By Dagmar Schäfer
The final many years of the Ming dynasty, although tormented by chaos and destruction, observed an important elevate of courses that tested advances in wisdom and know-how. one of the various publications and reference books that seemed in this interval was once a sequence of texts by way of tune Yingxing (1587–1666?), a minor neighborhood legit residing in southern China. His Tiangong kaiwu, the longest and so much well-known of those works, files the extraction and processing of uncooked fabrics and the manufacture of products necessary to lifestyle, from yeast and wine to paper and ink to boats, carts, and firearms.
In The Crafting of the 10,000 Things, Dagmar Schäfer probes this interesting textual content and the legacy of its writer to shed new mild at the improvement of clinical considering in China, the aim of technical writing, and its function in and results on chinese language historical past. Meticulously unfolding the layers of Song’s own and cultural existence, Schäfer chronicles the criteria that encouraged music to rework sensible wisdom into written tradition. She then examines how music won, assessed, and finally provided wisdom, and in doing so articulates this era’s techniques to rationality, fact, and trust within the learn of nature and tradition alike. Finally, Schäfer areas Song’s efforts together with the paintings of different chinese language philosophers and writers, earlier than, in the course of, and after his time, and argues that those writings exhibit jointly a uniquely chinese language manner of authorizing expertise as a valid box of scholarly challenge and philosophical knowledge.
Offering an summary of 1000 years of scholarship, The Crafting of the 10,000 issues explains the position of expertise and crafts in a tradition that had an outstandingly profitable culture during this box and was once an important effect at the technical improvement of Europe at the eve of the commercial Revolution.
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