Technoscience in India and China Essay

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For me, "technoscience" is a broadly descriptive term, not a deep theoretical term or even a very precise one. Nevertheless, it is appropriate to use because nowadays powerful social, economic, and political forces emphasize the value of technoscience, often to the exclusion of other forms of science. In order to effectively understand the relationship between technoscience and other aspects of society in a country, we have to analyze the impact of events (as a function of political development, social evolution, wars, cataclysms, etc.) on the history of that specific country. In the case of India and China, the fusion of colonial influence with the post-colonial revival and re-institution of traditional cultural ways makes for a very interesting development of science and technology throughout the years. Historically, China was a world leader in science and technology until the Ming Dynasty (circ. 1360-1640). It was the home to monumental inventions such as printing, papermaking, the compass, and gunpowder; the significant technoscientific contribution of China contributed to the economic development of Asia and Europe. During the 14th century, however, Chinese scientific activity entered a phase of decline. Here I would like to emphasize the relevance of some points made by Professor Hoodbhoy in his article "Science and the Islamic world- The quest for rapprochement". The thriving scientific culture of Islam came to a decline after the rationalist Mutazilites lost the political struggle to the dogmatic Asharites, which led to a strict interpretation of the Qur'an and an eventual stifling of scientific activity. Considering the obvious differences in religion and culture, China entered a similar period of history in which Chinese thinkers did not attempt to connect observations of nature to scientific laws. Scholarly communities were sparse and lacked a peer

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