The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China and the West / Edition 1

The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China and the West / Edition 1

by Toby E. Huff
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521498333

ISBN-13: 9780521498333

Pub. Date: 01/28/1993

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This is a study of the long-standing question of why modern science arose only in the West and not in the civilizations of Islam and China. The author points out that from the tenth century to the thirteenth the Arabs had the most advanced science in the world. Arab astronomers even invented non-Ptolemaic planetary models that are equivalent to those of Copernicus,…  See more details below

Overview

This is a study of the long-standing question of why modern science arose only in the West and not in the civilizations of Islam and China. The author points out that from the tenth century to the thirteenth the Arabs had the most advanced science in the world. Arab astronomers even invented non-Ptolemaic planetary models that are equivalent to those of Copernicus, yet they failed to develop modern science. While the Chinese underwent a high level of mathematical development during the European High Middle Ages, they generally lagged behind the Arabs in physical theory, optics, astronomy, and experimentation. To explain this outcome the author explores the cultural - religious, legal, philosophical, and institutional - contexts within which science was practiced in Islam. China, and the West. He finds in the history of law and the European cultural revolution of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries major clues as to why the ethos of science arose in the West, permitting the breakthrough to modern science that did not occur elsewhere. This line of inquiry leads to novel ideas about the centrality of the legal concept of corporation which is unique to the West and gave rise to the concepts of neutral space and free inquiry.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521498333
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/28/1993
Edition description:
1st pbk. ed
Pages:
423
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.83(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Preface to the second edition
Preface to the first edition
Acknowledgments
Introduction1
1The comparative study of science8
2Arabic science and the Islamic world47
3Reason and rationality in Islam and the West89
4The European Legal revolution118
5Madrasas, universities, and science147
6Cultural climates and the ethos of science209
7Science and civilization in China240
8Science and social organization in China289
9The rise of early modern science325
Epilogue: educational reform and attitudes toward science in the Muslim world and China since the eighteenth century362
Selected bibliography385
Index407

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