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Virginia Commonwealth University
HIST 201
James Scow

10/26/12 Exploring Exploration The Biological Explanation • Parameters of the argument o It was the sturdy aggression of the European biosphere that allowed them to expand into places with similar climates (neo-Europes) o Chinese were going to same biosphere that were already being visited and traded with by Europeans • Attacking the argument o Chinese didn’t attempt to expand, there is more to it then biological explanation • Another way to think about this: economic competition? The Cultural and Scientific Argument • Substance of argument o There were limits that did not allow them to have a scientific revolution  They were looking back instead of being innovative and trying new things  Building on philosophy of Confucious – looked back  They had trouble alphabetizing things  Scissors and pasting approach to producing writings (esp. scientific writings)  The goal of education in China was to get a job in the bureaucracy • It was not pointed at broad thinking, and well-
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