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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


Part of Science and Civilisation in China

Joseph Needham, Huang Jen-yü, Kenneth Robinson
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  • Date Published: July 2004
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521087322

£ 145.00

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About the Authors
  • It would be difficult to overstate the importance of Joseph Needham's Science and Civilisation in China series. For nearly fifty years, Needham and his collaborators have revealed the ideals, concepts and achievements of China's scientific and technological traditions from the earliest times to about 1800 through this great enterprise. During his long working lifetime, Needham kept in draft various essays, some written with collaborators, in which he set out his broad views on the Chinese social and historical context. These essays, edited by one of his closest collaborators, Kenneth Robinson, are contained in the present volume. A reading of this material makes it possible to reconstruct the assumptions and problematics that underpinned and drove the Needham project throughout the nearly one half century during which he was at the helm. The documents gathered here reveal the intellectual foundations of one of the greatest scholarly enterprises of the twentieth century.

    • 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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    '… a giant work of scholarship …' The Spokesman 102: Slump and War

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2004
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521087322
    • length: 336 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 198 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.861kg
    • contains: 21 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • 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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