Science and confucianism in retrospect and prospect

Zygon 51 (1):86-99 (2016)

In contrast to Western science and religion, a topic which has been studied very much since the twentieth century, less research has been done on science and Confucianism. By way of a comparative viewpoint within the history of science, this article will deal with some aspects of science and Confucianism in retrospect, for instance, the Confucian origin of the idea of tian yuan di fang 天圓地方, the natural philosophy of qi, and the wu xing li tian zhi qi 五行沴天之氣 bringing abnormal astrological phenomena and reflecting a negative Confucian relation between politics, ethics, and nature. In the late Ming, Xiong Mingyu found that abnormal astrological phenomena, as atmospheric events, happened in the sublunar region rather than in the stars, and in the present time we can reinterpret the crisis of air pollution or global climate change as reflecting a negative Confucian relation between politics, ethics, and nature and as a warning of collective misbehavior in our use of modern scientific technologies
Keywords comparative viewpoint of history of science  Chinese astrology  science and Confucianism  wu xing li tian zhi qi 五行沴天之氣  natural philosophy of qi  tian yuan di fang 天圓地方
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DOI 10.1111/zygo.12244
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