Catherine Jami

in The Emperor's New Mathematics

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199601400
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191729218 | DOI:

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This chapter presents some concluding thoughts. It discusses how Kangxi's engagement with the mathematical sciences became a significant element in his rulership. His effective obliteration of the Jesuits'seminal contribution to imperial mathematics in official written accounts was a prerequisite for the universality of the mathematics that he had codified. It enhanced the emperor's image as a sage: like Confucius, he would go down in history as having studied without a teacher. His knowledge thereby acquired a transcendental dimension. In the process, he appropriated not only the Jesuits' knowledge, but also the role they had striven to play within Chinese society.

Keywords: Kangxi; mathematics; Jesuits; sage; image

Chapter.  3514 words. 

Subjects: History of Mathematics

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