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The Crafting of the 10,000 ThingsKnowledge and Technology in Seventeenth-Century China$
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Dagmar Schafer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226735849

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226735856.001.0001

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Private Affairs

Private Affairs

(p.20) Chapter 1 Private Affairs
The Crafting of the 10,000 Things
University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores Song Yingxing's private affairs, the social implications, family surrounding, education, political events, and historical circumstances that impacted Song's efforts. It deals with the Chen Qixin affair that prompted Song to write An Oppositionist's Deliberations. Song made his mark on premodern Chinese literature and Chinese seventeenth-century approaches to nature, technology, and practical work. Song's subtle nuances in An Oppositionist's Deliberations showed that he was not furious because a military man had been appointed to the civil service; nor was he bothered that Chen called for the abolition of the examinations. The contents and approach of On Qi and Talks about Heaven were very close to what Song may have intended to discuss in the discarded chapters on heavenly phenomena and music. Works of Heaven clarified him as a man with a free rein, finding order in the things and affairs that made up his material surrounding.

Keywords:   private affairs, Song Yingxing, Chen Qixin, An Oppositionist's Deliberations, On Qi, Talks about Heaven, Works of Heaven, Chinese literature

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