The Needham Question: What stunted China’s technological and proto-scientific advancement?

What was the Needham question?

Known as Needham’s “Grand Question” or “Puzzle,” he asked why modern science developed in Europe rather than in China, despite China’s advanced technology, and examined the inhibiting factors in Chinese civilization that prevented the rise of modern science by the seventeenth century.

Why is the Needham question important?

Another relevance of the Needham question is to ask not so much why China failed, but why no other culture joined effectively in the pursuits of this science for so long. After all, it was centuries after the scientific revolution before China, or indeed other cultures, really joined in the scientific advance.

Who was Joseph Needham What was his contribution to Chinese technology and science?

1. Falling in love with the history of science and technology in China. Dr Joseph Needham (1900–1995) was a well-known biochemist and founder of chemical embryology, for which he was elected as a Fellow of the British Royal Society in 1941. He became interested in the history of science and technology in the late 1920s …

Why the Chinese were overtaken in science and technological advancement?

The study found that rising labor costs in China and “expanded market opportunities in the world economy” were the main drivers behind innovations. The study also found that state-owned firms innovated less than private firms, even though state-owned firms received far greater subsidies.

What prevented Chinese civilization from developing to modern?

John K. Fairbank argued that the Chinese political system was hostile to scientific progress. Needham argued, and most scholars agreed, that cultural factors prevented these Chinese achievements from developing into what could be called “science”.

Why did the Scientific Revolution emerge in Europe and not China?

Why did the Scientific Revolution occur in Europe rather than in China or the Islamic world? China and the Islamic world were not as interested in science as the europeans they were more concerned with math and public service. What was the Renaissance?

What is Needham paradox?

The “Needham Question” or “Needham Problem,” also misleadingly called “the Needham Paradox,” refers to the guiding question behind Joseph Needham’s (b. 1900–d. 1995) massive Science and Civilisation in China, as well as his many other publications.

What is the history of science technology and society?

Founded in 1976, the Program in Science, Technology, and Society attempts to increase human understanding of the human-built world. Science and technology are no longer specialized enterprises confined to factories and laboratories: they have become intertwined with each other and with human society.

Why the industrial revolution did not originate in China?

This column argues that the industrial revolution occurred in Europe rather than China because European entrepreneurs were eager to adopt machines to cut down on high labour costs. China didn’t “miss” the industrial revolution – it didn’t need it.

Did China have a scientific and technological revolution?

Scientific and technological stagnation. One question that has been the subject of debate among historians has been why China did not develop a scientific revolution and why Chinese technology fell behind that of Europe. Many hypotheses have been proposed ranging from the cultural to the political and economic.

How did he actually slow scientific progress in Western Europe?

How did he actually slow scientific progress in Western Europe? He reasoned things but didn’t test them. What were the natural laws that scientists sought? Things that impact everything on earth, regardless of circumstance.

What caused the Scientific Revolution in Europe?

The scientific revolution is a series of rapid scientific advancements that occurred in Western Europe. It started for several reasons: the rise of empiricism and humanism, new inventions that either helped scientists better observe phenomena, and the discovery of the New World.

Where does the name Needham come from?

English: habitational name from places in Derbyshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk, so named from Old English ned ‘need’, ‘hardship’ + ham ‘homestead’, i.e. a place that provided a poor living.

Why is Joseph Needham famous for?

Joseph Needham was an embryologist and biochemist who is most noted in science for his studies on induction in developing embryos. Needham worked with Conrad Hal Waddington to attempt to identify the compound responsible for the organizer’s activity.

What is Sinology the study of?

Definition of sinology

: the study of the Chinese and especially their language, literature, history, and culture.

What was paper made of in ancient China?

mulberry bark

Paper was first made in Lei-Yang, China by Ts’ai Lun, a Chinese court official. In all likelihood, Ts’ai mixed mulberry bark, hemp and rags with water, mashed it into pulp, pressed out the liquid and hung the thin mat to dry in the sun.

How did paper impact China?

It gave the Chinese a cheap and easy way of keeping records and made printing possible. Dynasty, centuries before it was known in Europe. Printers could copy drawings or texts quickly, much faster than they could be copied by hand. Inventors of the Song Dynasty created movable type, which made printing even faster.

How has paper making technology contributed to the development of the society?

Paper has influenced society throughout the centuries through: Sacred knowledge preservation for scholars and clergy. The creation of newspapers, periodicals, magazines and books to share knowledge. Allowing communication among people separated by distance — letter writing.

How did paper money impact China?

Use of paper money allowed Chinese merchants to travel thousands of miles along the Silk Road because they did not have to carry coins, which were much heavier. Eventually, historians say, the currency was discovered by traders in Persia and, farther west, in Europe.

What impact did the use of government backed paper money have on trade and China’s economy?

What impact did the use of government-backed paper money have on trade and China’s economy? The impact that paper money had on trade and economy was good because it would be easier to give them money instead of bulky coins for large transactions and the government backing made the currency secure.

How did the Grand Canal affect trade in China?

The canal was built in order to easily ship grain from the rich farmland in southern China to the capital city in Beijing. This also helped the emperors to feed the soldiers guarding the northern borders. The Ancient Chinese built early canals to help with transportation and commerce.

Why did China develop apart from other cultures?

Why did China develop apart from other cultures? China developed apart from the other countries because of its geography.

How did China’s geography affect its development?

The large land was isolated from much of the rest of the world by dry deserts to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, and impassable mountains to the south. This enabled the Chinese to develop independently from other world civilizations.

Why did China develop where they did?

The civilization of ancient China first developed in the Yellow River region of northern China, in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE. This is a very fertile region; however the land needs irrigation to make the crops grow, and well-built river embankments to prevent catastrophic flooding.

What are two important changes brought about by the Zhou?

A number of important innovations took place during this period: the Zhou moved away from worship of Shangdi, the supreme god under the Shang, in favor of Tian (“heaven”); they legitimized rulers, through the Mandate of Heaven (divine right to rule); they moved to a feudal system; developed Chinese philosophy; and made …

What did the Zhou Dynasty contribute to China?

The Zhou Dynasty made significant cultural contributions to agriculture, education, military organization, Chinese literature, music, philosophical schools of thought, and social stratification as well as political and religious innovations.

What led to the downfall of the Zhou Dynasty?

The Warring States Period

The Zhou Dynasty collapsed slowly, over a period of hundreds of years, as the feudal rulers of outlying provinces gained more authority. Eventually, these states acquired more power than the king, beginning a period of conflict that is known, appropriately, as the Warring States Period.

How did the Zhou establish their rule throughout China?

How did the Zhou dynasty establish it’s right to rule China? They established their right to rule China through the Mandate of Heaven.

How did the Zhou overthrew the Shang?

In 1046 BCE, the Zhou, a subject people living in the western part of the kingdom, overthrew the Shang Dynasty at the Battle of Muye. This was a battle between Shang and Zhou clans, over the Shang’s expansion.

What contributed to the success and longevity of Zhou rule?

What contributed to the success and longevity of Zhou rule? The Mandate of Heaven contributed to political stability both by granting the ruler immense authority and by sanctioning dynastic succession when regimes became weak. 1.