Chapter

Public Affairs

in The Crafting of the 10,000 Things

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780226735849
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226735856 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226735856.003.0004
Public Affairs

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This chapter covers the changing social and political landscape of craft professions and scholarly activity in the Ming dynasty. It describes the contemporary documentation of craft manufacture that supplements the view of Song Yingxing's ideas about craftwork. The early Ming dynastic promotion of craft production, changes in agricultural methods, and increased population pressure resulted in urbanization. Song mentioned in Works of Heaven that merchants connected North and South and considered regions far in the west part of their trade territory. He concluded that education played a dominant role in societal accomplishment. He also believed that intelligence and all kinds of talents could be enhanced by training whether one was a scholar or a farmer. It then highlighted Song's appreciation of craft experience in Works of Heaven and his concern about appropriate training. Song approached crafts as a way to qualify himself and his social status as a scholar.

Keywords: craft manufacture; Ming dynasty; Song Yingxing; craftwork; urbanization; Works of Heaven; education; training

Chapter.  15519 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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