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Is Chinese Science Really an Exotic Subject?


for Members

Is Chinese Science Really an Exotic Subject?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Columbia University

If we want to apply to our own explorations the widest range of possibilities for thought and practice about physical nature, the modern Euro-American experience offers only a narrow array of them. An ample view encompasses all of the great traditions through all of history. Science in China is a good starting point because of its variety, its independence from European traditions, the richness of its documentation (in many fields the richest in the world), and the enormous body of scholarship that has accumulated since the 1970’s. Far from being exotic, it offers a basis for thinking comparatively about almost any topic of interest.


Nathan Sivin

University of Pennsylvania

Nathan Sivin is Professor of Chinese Culture and of the History of Science Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. He has written about all the sciences of ancient China in every period of Chinese history, and about intellectual exchanges between China and Europe. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an honorary professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.