The Great Knowledge Transcendence: The Rise of Western Science and Technology Reframed

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The Great Knowledge Transcendence turns upside down the conventional view of the natural rise of the West and blockage of the Rest. Professor Jin uses new developments in cognitive sciences and counterfactual examples of China, India, and the Islamic world to make the case that all premodern knowers and their communities faced inherent limits. The West was able to transcend those limits to develop modern science and technology because of the inherent contradictions of Christian theology and Thomist insistence on the unity of faith and reason. Under this unique European context, the paradoxical combination forced Western intellectuals to challenge all existing knowledge claims and existing ways for knowledge creation and justification. This induced them to seek the new solid foundations for the certainty of knowledge by controlled experiments and the mathematization of nature, ultimately leading to the rise of modern science and technology.

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About the Author:

Dengjian Jin is John and Ann Curley Chair of International Studies, Business & Management at Dickinson College, USA. He is the author of The Dynamics of Knowledge Regimes: Technology, Culture and Competitiveness in the USA and Japan.

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