Toward a Global Science

Toward a Global Science : Mining Civilizational Knowledge

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Asian science such as mathematics, Chinese printing, gunpowder and the compass, all contributed to the development of European science. During the last few centuries, however, scientific contributions with Asian roots have diminished and been marginalized and deligitimised. Yet the center of the world economy today is shifting to Asia with shifts in science and technology bound to follow. "Toward a Global Science" is driven by the proposition that pre-Renaissance acquisition of Asian knowledge did not exhaust Asian civilization's potential contribution. There are many useful elements to modern science still lying hidden in Asian civilizational stores waiting to be 'mined'. The author gives details of recent contributions from South Asian medicine, mathematics, and psychology and explores how South Asian inputs can be useful in navigating the philosophical and ethical problems raised by two dominant technologies of the future, namely biotechnology and information technology.As an illustrative example, it describes how a fruitful marriage of one technology - virtual reality - with South Asian philosophy can enliven both the technology as well as philosophy.
It also examines how Asian positions could be used to feed some key contemporary philosophical discussions on science. Using a model of the civilizational construction of science, the book views science without Eurocentric blinders. It documents how science was built initially by transfers from non-European civilizations and why the given historiography of science has to be rethought. Throughout the book the author gives examples of 'parallels and antecedents' between East and West in science and estimates the potential reservoir of Asian knowledge in each field. The book also deals with the many knotty problems in recovering science from past traditions. The author distinguishes between his secular efforts from religious and other attempts that claim the equivalence of all knowledge systems.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 155.4 x 234.7 x 24.6mm | 527.51g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 1 index
  • 0253211824
  • 9780253211828

About Susantha Goonatilake

Susantha Goonatilake is Senior consultant for the United Nations on science and technology and with the New School for Social Research, New York and Vidyartha Center for Science and Society, Colombo. He has taught in several universities and research institutes in Asia, Europe and America. He is the author of Aborted Discovery: Science and Creativity in the Third World; Crippled Minds: An Exploration into Colonial Culture, Evolution of Information: Lineages in Genes, Culture and Artefact; Technological Independence: The Asian Experience, Technology Assessment; and Merged Evolution: The Long Term Implications of Information Technology and Biotechnology.
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