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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


Confucianism and Science: From a Viewpoint of History of Science

Vol. 26 No. 4   12/1996  


Confucianism and Science: From a Viewpoint of History of Science


Kuang-Tai Hsu









Key words

Confucianism and Science, M.Ricci, Western Ke-chih hsuëh, Chu His, Wang Yang-ming


      Science has been regarded as a body of knowledge. According to this view, there are two approaches toward the relationship between Confucianism and science: one is the subalternation of science to Confucianism, the other Confucianism is of no advantage to the development of modern science. The purpose of this paper is not to solve the disputation between these two approaches, but to take the history of science as a new approach to the problem of the relationship between Confucianism and science, since the history of science has expanded the domain of science by including it socio-cultural process. As far as the transmission of western learning (including scientific knowledge) into China by Jesuits in late Ming and early Qing dynasties is concerned by taking Neo-Confucianism’s position, recent scholars usually asked: whether the learning of Wang Yang-ming and his followers or that Chu Hsi and his followers was in favor of the transmission of western scientific knowledge? In this hi storical study the author finds that: if one can follow jesuits’s position, he will comprehend that in The True Meaning of the Lord of Heaven (天主實義) Matteo Ricci is not only introduced scholastical philosophy by means of Neo-Confucian’s theme- ke-wu qiong-li (格物窮理), but also changed the relationship among Wang, Chu, and western scientific knowledge. 



Author: Kuang-Tai Hsu
Genre: Article
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