, “Dialectics and metaphysics”, “Dialectics and historic materialism” on philosophy in Azerbaijani together with the philosopher Ahmad aga.
Heydar Huseynov made a great contribution to the development of history and philosophy. He founded the Azerbaijani translation school and was one of the editors of Azerbaijani-Russian and Russian-Azerbaijani dictionary. He wrote more than 100 scientific articles. He conducted comprehensive research about Bahmanyar, Nizami Ganjavi, Fizuli, Abbasqulu aga Bakıkhanov, Mirza Kazım bey, Mirza Fatali Akhundov, Hasan bey Zardab.
Heydar Huseynov is the author of the fundamental work consisting of 733 pages - “About the history of philosophical and public and political opinion in Azerbajan in XIX century”.

Mohammed Karabakhi 
He was an Azerbaijani philosopher and theologian. Was born in Karabakh in the second half of XV century. Since he was a lawyer on Hanafism, he was known wth the name “Hanafi”.
Karabakhi’s Treaties on the examination of the essence of science and cognition” and other commentaries on philosophy are kept in the library of “Khadiviyya”, in Cairo since 1963.   Xədiviyyə from the 1963th year. His collections of manuscript kept in Darul Masnavi, Jarullah libraries of Turkey are famous as well. The commentary dedicated to the work on theology, titled “The beginning of imams” by Sirajaddin Ali Ushi Fargani (12th century), Azerbaijan philosopher and additional explanation written by Mustafa ibn Yusif in 1691 is kept in the the St. Petersburg State Library named after Saltikov-Shedrin.
At times M. Karabakhi criticized both peripatetics and science learners, justified now and then  one and the other, as a result, held a compromising position. Ontological views of Karabakhi appear in the commentary of the problems such as the division of reality into important and potential, the proof of important reality. In his work titled “Refutation of philosophers”, he conducted noteworthy philosophical generalizations on the ground of Farabi, İbn Sina, Bahmanyar and other peripatetics’, A.Gazali, Fakhraddin Razi, Azudaddin Iji and other philosopher’s ideas. Karabakhi strived to create idea intimacy between peripatetics and science learners. He explained widely that wisdom, advice, will were superior in God’s activity. He tried to adapt the peripatetic theses to the faith of the scholastics.

Mohamməd ibn Nasireddin Tusi (Nasireddin Tusi)
He was an encyclopedic scientist – philosopher, astronomer, mathematician, historian, financer and lawyer.
The comprehensive and deep knowledge that Mohammed gained, made him famous in the scientific environment at a time.  Even from young ages, he gets the attention of a number of rulers. While he was thirty, Nasireddin Mohtasham, the leader of Kuhistan Ismailis invites him to his palace and asks the young scientist to write a book about morality. In 1235 Nasireddin Tusi completed his famous work Akhlag-i Nasiri, which gained him worldwide reputation and translated into many languages.
Like many scientists of his time, Nasireddin Tusi had profoundly mastered the different areas of the science as well. Over hundred serious works written by him were on astronomy, mathematics, physics, medicine, philosophy, ethics, logic and other fields of science. However, researches on astronomy and mathematics had special place in Nasir eddin’s creative activity. Tusi is the author of more than twenty successful researches conducted in these fields. His works on mathematics were written only in Arabic, however his researches on astronomy were both in Persian and Arabian languages.
Books such as Shakklul-gita (“Booklet on undivided polygonal”), “Jameul-hesab” (“Collection of calculation on with the help of blackboard and dust”), “The size of circle”, “Tahrir Oglidis” “Description of Euclidean “Introduction”) takes special place among most famous works of mathematician scientist. Scientist’s work Ziji-Ilkhani (Astronomic tables of Ilkhanis”) consisting of four parts made his name famous in world astronomy history.
Majority of modern researchers consider Nasireddin Tusi, first of all, a mathematician. His works played an important part in the development of geometry and trigonometry not only in the East, but also in Europe. His book “Description of Euclidean “Introduction” published first in Arabic language in Rome in 1594, further in Latin made great contribution to the spread of Tusi’s ideas in Europe. Scientists’s work “Booklet on undivided polygonal” which consisted of five books is famous for playing an important part in the development of trigonometry Europe as well.
Trigonometry is approached as an independent science in the history of world science for the first time in this book. This booklet has been translated into English, Russian and French languages.  Among Nasireddin’s researches in the field of algebra, extraction of root from all degrees and binomial formula are much more known. Moreover, scientist’s numerous works on history, mineralogy, physics, medicine, economy, geography music and certainly, astronomy are noteworthy as well. Among them, The history of Bagdad”, “Booklet on light reflection and refraction”, ın tarixi, Euclidian optics”, Booklet on studying rainbow”, Book about gems”, Medical laws”, Booklet on state finance”, Choosing happy days”  (on astrology) and other works may be mentioned.
His works have been spread to different parts of the world. They are kept at the museums and libraries of Baku, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Oxford, Cambridge, Leipzig, Munich, Florence, Cairo, Istanbul, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan cities.
Tusi won the sympathy of East as the founder of the Maragha observatory as well.

Ramiz Anvar oglu Mehdiyev
He is a philosopher, academician, public figure and currently the chief of President Administration of Azerbaijan Republic.
He entered the postgraduate course of the Philosophy faculty of the MSU named after M.V.Lomonosov in 1968, defended thesis in the sitting of scientific council of the MSU in 1977.
He is a Doctor of Philosophical Sciences since 1993. In 2001 he was elected member of Academy of Sciences of New York.
R. Mehdiyev is the author of scientific articles on national and social problems, modern Azerbaijani Government and development of society etc. His book titled Modernization line while defining the strategy of future”, published in the 2008, evoke a broad response in scientific community.

Rajabali Tabrizi
Two philosophical treaties are much more well-known among Rajabali Tabrizi’s works: “The proof of important existence” and “Reasonable principles”. In these works nondecomposableness of important existence, its’ unity, its attributes’ forming identity with its own substance, meanings of the word “reality” was examined.
According to Rajabali Tabrizi, who accepted the emanation theory of Eastern peripatetics, along with being particular result, potential being generated from the important being. After the proof of important being, he draws attention to the parts of potential being. Potential being, in accordance with Aristotle doctrine, is divided into essence (substance) and accident. Rajabali Tabrizi divided philosophical categories into substantial and accidental groups, drew attention to matter, form and to the substance that was formed from these two.Rajabali Tabrizi’s philosophy have been propagated and developed by his innumerable students. His valuable original works and rich legacy created by his talented, wise students in XVII century has greatly influenced the development and spread of scientific-philosophical thought in the Eastern countries.

Salahaddin Sadraddin oglu Khalilov
He is a well-known Azerbaijani philosopher. 
He defended candidature on the subject of Systematic and structural analysis of scientific and technical progress” in 1976 and doctoral thesis on the subject of Logical and gnosiological research of scientific and technical progress” in 1990. Founded private educational system in Azerbaijan in 1991, established the first English-speaking private gymnasium, humanitarian lycée and Azerbaijan University, one of the first private universities. Founded “East-West” research centre in the year of 1994. He is the author of the works Javid’s philosophy”, “From science to technology and morality”,  From philosophy to politics”, “East and West: towards universal ideal”, “Inter-civilization dialogue”, etc.

Shihabeddin Omar Suhraverdi
He was a prominent Azerbaijani lawyer scientist, Sufi theorist, social and political figure.
Abuhafs Suhraverdi had a prolific creative activity, his books “The fruits of knowledge” (“Avarif al–maarif”) was published in Egypt more than once and in 1966 in Beirut, “Humans’ treasuries on the commentaries of prayers” (“Kanz al–ibad fi sharh al–aurad”) in Kazan in 1908, “The charm that takes hearts to the beloved” (“Jazb al-gulub ila muvasalat al–mahbub”) in 1910 in Halab. Majority of the great thinker’s books are kept in manuscript form in different countries of the world.  S. Suhraverdi is the author of the works Building belief admonitions and denouncing Greek vices”, Vile deed on stating Quran’s interpretation”, Treaties on wearing Sufi clothes”, “On roads”, etc.
Shihabaddin Abuhafs Suhraverdi’s Sufi doctrine was developed by his children and successors, acquired great reputation in the whole Eastern Moslem countries. Shuhravrdiya Sufi sect spread not only in Arabian countries, Asia, Azerbaijan, Iran, middle Asia, but also in India as well. The doctrine which endured ideological test of ages kept its presence up today in several countries.

Shihabaddin Abulfutuh Yahya Habash oglu Suhraverdi
He was one of the greatest philosopher of the East, the founder of the Ishragi philosophy (al-ishrag – elucidating). He was Azerbaijan Turk by origin. S. Suhraverdi was looking for the source of the absolute knowledge beyond the material world. In his opinion, it is possible to understand profoundly the book The philosophy of elucidation” with the help of the intuition. According to Ishragi philosophy, with the help of sensual and mental cognition, certain knowledge is acquired about objects and events of the material world, however intuitive cognition opens the mysteries of the lights’ world to the man, reveals the absolute truth.
Shihabaddin Suhravardi traveled the cities of Azerbaijan, Near and Far East, including  Ardabil, Miyana, Diyarbakir, Kharbut, Konya, Sivas, Mardin, Baghdad, Damascus and Halab. Great Azerbaijani philosopher was known in the Middle East countries for his free-thinking views, gained great reputation. He could spread his scientific and philosophical views mostly in Asia Minor.
The manuscript copies of Shihabaddin Suhraverdi’s works and commentaries, additional explanations written on them are kept in a number of funds and libraries of the world. Of the fifty-two registered works, thirteen were grouped on Peripatetic philosophy, fifteen on Sophism, eight on Ishragi philosophy and sixteen on different subjects.
Shihabaddin Yahya Suhravardi’s rich legacy holds special place in the history of Eastern Moslem countries from XII century in Arabic, Persian and partially in Turkic languages.
Manuscript copies of his works copied in the Middle Ages are currently kept in the libraries of different cities of the world: Damascus, St. Petersburg, Tehran, Baghdad, Cairo, Alexandria, Istanbul, Paris, London.

Sirajaddin Mahmud Abubakr oglu Urmavi
He was an Azerbaijani philosopher social and political figure.
His most famous work is The birth of lights”, the manuscript of the part of this book dealing with logic, kept in Khadiviyya library, was copied by the calligraph Ismayil ibn Khalil in July of 1278 in Konya city, while Sirajaddin Urmavi was alive. All the problems of peripatetic philosophy were comprehensively researched, theory of cognition and logic problems were deeply analyzed, progressive social and political views and ethical opinions were thoroughly reflected in Sirajaddin Urmavi’s works.
Standing up for the Eastern peripatetics, Sirajaddin Urmavi commented on the different parts of the being. He accepted the being mutually with its contradictory conception of non-existence. The philosopher accepted the objectivity of the causality in being. Among his most famous works The delicacy of wisdom”, The declaration of truth”, Methods, Treaties on dialectics”, “Education”, etc may be mentioned.

Zakir Jabbar oglu Mammadov
Z.J.Mammadov’s scientific activity was for the most part devoted to the history of the Eastern philosophy and religionary problems. 
Conducting scientific researches for about 40 years, Zakir Mammadov divulged the rich legacy of Azerbaijani philosophers and thinkers, published in different countries of the world in Arab and Persian languages, as well as kept in manuscript form. He worked out their philosophy (the theory of being and cognition), their logic, social and political and ethical views. Z.J.Mammadov proved that along with religious and philosophical doctrines, in the Middle Ages there have been scientific and philosophical doctrines in the Eastern Moslem countries, including Azerbaijan. He determined that scientific-philosophical doctrines consist of the East peripatetic philosophy, pantheist branch of Sophism and Ishragi philosophy.
Z.Məmmədov wrote the monograph titled Philosophical views in XI-XIII centuries in Azerbaijan”  on the basis of the works by Eynelguzat Miyanechi (1099-1131), Shihabaddin Omar Suhraverdi (1145-1234), Shihabaddin Yahya Suhraverdi (1154-1191), Afzaladdin Khunaji (1193-1248), Sirajaddin Urmavi (1198-1283) and other works of Azerbaijani philosophers, as well as Education treaties of Bahmanyar, which consisted of three books (logic, metaphysics, physics). In the book titled “Middle Ages Azerbaijani philosophers and thinkers” (published in Azeri in 1986, in Russian – 1993) researches about the majority of outstanding personalities - Ahmad Bardiji, Mohammed Bardai, Abunnajib Suhraverdi, Aminaddin Tabrizi, Sirajaddin Urmavi, Shamsaddin Khoylu, Najmaddin Nakhchivani, Shihabaddin Khoylu, Muhyiddin Bardai, Mohammed Kharabakhi, Kamaladdin Ardabili, Ahmad Ardabili, Rajabali Tabrizi and others were conducted for the first time by Z. Mammadov based on sources.

Guluzade Zumrud Aligulu gizi
She is an outstanding Azerbaijani philosopher. Z.Guluzade’s candidacy thesis was dedicated to the role of superstructure in the antagonistic society and her Ph.D. was dedicated to one of the greatest philosophical movements in Azerbaijan - pantheism and its prominent representatives. Her book “Pantheism and its representatives in Azerbaijan” (1970) may be considered as the only monographic work analyzing the history and philosophy of pantheism. Moreover, in Azerbaijan the problem of West and East was examined by Zumrud Guluzade in the philosophical aspect for the first time in the monograph titled “Principles of development of Eastern philosophy in XIII – XVI centuries and the problem of West and East” (1984)
The international scientific and theoretical journal titled “The problems of Eastern philosophy” (since 1996) published by her initiative and editorship, holds special place in Zumrud Guluzade’s scientific activity. The journal printed in Azerbaijan and Russian languages, in Arab, Persian, Turkish, English, German and French languages with extensive essences is the first journal about the philosophy in Azerbaijani cultural history and has no equal in modern world for the problems it encompassed.

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