The Knowledge Of Nature And The Nature Of Knowledge In Early Modern Japan

Paperback | March 22, 2017

byFederico Marcon

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Between the early seventeenth and the mid-nineteenth century, the field of natural history in Japan separated itself from the discipline of medicine, produced knowledge that questioned the traditional religious and philosophical understandings of the world, developed into a system (called honzogaku) that rivaled Western science in complexity—and then seemingly disappeared. Or did it? In The Knowledge of Nature and the Nature of Knowledge in Early Modern Japan, Federico Marcon recounts how Japanese scholars developed a sophisticated discipline of natural history analogous to Europe’s but created independently, without direct influence, and argues convincingly that Japanese natural history succumbed to Western science not because of suppression and substitution, as scholars traditionally have contended, but by adaptation and transformation.
           
The first book-length English-language study devoted to the important field of honzogaku, The Knowledge of Nature and the Nature of Knowledge in Early Modern Japan will be an essential text for historians of Japanese and East Asian science, and a fascinating read for anyone interested in the development of science in the early modern era.

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From the Publisher

Between the early seventeenth and the mid-nineteenth century, the field of natural history in Japan separated itself from the discipline of medicine, produced knowledge that questioned the traditional religious and philosophical understandings of the world, developed into a system (called honzogaku) that rivaled Western science in comp...

Federico Marcon is assistant professor of Japanese history in the Department of History and the Department of East Asian Studies at Princeton University.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:428 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:March 22, 2017Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022647903X

ISBN - 13:9780226479033

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"Marcon boldly challenges the hoary notion that the disenchantment of the world through scientific investigation was unique to the West. Like their early modern European counterparts, Japan’s honzogaku scholars systematically transformed natural ecosystems into discrete objects of analysis, manipulation, and control. This exciting study places Japan’s independent scientific trajectory in the context of its growing commodity culture and professionalization of scholarship."