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close this bookScience and Technology in the Transformation of the World (UNU, 1982, 496 p.)
close this folderSession V: From intellectual dependence to creativity
close this folderJoseph Needham's contribution to the history of science and technology in China
close this folderGregory Blue
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Bernal, J. D. (1954), Science in History. C.A. Watts e Co., Ltd. 1,039 pages. (Paperback in four-volume set: Penguin Books, 1969.) A classic of systematic scholarship written by a man who was both an outstanding natural scientist and a dedicated Marxist. This work analyses the development of the various sciences from neolithic times until the middle of the present century; for the most part attention is focused upon Europe. Useful as a general introduction to the problems involved in the history of science, but more precisely concerned with investigating the close bonds linking science and society.

Geymonat, L. (1977), Scienza e Realismo. Feltrinelli Editore, Milano, 180 pages. A concise but powerful work on key problems of the history and philosophy of science, also within the Marxist-Leninist tradition. Deals especially with the relationships between modern, axiomized science and a dialectical vision of reality and history.

Hessen, B. (1931), "The Social and Economic Roots of Newton's Principia," in: N. I. Bukharin, et al., Science at the Crossroads: Papers from the Second International Congress of the History of Science and Technology, 1931. Frank Cass e Co., Ltd., 1971 (reprint), pp. 147-203. This book as a whole consists of the papers presented by the impressive Soviet delegation to the 1931 Congress; these papers strongly influenced men like Bernal and Needham. That of Hessen showed the great extent to which Newton's achievements and limitations must be seen in the context of his times.

Lardreau, G. (1976), Le Singe d'Or. Mercure de France. Cited solely as an example of present-day Eurocentrism.

Lu and Needham (1980, in press), Celestial Lancets: A History and Rationale of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. CUP, 3 1 pages. Examines the development of techniques and theoretical systems since their origins in the first millennium B. C., and then proceeds to analyse in modern terms the physiological processes now thought to be involved in therapeutic success, e.g., of acupuncture analgesia. Chinese characters included.

Nakayama and Sivin, editors (1973), Chinese Science: Explorations of an Ancient Tradition. MIT Press, 334 pages. A collection of readable specialist papers by leading Japanese and western historians of Chinese science. The first three essays are especially dedicated to offering basic insights into Joseph Needham's contribution to the field. The final entry is an informative introductory bibliography designed for those who want to investigate the history of Chinese science without knowing the language.

Needham, 3. et al. (1954 -), Science and Civilization in China. CUP, in seven volumes. Vol. 1, 1954. Vol. II, 1956. Vol. III, 1959. Vol. IV, Part 1, 1962. Vol. IV, Part 2, 1965. Vol. IV, Part 3, 1971. Vol. V, Part 2, 1974. Vol. V, Part 3, 1976. A summary of the subjects treated is included in the body of the paper; see infra. Each published book includes an index and three extensive bibliographies which list works relevant to the subject treated in the book: Bibliography A, Chinese and Japanese works published before 1800; Bibliography B. Chinese and Japanese works published since 1800; Bibliography C, works in other languages. All volumes include Chinese and Japanese characters.

_______ (1958), The Development of Iron and Steel Technology in China. (The Second Biennial Dickinson Memorial Lecture to the Newcomen Society, 1956) (revised edition, 1964) Newcomen Society, 76 pages. Considers the comparatively high Chinese level in the production of wrought iron, cast iron, and steel between the fifth century B. C. and the eighteenth century A. D. Also deals with traditional blast furnaces, and examines transmissions of techniques. Includes Chinese characters.

________ (et al.) (1960), Heavenly Clockwork: The Great Astronomical Clocks of Medieval China - A Missing Link in Horological History. CUP, 254 pages. Deals especially with Su Sung's treatise of 1090, which is placed in the context of the tradition of astronomical clock making in China between the seventh and fourteenth centuries. Examines relations with the Islamic world, India, and Europe. Includes Chinese characters.

_________ (1964), "Science and China's Influence on the World,'. in: R. Dawson, The Legacy of China. Oxford Univ. press, pp. 234-308. Demonstrates the importance of Chinese discoveries and innovations in seven major fields, e.g., gunpowder, magnetic compass, stirrup, chain-drive, deep-drilling and stern-post rudder. For Dutch translation, see appendix.

__________ (1967), "The Roles of Europe and China in the Evolution of Oecumenical Science," in: Advancement of Science, Sept. 1967, pp. 83-98. The major arguments are summarized in the last section of the above paper. Provides a crucial insight into Needham's understanding of the significance of his own work in general.

___________ (1969), The Grand Titration: Science and Society in East and West. Allen e Unwin Ltd., 350 pages. Contains eight readable and typical essays on the topic indicated in the title. The first sums up the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese traditional science. The second is a reprint of Needham (1964). The seventh, on conceptions of time, will be included in SCC Vol. Vll; the last is reprinted from Vol. II, and deals with human law and laws of nature. For translations, see appendix.

___________ (1970a), Within the Four Seas: The Dialogue of East and West. Allen s Unwin Ltd., 22 pages. A collection of essays, addresses, and poetry. Useful for providing insight into Needham's eclectic personality and general views on science, history, religion, and philosophy.

____________ (1970b), Clerks and Craftsmen in China and the West: Lectures and Addresses on the History of Science and Technology. CUP, 470 pages. Consists of 19 specialist papers, each of which deals with a specific example of traditional Chinese scientific or technological innovation. Most of these papers sum up the arguments in the relevant sections of SCC. Papers 2 through 5 concern transmissions. Paper 10 is a revised version of Needham (1958). Paper 18 examines the diffusion of state qualifying examinations in medicine. Paper 19 is a reprint of Needham (1967). For Spanish translation, see appendix.

____________ (1973), "The Historian of Science as Ecumenical Man: A Meditation in the Shingon Temple of Kongosammai-in on Koyasan," in: Nakayama 6 Sivin (1973), pp. 18. A non-technical illustration of Needham's general views on the relationship between modern science, the traditional sciences, philosophy, and religion.

____________ (1976), "History and Human Values; A Chinese Perspective for World Science and Technology," in: Centennial Review, 20, pp. 1-35. Provides typical critiques both of "scientism'' and of contemporary counter-cultural trends which negate the importance of scientific advance; argues that the indigenous Asian philosophies and religions can play a great role today in overcoming such trends. For German translation, see appendix.

Ronan and Need ham (1978-), The Shorter Science and Civilization in China. Vol. I, 1978, 326 pages. Projected for five volumes. An abridgement by C.A. Ronan of Needham's original. Useful for following the main lines of argumentation, without having to attend to the scholarly detail. Vol. I covers vols. I and II of SCC. Includes a selective bibliography; the footnotes and Chinese characters of the original have been deleted.

Said, H. M. (1978), "Eastern Medicine in a Changing World," in: Hamdard Medicus. Vol. XXI, nos. 7-12, pp. 58-74. An example of the work of an eminent scholar exploring and up-dating the Graeco-Arab (Tibb) medical tradition. Includes an impressive list of traditional remedies, their characteristics, and their advantages.

Teich and Young, editors (1973), Changing Perspectives in the History of Science: Essays in Honour of Joseph Needham. Heinemann, 90 pages. A collection of specialist essays by a group of distinguished scholars now working on the history of science and technology. The first paper is an autobiographical piece by Needham (under the pseudonym of H. Holorenshaw). Pages 472-478 list works published by Needham until 1973 (excluding papers on biochemistry and experimental embryology and morphology). See the appendix for works since 1973.


A list of J. Needham's works published before 1973 can be found in Teich and Young (1973), pp. 472-478.

1. Books

Science and Civilization in China

Vol. V, Part 2, 1974.
Vol. V, Part 3, 1976.

Japanese translation: Shisakusha, Tokyo.

Chinese translations:

1. Kho Hsueh Chhu Pan She (Kexue Chubanshe) (Science Press, Beijing)

2. Thai-Wan Shangwu Yin-Shu Kuan (Taiwan Shangwu Yinshuguan) (Commercial Press, Taiwan)

La Science Chinoise et l'Occident. Seuil, Paris, 1973.
Translation of Needham (1969) by E. Simion.

Scienza e Societn Cina. Il Mulino, 1973.
Translation of Needham (1969) by M. Baccianini.

La Tradition Scientifique Chinoise. Hermann (Collection Savoir), 1974.
Collected essays by J. Needham.

Bunmei no Tekitei. Hosei University Press, Tokyo 1974.
Translation of Needham (1969) by Hashimoto Keizo.

La Cina e la Storia. Feltrinelli, Milano, 1975.
Translation of Needham (1970a) by G. Ascenso and M. Baccianini.

Dentro de los Cuatro Mares. Siglo XXI, Madrid, 1975.
Translation of Needham (1970a) by P. LopMz.

Moulds of Understanding: A Pattern of Natural Philosophy.
Allen and Unwin, 1976.
Collected essays by J. Needham.

Translation: Ciencia, Reliqion y Socialismo. Editorial Crca S. A., Barcelona, 1976, by D. Bergad

La Gran TitulaciCienzia y Sociedad en Oriente y Occidente.
Alianza Editorial, Madrid, 1977. Translation by R. Martz Silvestre, M. T. de la Torre Casas, and L. GarcBallester.

Joseph Needham: Wissenschaftlicher Universalismus, Uber Bedeutung und Besonderheit der Chinesischen Wissenschaft. Suhrkamp, 1977.
Collected essays by J. Needham, translated, edited, and with an introduction by T. Spengler.

Higashi to Nishi no Kurakusha to Kosh> (2 vols.). Kawagochi Shobo
Shinsha, Tokyo, 1977.
Translation of Needham (1970b) by Yamada Keiji.

Da la Cienza y la TecnologChinas. Siglo XXI, Mexico City, 1978.
Translation of Needham (1970b) by J. Almela.

The Shorter Science and Civilization in China.
CUP, 1978.
Vol. I, 1978.
An abridgement of SCC, by C. Ronan with the collaboration of
J. Needham.

Seikagaku no Rekishi. Nisuzu Shobo, Tokyo, 1978.
Translation of Needham (1973) by Kihara Hirojl.

Celestial Lancets: A History and Rationale of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. CUP, 1980, to be released.
Lu G.-D. and J. Needham.

2. Articles, Papers, Reviews, and Interviews

"The Historian of Science as Oecumenical Man." In: Nakayama e Sivin (1973).

"The Making of an Honorary Taoist" (under pseudonym of Henry Holorenshaw). In: Teich s Young, Changinq Perspective in the History of Science. Heinemann, 1973, pp. 1-20.

"De Natuurwetenschappen en de Invloed van China op de wereld."
Translation of Needham (1964).
In: De Chinese Traditie. Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam, 1973, pp. 258-334.

Address of acceptance of degree of D. Letters from the University of Hong Kong. In: University of Hong Kong Gazette, Vol. XXI, No. 5, Part 1, pp. 69-74.

"Astronomy in Ancient and Medieval China." In: Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London, 276: 67-82, 1974.

"Chu K'o-chen" (biography). In: Nature, Vol. CCL, 16 August 1974, p.614.

"The Elixir Concept and Chemical Medicine East and West." In: Journal of the Chinese University of Honq Kong, Vol. II, 1, 1974.
(Reprint in: Urganon, lI, 1975;
Italian translation in: Acta Medicae Historiae Patavina, Vol. XIX.)

"The Jesuits in China" (book review of N. Sivin: Copernicus in China). In: J. H. A., V, 1974, pp. 204-205.

The Nature of Chinese Society - A Technical Interpretation" (with R. Huang). In: Journal of Oriental Studies, Vol. Xll, Nos. 1 e 2, 1974, pp. 1-16.

"L'Alchimie en Chine, Pratique et Thie." In: Annales, No. 5, 1975.

Foreword to R. A. Salaman, Dictionary of Tools, Allen e Unwin, 1975, pp. 9-10.

"Dilemmes de la Science et de la Mcine Modernes - le rem est-il chinois?" In: Impact: Science et Soc, Vol. XXV, No. 1, 1975, pp. 49-54.

Interview in Oriente y Occidente, Salvat Editores, S.A., Barcelona, 1975, pp. 8-17, 62-71.

"Problems of Translation and Modernization of Ancient Chinese Technical Terms: Manfred Porkerts' interpretations of terms in ancient and medieval Chinese natural and medical philosophy" (with Lu Gwei-Djen). In: Annals of Science, Vol. 32, No. 5, September 1975, pp. 491-502.

"China's Trebuchets, Manned and Counterweighted." In: Humana Civilitas, 1976 (Lynn White Festschrift No. 1).

"Review of Ho Ping-ti: The Cradle of the East (with F. Bray). In: Pacific Affairs, Vol. 49, No. 4, 1976-1977 - Winter.

"History and Human Values; A Chinese Perspective for World Science and Technology." In: Centennial Review, 20, 1976. German translation in: Heft 1 der Schriftenrethe der Deutschen China-Gesellschaft, K

"Metals and Alchemists in Ancient China." In: To Illustrate the Monuments (J. V. S. Megaco, editor) (Pigott Festschrift), 1976, Thames e Hudson, pp. 284-294.

"Oecumenical Science." Reprint in: Interdisciplinary Science Review.

''On the Death of Mao: A Personal Reflection." In: New Scientist, Vol. 71, 16 September 1976, No. 1,018, p.584.

"Contributions of China, India and the Hellenistic World to Arabic Alchemy." In: Prismata: Naturwissenschaftsueschichtliche Studien (Festschrift fHartner), Franz Steiner Verlag, Gmb H. Wiesbaden, 1977, pp. 246-266.

"Love Sacred and Profane." In: Theology, No. 80, 1977.

"Science: East and West; Kurt Mendelsohn's Secret of Western Domination explored." In: The Sciences, March/April 1977, Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 20-21.

Foreword and Postscript to: J. Chang, The Tao of Love and Sex, Wildwood House, London, 1977, pp. 9-10, 121-130.

"Address to the Opening Conference of the Fifteenth International Congress of the History of Science, Edinburgh, August 1978." In: British Journal for the History of Science, Vol. II, No. 38, 1978, pp. 103- 113.

"Alchemy and Early Chemistry in China." In: Frontiers of Knowledge, Uppsala, 1978.

"Entretien avec Joseph Needham." Interview in Le Monde, 6 and 7 June 1978.

"Science Reborn in China." In: Nature, Vol. 274, No. 5674, pp. 832-834, 31 August 1978.

"A Scientific Basis for Acupuncture." In: The Sciences, 19, 5, 1979, pp. 6 ff.

"Wetenschap en Beschaving in China." Interview by F. Boenders, in: Streven, March 1979.

"Why Didn't China Develop Modern Science?" Interview in: The International Harold Tribune, 24 October 1979.