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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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Affairs of Honor

Affairs of Honor

(p.50) Chapter 2 Affairs of Honor
The Crafting of the 10,000 Things
University of Chicago Press

This chapter investigates Song Yingxing's way of describing knowledge and order and how he outlined these issues as a matter of qi. The yin-yang, the five phases, and resonance (ganying) were the cornerstones of qi-concepts. The concepts of the five phases and the relationship of yin and yang showed a complexity that withstands any easy translation into modern scientific theories. Qi was a universal theoretical model that explained all being. Song argued that crafts and technology were indispensable within the relation of heaven, earth, and man and that truth and knowledge lay not only in the star maps of heaven, but also in the mud of the mundane. The coherent scope and methodological approach of Song's oeuvre and his view of qi in both On Qi and Talks about Heaven revealed that Song saw heaven as an issue subject and integral to his notion of the world as qi.

Keywords:   knowledge, order, qi, Song Yingxing, yin-yang, five phases, resonance, On Qi, Talks about Heaven, earth

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