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Transforming the Narrative of the History of Chinese Technology: East and West in Bertrand Gille’s Histoire des Techniques
Chinese Academy of Sciences.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9687-1940
2015 (English)In: Acta Baltica Historiae et Philosophiae Scientarum, ISSN 2228-2009, Vol. 3, no 1, 9-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In his magisterial The History of Techniques, the French historian of technology Bertrand Gille (1920–1980) constructs a Western-centric world history of technology based on a technical systems approach. in doing so, he is forced to deal with the tension between Western-centric approaches and the conventional narrative of the history of chinese technology. in order to avoid internal contradictions within his world history framework, Gille reconfigures the historical narrative about ancient China’s great inventions, arguing against unidirectional technology transfer and introducing the alternative notions of technological concomitant evolution and technological exchange. While Gille integrates ancient china into the general technological development of the world, he treats china as a blocked technical system and as “the other” in the West’s technological self-perception.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Baltic Association of the History and Philosophy of Science , 2015. Vol. 3, no 1, 9-26 p.
National Category
History History of Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-184998DOI: 10.11590/abhps.2015.1.01OAI: diva2:917776

QC 20160408

Available from: 2016-04-07 Created: 2016-04-07 Last updated: 2016-04-08Bibliographically approved

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