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Science and Civilisation in China

Science and Civilisation in China

Volume 7. The Social Background

Part 2. General Conclusions and Reflections

$188.00 (R)

Part of Science and Civilisation in China

Joseph Needham, Huang Jen-yü, Kenneth Robinson
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  • Date Published: September 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521087322

$ 188.00 (R)

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About the Authors
  • Joseph Needham, who died in 1995, was the greatest British historian of China of the last 100 years. His Science and Civilisation in China series caused a seismic shift in western perceptions of China, revealed as perhaps the world's most scientifically and technically productive country in pre-modern times. But why did the scientific and industrial revolutions not happen in China? Joseph Needham reflects on possible answers to this question in the concluding volume of this series and provides fascinating insights into his great intellectual quest.

    • A further volume in the Science and Civilisation in China series, one of the most admired scholarly endeavours of the past half-century
    • Tackles major general questions such as why the scientific and industrial revolutions did not occur in China
    • Contains a large quantity of posthumously-published material
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is the concluding volume for "General Conclusions and Reflections" of the monumental seriesScience and Civilisation in China. Launched in 1994 it will total some 30 volumes when completed. Highly recommended."

    "Robinson has not only laid to rest, in his essay on literary language a prejudice reiterated over a century and a half; he has done everything anyone could do to make Joseph Needham's final views accessible. This volume will be invaluable to those interested in Needham's intellectual career, or capable of being inspired by his breadth of mind. Robinson's own writing makes it essential to everyone interested in the history of science worldwide." - China Review International Nathan Sivin, University of Pennsylvania

    "[An] astonishing and enduring study...[Needham brings] depth of emotion and technical finesse to his task."
    Jonathan Spence, New York Review of Books

    "Perhaps the greatest single act of historical synthesis and intercultural communication ever attempted by one man."
    Laurence Picken, Cambridge University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2004
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521087322
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 198 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.861kg
    • contains: 21 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Prefaces
    2. Foreword Joseph Needham
    3. Science and society in east and west Joseph Needham
    4. The roles of Europe and China in the evolution of ecumenical science Joseph Needham
    5. The nature of Chinese society: a technical interpretation Huang Jen-yü and Joseph Needham
    6. History and human values: a Chinese perspective for science and technology Joseph Needham
    7. Literary Chinese as a language for science Kenneth Robinson and Joseph Needham
    8. General conclusions
    9. Joseph Needham: a soliloquy Kenneth Robinson

  • Author

    Joseph Needham
    Joseph Needham FRS (1900–1995) was the founder of the Science and Civilisation in China project.


    Kenneth Girdwood Robinson, University of Cambridge
    Kenneth Girdwood Robinson joined Joseph Needham in 1979 in Cambridge to help him complete the unpublished volumes of Science and Civilisation in China, and wrote several of the pieces included in the present volume.

    Introduction by

    Mark Elvin

    With contributions by

    Ray Huang


    Joseph Needham, Huang Jen-yü, Kenneth Robinson

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