Published on March 1, 2014
PRE-COLONIAL China Ma. Eunice Abenis
China and the West Europe China Concept of Natural Law Presence of divine deity in nature Absence of divine deity in nature View of the world Mechanical Organic Mathematics Geometric Algebraic Invention and Labor power Labor power served as hindrance to invention Labor power did NOT serve as hindrance to invention
China and the West Europe Science • • Geography & Cartography Engineering • China mechanics and dynamics relatively advanced wave-particle antithesis: atomistic view • Discoid cosmographic world maps (discshaped) • advanced survey methods and the making of relief maps (quantitative cartography, use of rectangular grid) • efficient harness for equine animals (linkwork) mastery of iron casting 15 centuries before its achievement in Europe first appearance of gunpowder (9th century A.D.), vigorous development of explosive weapons some three centuries before they appeared in Europe (and from A.D. 1000 onwards) • • • Optics, acoustics and magnetism, geological sciences and meteorology wave-particle antithesis: wave theory connected with yin-yang
Types of Science in Ancient China ORTHODOX NEUTRAL Astronomy Mathematics Physics Hydraulic Engineering Medicine NON-ORTHODOX Alchemy
The Social Position of Scientists and Engineers of Traditional China SCHOLARS FARMERS ARTISANS MERCHANTS The Chinese Social Stratification
The Social Position of Scientists and Engineers of Traditional China Chief categories into which lives of scientists and engineers seem to fall 1. HIGH OFFICIALS 2. COMMONERS 3. MEMBERS OF THE SEMI-SERVILE GROUPS 4. THOSE WHO WERE ACTUALLY ENSLAVED 5. A VERY SIGNIFICANT GROUP OF MINOR OFFICIALS, (scholars who were not able to make their way upwards in the ranks of the bureaucracy)
The Social Position of Scientists and Engineers of Traditional China Skilled Workers Metallurgists Well-drillers Weavers and paper makers Technicians
Strengths numerous inventions in various fields inclination to field theories strong civil tradition allowing state to utilize population’s brightest
Weaknesses organic view of the universe (Taoism) limited knowledge of geometry science shrouded in semi-secrecy
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