|Date:||August 28, 2012||Time:||3:00 PM - 5:00 PM|
|Speaker(s):||Dr Arun Bala
Senior Research Fellow
NUS Asian Research Institute
|Venue:||Middle East Institute (Seminar Room)
Tower Block Level 2, Bukit Timah Campus
National University of Singapore
469A Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259770
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Recent histories of science have shown how the Scientific Revolution that led to modern science could not have happened without dialogical exchanges with the East. Such exchanges allowed the West to draw on Eastern resources of practices and ideas which made it possible to accomplish this task. Particularly in the area of astronomy, which was central to the revolution, the influence of ideas from the Arabic Maragha School of astronomy, the Indian Kerala School of astronomy, and Chinese theories of infinite empty space and a changing cosmos, came to make crucially indispensable contributions. These ubiquitous exchanges between civilizational sciences create a puzzle. Why did the dialogue of civilizations across Eurasia promote a Scientific Revolution in the West, but not in any of the civilizations in the East? In a recent book Intellectual Curiosity and the Scientific Revolution: A Global Perspective (Cambridge, 2011) the sociologist Toby Huff argues that modern science did not emerge in the East because dominant cultural factors inhibited scholarly interest in natural phenomena. This paper will attempt to provide an alternative answer to this question.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Arun Bala is by training a physicist and a philosopher and is currently Senior Research Fellow with the Asia Research Institute (NUS). He is the author of The Dialogue of Civilizations in the Birth of Modern Science (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), and editor of Asia, Europe and the Emergence of Modern Science: Knowledge Crossing Boundaries (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).