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Europa en China: het probleem van Needham Lezing voor de KennisMakerij, 14 mei 2008 Dr Wim Ravesteijn Sectie Technologiedynamica en Duurzame Ontwikkeling.

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Presentatie over: "Europa en China: het probleem van Needham Lezing voor de KennisMakerij, 14 mei 2008 Dr Wim Ravesteijn Sectie Technologiedynamica en Duurzame Ontwikkeling."— Transcript van de presentatie:

1 Europa en China: het probleem van Needham Lezing voor de KennisMakerij, 14 mei 2008 Dr Wim Ravesteijn Sectie Technologiedynamica en Duurzame Ontwikkeling Faculteit Techniek, Bestuur en Management Technische Universiteit Delft

2 The Needham question Waarom hebben wetenschap en technologie in Europa de laatste 500 honderd jaar een stormachtige ontwikkeling doorgemaakt, terwijl de groei van wetenschap en technologie in China in diezelfde periode stagneerde? Joseph Needham, , biochemicus en Chinakenner

3 Andere vragen 1.Waarom heeft de Industriële Revolutie in Europa plaatsgevonden en niet in China? (The Weber question) 2.Waarom hebben wetenschap, technologie en industrie in China een sterke ontwikkeling doorgemaakt ten tijde van de Europese middeleeuwen? (The Second Needham Question)

4 Science and Civilisation in China, the SCC project VOL. I. Introductory Orientations (1954) VOL. II. History of Scientific Thought (1956) VOL. III. Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and Earth (1959) VOL. IV. Physics and Physical Technology (1962 e.v.) VOL. V. Chemistry and Chemical Technology (1985 e.v.) VOL. VI. Biology and Biological Technology (1986 e.v.) VOL. VII. The Social Background (1998 e.v.)

5 VOL. V. Chemistry and Chemical Technology Pt. 1. Paper and Printing (1985) Pt. 2. Spagyrical* Discovery and Invention: Magisteries of Gold and Immortality (1974) Pt. 3. Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Historical Survey, from Cinnabar Elixirs to Synthetic Insulin (1976) Pt. 4. Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Apparatus and Theory (1980) Pt. 5. Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Physiological Alchemy (1983) Pt. 6. Military Technology: Missiles and Sieges (1994) Pt. 7. Military Technology: The Gunpowder Epic (1987) Pt. 9. Textile Technology: Spinning and Reeling (1986) Pt. 12. Ceramic Technology (2004) Pt. 13. Mining (1999) *Alchemisch

6 De Nachtwacht Rembrandt van Rijn Biedt een antwoord op de Needham question

7 Scientific Revolution 1.mathematisation of hypotheses about nature, e.g. 2.continuous and relentless experimentation Gravitatiewet van Newton, 1687

8 Science, Technology and Society Science SocietyTechnology

9 Interactions: W  T  S Historically in Europe: technology  science, e.g. steam engine, clock. Since 19th century: science  technology Society has great influence on the development of technology and science, esp. merchants and artisans / bourgeoisie

10 Modernisering Europese Scientific Revolution ging samen met: Renaissance ( ): herleving klassieke erfgoed  natuurwetten Opkomst van het kapitalisme in (overzeese) handel (na 1000)  geld, boekhouden, wiskunde Ontwikkeling industrieel kapitalisme (vanaf 1750)  wetenschappelijke kennis Reformatie (1516): protestantisme  protestantse ethiek Ontwikkeling van de techniek

11 The Four great Chinese Inventions According to Francis Bacon ( ), father of the scientific method, writer of New Atlantis Compass, gun powder and printing / paper were crucial for European modernization All inventions from China!

12 Needham over Chinese techniek China has the longest unbroken history of progress in science and technology: over 4000 years. Last 17 centuries, an average of nearly 15 new inventions every 100 years. Chinese inventiveness has been particularly fruitful in the production of machines and instruments, serving five main fields of interest: agriculture, metallurgy, transport and travel and the study of the heavens, e.g. ploughshares, bellows, paddlewheels and rain gauges. Diffusion from China to the West: 250 techniques, ideas and theoretical practices; inventions and discoveries,

13 Enkele algemene conclusies van Needham China heeft belangrijke bijdragen geleverd aan de Europese ontwikkeling van wetenschap en technologie, ook bijdragen op het gebied van het magnetisme en mogelijk ook t.b.v. een organisering (vs mechanisering) van ons wereldbeeld. China is overvleugeld door Europa, maar is nooit statisch geweest. Na ‘transcurrence’ kwam ‘fusion’, behalve in medicine. China ging mee in de ontwikkeling van universele kennis en haar toepassingen. Chinese samenleving rationeler dan de Europese. Examenstelsel rekruteerde de ‘best brains’. Grote uitvindingen hadden geen revolutionaire consequenties. Politieke stabiliteit was een hoog goed in China en dat cultuurideaal heeft redelijk gewerkt.

14 Asiatic mode of production Bureaucratic State operated by non-hereditary elite (mandarinate) upon the basis of a large number of relatively self-governing peasant communities; little or no division between agriculture and industry. Exploitation: collection of taxes, in grain or corvée labour. State organized the defence (Great Wall) and the construction of public works, esp. waterworks directed to: flood protection the use of water for irrigation, especially for wet rice cultivation the development of a far-flung canal system for the transport of tax- grain to granary centres and the capital. The State also assumed economic functions, e.g. Minister for Agriculture, Fermented Beverages Authority, national salt industry.

15 Chinese ethos The emperor had the Mandate of the Heaven. However, there was no legislative God. Confucianism Family model for the State: inequality and hierarchy. Chinese conviction was that the sword might win but only the logos could maintain. Moral force – including imperial charisma of rites and ceremonies and the holiness of the written characters – lasted, physical not. Taoism Observation of nature. Going with the grain of things, letting Nature take her course, lack of interference. Buddhism: otherworldly; for the mind.

16 Earlier Golden Age in China 1 Imperial / Bureaucratic influences e.g. pound lock gate

17 Grote kanaal Grote muur

18 Su Sung’s water clock tower, 1088 AD Incorporated a water-driven escapement* clock * Beweging in stappen, is preciezer

19 Vlaggeschepen van Zheng He en Columbus (> 130 vs < 30m)

20 Earlier Golden Age in China 2 Chinese society was never a slave-based society like the Mediterranean cultures with their galleys and latifundia, e.g. wheelbarrow Early Taoists were curious and observed patiently, they investigated but without intervening; proto- scientists, e.g. gunpowder and magnetism

21 Scientific revolution: society Europe: aristocratic-military feudalism  mercantile and then industrial capitalism, together with the Renaissance and the Reformation ánd Scientific Revolution China: bureaucratic feudalism without Scientific revolution

22 Scientific revolution: geography Europe is like an archipelago, inviting maritime commerce and the activities of sea-captains. China is vast land-mass, well suited for the activities of millions of peasant-farmers.

23 Scientific revolution: culture Ethos: Chinese did not develop the notion of Law of Nature. In the West Laws of Nature were derived from Laws of Society. No such codification in China. Legalists’ performance put laws in bad light. Christians know a legislative God. Chinese did not develop the Greek idea of geometrical demonstration and formal proof. They emphasized algebraic mathematics, because a circle was divided in degrees, the number of days in the year, an inconvenient number. No trigonometry. Experiment demanded too much active intervention to make it philosophically respectable in China, though accepted in arts and trade.

24 Bourgeoisie In Western Europe from the 15th century. Results from the city-states of Greece, the Roman concept of law and an old passion for individual freedom and self- government. Geographically Europe was a nursery for merchant princes. Their ability to amass and retain wealth enabled them to overthrow governments. Favouring factors like the collapse of the feudal order, the States, the Church and the Mongol Empire (Immanuel Wallerstein).

25 Merchants and science The mercantile atmosphere was propitious for careful and accurate measuring, recording and testing / experimenting – and to see which was the more profitable. Starts with the exact specification of materials. What could products be used for? With exactness came the possibility of mathematisation.

26 Mandarinate Mandarinate was opposed to both hereditary aristocratic feudalism and the value-system of the wealthy merchants. Application of accumulated capital in industrial enterprises was inhibited by the scholar-bureaucrats, as was any social action which might threaten their supremacy. Chinese merchant guilds never achieved the status and position of the European city states merchant guilds.

27 Artisans, merchants and scholars ‘Higher artisanate’ was accepted in the company of educated scholars: their techniques fused together with the methods mathematical and logical reasoning of the scholars. Among the higher artisanate co-operation including disinterested contributions sprang naturally from working conditions. The rise of capitalism favoured their activities and their ideal could make headway in the world. Science came to be regarded as the product of co-operation for non-personal ends.

28 Opkomst en ondergang van beschavingen Oswald Spengler (Der Untergang des Abondlandes, 2 Vol en 1922): beschavingen ontwikkelen zich als organismen, hebben een jeugd, worden volwassen, oud en sterven. Arnold Toynbee (A Study of History / History of the World, 12 Vol : verschuivende centra van macht, beschaving én innovatie, Mesopotamië/ Egypte  Griekenland  Rome  Spanje/Portugal  Duitsland/Nederland  Engeland  Frankrijk  USA  ? William McNeill (The Rise of the West, 1991): doorgaande mensheidsgeschiedenis o.i.v. wereldwijd ontwikkelende netwerken van contacten en handelsrelaties met daarin opeenvolgende centra van vernieuwing Floris Cohen (De herschepping van de wereld, 2007/2008): opkomst moderne natuurkunde door culturele transplantaties van Griekse natuurfilosofie en wiskunde in combinatie met nieuwe natuurkennis gericht op precieze waarneming en praktische oriëntatie

29 Verspringende centra van technische innovatie, macht en cultuurvernieuwing PeriodCentre 500 BC – 200 ADEastern Mediterranean 200 – 600India 600 – 1000Moslem Middle East (Byzantium) 1000 – 1500Far East 1500 – 1950Far West

30 Dynamics Motor of history: people’s ambition to change their circumstances in the light of their ideals (sein vs sollen) Auxiliary motor: increasing trade  increasing specialization  mechanization and automation  increasing wealth  increasing power and increasing inequality on a world scale (Adam smith).

31 Europa uniek door opkomst sterk extraverte instelling Religieuze achtergrond: nastreven zieleheil in spaarzaam leven van praktische werkzaamheid (vanuit Middeleeuwse kloosters) Schaarste aan edele metalen en luxe-goederen  Ontdekkingsreizen Gevolgen: revolutionaire opkomst empirisch- praktische kennisvorm (Bacon), vernieuwing wordt beschavingswaarde, individualisme

32 Rembrandt’s Nachtwacht symboliseert onafhankelijke Europese steden met florerende handel en nijverheid


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