Science in Context 33 (1):65-93 (2020)

ArgumentThis article documents the reasoning in a mathematical work by Mei Wending, one of the most prolific mathematicians in seventeenth-century China. Based on an analysis of the mathematical content, we present Mei’s systematic treatment of this particular genre of problems, fangcheng, and his efforts to refute the traditional practices in works that appeared earlier. His arguments were supported by the epistemological values he utilized to establish his system and refute the flaws in the traditional approaches. Moreover, in the context of the competition between the Chinese and Western approaches to mathematics, Mei was motivated to demonstrate that the genre of fangcheng problems was purely a “Chinese” achievement, not discussed by the Jesuits. Mei’s motivations were mostly expressed primarily in the prefaces to his works, in his correspondence with other scholars, in synopses of his poems, and in biographical records of some of his contemporaries.
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DOI 10.1017/s0269889720000125
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Trigonometric Tables: Explicating Their Construction Principles in China.Jiang-Ping Jeff Chen - 2015 - Archive for History of Exact Sciences 69 (5):491-536.

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