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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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Written Affairs

Written Affairs

(p.127) Chapter 4 Written Affairs
The Crafting of the 10,000 Things
University of Chicago Press

This chapter concentrates on how Song Yingxing presented the “making of” knowledge and how he approached observation and used it rhetorically. It explores the role Song assigned to theory and practice and their application and how Song employed the mundane or the specific. Song transformed contemporary and classic features to foster his argument and promote crafts and technology as the foundation of knowledge. His notion of the value of agriculture becomes particularly apparent. Then, it considers Song's perception of the relationship between observational practice and knowledge-making, how he looked at things and wanted the reader to look at them. The interaction of yin and yang helped transform things, explaining to a large extent the attitudes of the varied material world around Song. Yin water and yang fire components in the surrounding qi could be unbalanced, creating heat and cold.

Keywords:   Song Yingxing, crafts, technology, knowledge, agriculture, yin, yang, qi, observation

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