Written 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:
Written Affairs

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This chapter concentrates on how Song Yingxing presented the “making of” knowledge and how he approached observation and used it rhetorically. It explores the role Song assigned to theory and practice and their application and how Song employed the mundane or the specific. Song transformed contemporary and classic features to foster his argument and promote crafts and technology as the foundation of knowledge. His notion of the value of agriculture becomes particularly apparent. Then, it considers Song's perception of the relationship between observational practice and knowledge-making, how he looked at things and wanted the reader to look at them. The interaction of yin and yang helped transform things, explaining to a large extent the attitudes of the varied material world around Song. Yin water and yang fire components in the surrounding qi could be unbalanced, creating heat and cold.

Keywords: Song Yingxing; crafts; technology; knowledge; agriculture; yin; yang; qi; observation

Chapter.  16126 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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