Joseph Needham, et al.: Science and Civilisation in China, 7 vols. (1954–2008)

15 August 2013, dusan

Science and Civilisation in China is recognised as one of the most remarkable works of scholarship in the twentieth century. Originally proposed as a single volume of 600 to 800 pages, the project now encompasses seventeen books published under the direct supervision of Joseph Needham, from the first volume which appeared in 1954, through to volume 6.3 which was in press at the time of his death in 1995. The preparation and publishing of further volumes is ongoing. Responsibility for the commissioning and approval of work for publication in the series is now taken by the Publications Board of the Needham Research Institute, under the chairmanship of Dr C. Cullen, who acts as general editor of the series.”

The published volumes reflect Needham’s vision of the field of the history of science and its social background in China, and his aim to make Chinese achievements in science and technology better understood. The series was on the Modern Library Board’s 100 Best Nonfiction books of the 20th century.

Publisher Cambridge University Press

Review (Robert Finlay, Journal of World History, 2000)
Review (Marta E. Hanson, Early Science and Medicine, 2007)
Simon Winchester on Joseph Needham, video, 57 min (via अवनिचर अवनिचर)

Needham Research Institute

Vol. 1: Introductory Orientations, With the Research Assistance of Wang Ling, 1954
Vol. 2: History of Scientific Thought, With the Research Assistance of Wang Ling, 1956
Vol. 3: Mathematics and the Sciences of the Heavens and Earth, With the Collaboration of Wang Ling, 1959

Physics and Physical Technology
Vol. 4-1: Physics, With the Collaboration of Wang Ling; and the Special Co-operation of Kenneth Robinson, 1962
Vol. 4-2: Mechanical Engineering, With the Collaboration of Wang Ling, 1965
Vol. 4-3: Civil Engineering and Nautics, With the Collaboration of Wang Ling and Lu Gwei-Djen, 1971

Chemistry and Chemical Technology
Vol. 5-1: Paper and Printing, By Tsien Tsuen-Hsuin, 1985
Vol. 5-2: Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Magisteries of Gold and Immortality, With the Collaboration of Lu Gwei-Djen, 1974
Vol. 5-3: Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Historical Survey, from Cinnabar Elixirs to Synthetic Insulin, With the Collaboration of Ho Ping-Yü and Lu Gwei-Djen, 1976
Vol. 5-4: Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Apparatus, Theories and Gifts, With the Collaboration of Ho Ping-Yü and Lu Gwei-Djen; and a Contribution by Nathan Sivin, 1980
Vol. 5-5: Spagyrical Discovery and Invention: Physiological Alchemy, With the Collaboration of Lu Gwei-Djen, 1983
Vol. 5-6: Military Technology: Missiles and Sieges, With Robin D.S. Yates, Krzysztof Gawlikowski, Edward McEwen, Wang Ling, 1994
Vol. 5-7: Military Technology: The Gunpowder Epic, With the Collaboration of Ho Ping-Yü (Ho Peng Yoke), Lu Gwei-Djen, and Wang Ling, 1987
Vol. 5-8: Not yet published
Vol. 5-9: Textile Technology: Spinning and Reeling, By Dieter Kuhn, 1988
Vol. 5-10: Not yet published
Vol. 5-11: Ferrous Metallurgy, By Donald B. Wagner, 2008
Vol. 5-12: Ceramic Technology, By Rose Kerr and Nigel Wood; With Contributions by Ts’ai Mei-fen and Zhang Fukang; Edited by Rose Kerr, 2004
Vol. 5-13: Mining, By Peter J. Golas, 1999

Biology and Biological Technology
Vol. 6-1: Botany, With the Collaboration of Lu Gwei-Djen, and a Special Contribution by Huang Hsing-Tsung, 1986
Vol. 6-2: Agriculture, By Francesca Bray, 1984
Vol. 6-3: Agro-Industries and Forestry, By Christian A. Daniels and Nicholas K. Menzies, 1996
Vol. 6-4: Not yet published
Vol. 6-5: Fermentations and Food Science, By Huang Hsing-Tsung, 2000
Vol. 6-6: Medicine, With the Collaboration of Lu Gwei-Djen; Edited and With an Introduction by Nathan Sivin, 2000

Vol. 7-1: Language and Logic, By Christoph Harbsmeier; Edited by Kenneth Robinson, 1998
Vol. 7-2: General Conclusions and Reflections, With the Collaboration of Kenneth Robinson and Ray Huang (Huang Jen-Yu); With an Introduction by Mark Elvin; Edited by Kenneth Robinson, 2004

(PDFs removed on 2019-5-15 and 2019-6-21 upon request from publisher)

Joscelyn Godwin: Athanasius Kircher: A Renaissance Man and the Quest for Lost Knowledge (1979)

30 June 2013, dusan

Athanasius Kircher (1602-80) stands out as one of the last all-encompassing minds, living in the age of Descartes and Newton, but expounding his knowledge in the light of a unified, spiritual world-view. For this true Renaissance man, the whole cosmos was a glorious theophany waiting to be explored.

Kircher was a Jesuit and an archeologist, a phenomenal linguist and an avid collector of scientific instruments and geographical exploration. He probed the secrets of the subterranean world, deciphered archaic languages, experimented with alchemy and music-therapy, optics and magnetism.

Egyptian mystery wisdom, Greek, Cabbalistic and Christian philosophy met on common ground in Kircher’s work; his sumptuous, encyclopaedic volumes were revered throughout Europe. His gigantic oeuvre is approached here through striking engravings – most of them reprinted for the first time – together with annotations and an introduction to Kircher’s life and work.

Publisher Thames & Hudson, 1979
Art and Imagination series
ISBN 0500810222, 9780500810224
96 pages

google books

PDF (121 MB, no OCR)