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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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Conclusion Leaving the Theater

Conclusion Leaving the Theater

Chapter:
(p.230) Conclusion Leaving the Theater
Source:
The Crafting of the 10,000 Things
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226735856.003.0008

This chapter presents a conclusion on Song Yingxing. Song's polemics presented contemporary stylistic, terminological, and linguistic features, and his attitudes exhibited the sociopolitical, intellectual, and practical concerns that influenced Chinese approaches to scientific and technological content. His rhetoric and ordering of issues in Works of Heaven proved both his compliance with and manipulation of his cultural set. His qi theory was the basis for his understanding of the physical world and a critical reason for his choice of subject and explanatory content in Works of Heaven. It is noted that Song's writings do not easily fit the agenda of a “world of consumerism.” His work offered an exceptional opportunity to study the thoughts and models of explanation that a former culture used efficiently and effectively for centuries to make knowledge about natural phenomena and material inventiveness.

Keywords:   Song Yingxing, Works of Heaven, qi, consumerism, knowledge, natural phenomena, materials

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