Fung Yu-lan has suggested that Chinese philosophers have been unreceptive to modern science. This suggestion, however, has not been substantiated. This essay is an attempt to provide a justification of Fung’s assertion through an existential analysis of the Chinese concepts of nature. The essay will examine Chinese existential concerns prevailing in Daoism and Confucianism, and these systems’ distaste for the type of scientific study which has become prevalent in the modern world. I also intend to defend the claim that the ultimate concern of the Zhuangzi and the Zhongyong is completely contrary to the one that sustains modern science. A brief comparative discussion between Xu Guangqi and Galileo Galilei will be used to support this claim. My discussion will raise the contention that, to have a better understanding of the development of modern science in China, we have to understand the attitude toward religion that has underpinned modern science.
Following China’s large-scale process of urbanization, the distinctive characteristics of China’s “city(s)” has also begun taking shape. Descriptions and imaginative writings about the city found in contemporary Chinese science fiction have demonstrated unique and yet very specific ways of understanding the city. They have displayed discontentment with the high-level fragmentation of urban space as well as its implicit social inequality, yet also have reflected upon the urban individual’s resort to acquiescence and self-justification as a result of their inability to effectively dismantle such predicaments. In these kinds of imaginary relations, the city becomes an object which is difficult to fathom yet unable to be resisted. Though science fiction novels are able to reconceptualize the city through the reconstruction of space and time, thus bringing about seemingly new visions of the city, yet when these narratives begin to deviate from topics such as the “social property of time,” or that of “social labor,” they themselves then become problematic.
Benjamin A. Elman
This article is about the contested nature of "science" in "modern" China. The struggle over the meaning and significance of the specific types of natural studies brought by Protestants (1842-1895) occurred in a historical context in which natural studies in late imperial China were until 1900 part of a nativist imperial and literati project to master and control Western views on what constituted legitimate natural knowledge. After the industrial revolution in Europe, a weakened Qing government and its increasingly concerned Han Chinese and Manchu elites turned to "Western" models of science, medicine, and technology, which were disguised under the traditional terminology for natural studies. In the aftermath of the 1894-95 Sino-Japanese War, Chinese reformers, radicals, and revolutionaries turned to Japanese and Western science as an intellectual weapon to destroy the perceived backwardness of China. Until 1900, the Chinese had interpreted the transition from "Chinese science" to modern, universal scientific knowledge - and its new modes of industrial power - on their own terms. After 1900, the teleology of a universal and progressive "science" first invented in Europe replaced the Chinese notion that Western natural studies had their origins in ancient China, but this development was also challenged in the aftermath of World War One during the 1923 debate over "Science and the Philosophy of Life."
GEOFFREY ERNEST RICHARD LLOYD, Aristotelian explorations, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996, x + 242 pp. Adversaries and Authorities. Investigations into ancient Greek and Chinese science, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996, xvm + 250 pp. (Â«Ideas in con- textÂ
Harley Balzer and Jon Askonas
Russia and China both are endeavoring to transform Soviet-style R&D systems characterized by separate education, research and business spheres into something more suited to a knowledge economy supporting innovation. The Triple Helix model is an attractive configuration, derived from the practices of the most successful innovation systems, and suggesting that the three key actors—universities, business, and the state—might in some instances substitute for each other. A model placing the state at the center appeals to non-democratic regimes and countries endeavoring to catch up with OECD nations.
We compare the Chinese and Russian efforts to implement a Triple Helix program by examining institutional change, epistemic communities, funding, and the role of the state, with nanotechnology as a case study. While both nations have introduced major programs and allocated significant funding, we find that China has been vastly more successful than Russia in promoting collaboration among universities, business, and government to advance research and innovation. We attribute the difference to the quality of state policies that provide incentives for agents and epistemic communities to alter their behavior, an outcome facilitated by conditions at the beginning of reforms, which made the Chinese far more open to learning.