Chapter

The Missing Picture<sup>*</sup>

Dhruv Raina

in Images and Contexts

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780198068808
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080113 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198068808.003.0006
The Missing Picture*

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Almost four decades after the volumes of Joseph Needham's Science and Civilization in China first appeared, it is fitting to ask why an Indian equivalent has not been produced. In attempting to seek an answer to this question, this essay proposes, rather provocatively, that the Needhamian oeuvre cannot be replicated in the Indian variant. First, it outlines the history of the history of sciences in India and then raises some relevant questions and problems in Needham's historiography that prove problematic for the history of science in India. It also discusses the conditions contributing to the non-emergence of the Indian equivalent of Science and Civilization in China. A ‘New Big Picture’ of the history of science has emerged from sociological approaches to the history of science. The chapter analyses what this picture holds for the history of science in India.

Keywords: India; Joseph Needham; Science and Civilization; New Big Picture; science; history of science; historiography

Chapter.  8174 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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