Over long periods of human history,
In spite of the transient and sometimes even ephemeral contexts of these globalization processes, they kept large parts of the world connected over long periods of time by common religious, economic and cultural traditions, through the exchange of technologies, practices and ideas, or through knowledge encapsulated in writing. This connectivity, however, did not lead to a uniformity of the contexts in which knowledge was being produced,
As discussed in Part 1, from the third millennium BCE at the latest, the existence of
At the same time, wide-ranging empires contributed to the accumulation of a global potential for science over long periods of time. Consider the example of the
The spread of knowledge induced by the spread of political power is exemplified by technologies such as agriculture, ceramics, textile fabrication and metallurgy, and of
This is not to say that major breaks did not occur in transitions from empire to empire, such as the disappearance of wheeled vehicles in the
The oldest numbers written in this
By the seventh century, the
The idea of an empire presents itself as a form of
Also in the
The new knowledge thus generated and widely shared in the extensive Islamic state of the Abbassids then became itself an important aspect in the societal development. In particular, the acquisition of further knowledge became more determined, not only by the
In Salerno, not far from the Byzantine settlements in Puglia, Greek
Until the early modern era, the globalization of articulated
The transformation of
We mentioned above that the large-scale sociopolitical structures of empires fostered the travel of knowledge, in particular when it was deemed politically, ideologically or economically relevant. The thirteenth-century CE
In the age of European colonization from ca. 1500, the production and
Non-European territories and their societies offered, on the one hand, new resources for the
Indeed, world religions could become attractive
A similar transformation of the neo-Confucian
In the European case, the capability of religion to challenge the authority of the state in terms of its own,
The new role of science in the West became relevant at a time when its links to the
The extent to which such self-reinforcing simultaneity of scientific advances, the possibility of exploiting science for ideological purposes and a growing practical role for science also took place in the Islamic world is still an open question.36 Further studies are needed to identify the historical opportunities—whether missed or realized—for extending the flourishing of science as a
While knowledge as a
Science may evidently also act like a
Because of the essential role of meta-knowledge in religions, they provide
In accordance with the
The relative importance of the different forms of
The essential message of Buddhism was represented not only by the
As a rule, changes in the medium of external representation affect even the
From the beginning, the new media thus opened up multiple paths to modernity because they catalyzed the spread, not just of Western ideas of development, but also their alternatives.55 With the arrival of the Internet, Muslims became able to access
A similar process of self-accelerating transmission took place in the twelfth-century
The very possibility of
Successful translation movements typically involve several phases of translation activities, where, in the first phase, the emphasis is on
When, for instance, a new terminology is created to faithfully render the “technical” contents of an original source in the target language, then this terminology has little chance of resonating in the same way with a semantic context in the new language as the original terminology could within the source language. Conversely, the creation of such a new terminology may create new semantic fields, hence effectively changing the target language in a way that is shaped by the transmitted contents. This was the case for many Asian languages as a result of the transmission of Buddhism. Similarly, while the early modern translations of European scientific texts into Chinese had little immediate impact on the Chinese
This case also illustrates another limit of the translation process: the communicability of
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,
Eventually, and in particular in the process of
From the beginning of the twentieth century, with the failure to generalize and spread the dynamics of
In summary, for most of human history
The systems of modern scientific
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For a discussion of the Silk Road and relevant literature, on which the following is based, see Rezakhani 2010; Haussig 1988; Haussig 1992. The name “the Silk Road” (die Seidenstraße) for the commercial routes passing through the Tarim basin into Transoxania goes back to the German explorer and scholar Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen. Silk, however, was not necessarily the only and not even the dominant trade item. Also, the Silk Road hardly served the Roman and the Chinese empires, at the extremes of the Eurasian continent, as a venue for direct interaction. The main point for our purposes is rather that the Eurasian continent remained over long historical periods connected by a network of weak ties, cf. Granovetter 1983; Malkin 2011. The reconceptualization of the “Silk Road” in this sense remains an open question for research. For a discussion of the Jesuit mission to China, see chapter 11.
See Wallerstein 1974–1989. Wallerstein reconstructs the emergence of centers and peripheries in an expanding European world economy. Less Eurocentric perspectives can be found in Lippmann Abu--Lughod 1993, 75–102 and Stern 1988, 829–872.
While Stengers 1997 is right in emphasizing that the knowledge systems of science tend to be closed worlds comprising their own control strategies and criteria of truth, this of course does not exclude multiple interfaces with other knowledge systems, which are often capable of interfering with or even overruling those intrinsic to science. Science thus never evolves autonomously, but always as part of larger knowledge systems.
See Glick 2005, 3, fn.1 and the references therein. For the coupling of monetary economies between Europe and the Muslim world between 1000 and 1500 CE, see also Watson 1967. For the relation between the Islamic world and Tibet, see Akasoy et.al. 2011.
On the history of paper, see Tsien 1987. For its diffusion to Europe, see also Glick 2005, 279–281 and Burns 1985.
On the history of the Indo-Arabic numeral system, see Plofker 2009, 43–48. See also Kunitzsch 2003.
Cf. the discussion in Glick 2005.
For the Roman case, see, for example, Heather 2006; for the Chinese case, see, for example, Barfield 2001.
For discussion, see Gutas 2006, in particular p. 18.
See the discussion in Burnett 2001 on which much of the following is based. See also Schramm 2001 and Hasse 2006. For a more general discussion of the translation movements in Europe and the Near East, see Kunitzsch 2008.
See Endreß 2004.
See Schmidt 1957, Benz 1961, 147–165.
The scholarly network induced by the translation movement comprised hubs with different functions, translation centers, such as Toledo, centers of learning and dissemination, such as Paris and Oxford, and depositories of knowledge, such as the Monastery of Saint-Michel. The recent controversy about the origins of western Aristotelianism, launched by Sylvain Gouguenheim 2008, has helped to make the distinction between the functions of these different centers clear. See the afterword in Gouguenheim 2011.
Alfonso the Tenth (1252–84) concentrated the translation activities that had been scattered around Spain in one location and subdivided and organized the labors of his translators.
See Abattouy et.al. 2001a and Renn and Damerow 2012.
For a standard reference, see Pines 1979.
On the voyages of Marco Polo, see Larner 1999. On visits to Europe from Asia, see Rossabi 2010.
For a discussion of the social and economic roots of the Scientific Revolution, see, for instance, Lefèvre 1978; Freudenthal and McLaughlin 2009; Damerow and Renn 2010 and the older literature cited there.
For Chinese seafare in the fifteenth century, see Ptak 2007. Older literature often claims a general superiority of European cultural techniques, see, for example, Konetzke 1964. Newer literature tends to underline the cultural contingency and the very special use Europeans made of these techniques, see Gruzinski 2011. For information on shipbuilding, map-making and other conditions of European seafare related to the production of new knowledge, see Harley and Woodward 1987, 410; Russell-Wood 1998, 27–31; Renn and Valleriani 2001; Padrón 2002; Kamen 2003, 159–160; Nowacki and Lefèvre 2009.
The case of archives is discussed by Nicholas B. Dirks 2001 who stresses the role of archives as neutral repositories of the past, focusing on colonial Imperial British India. Ann Laura Stoler 2009 goes further when she considers archives and archival documents not only as sources, but also as having histories and itineraries of their own.
There is a very large literature on this theme. See, for example, Arnold 1988; Grove 1995; Müller-Wille 1997.
See Durkheim 1965; Heinrich 1986; Simmel 1995. On the transmission of social hierarchies, see also Lincoln 2007.
In the Early Dynastic period, so-called “god lists” emerged, primarily serving administrative purposes, i.e., teaching how one writes the name of a particular god in an administrative document. The next group of written texts that emerged after administrative documents were primarily legal.
See Maul 1999; George 2003; Foster et.al. 2001. For the transmission into Hittite and Hurrian, see Salvini 1988; Beckman 2003.
For the character of religious knowledge, see also Freundenthal 2012.
See Bayly 2004, chap. 9 on empires of religion. See also Tyrell 2004 who investigates how German and British mission organizations contributed to globalized world religions.
See Rüegg 1996a; Rüegg 1996b. The role of the universities for shaping a scientific agenda has also been stressed in Huff 2011, 147–52. The author points to the role of the legal transformation in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries which opened up the possibility of a legal status for collective actors, such as corporations and universities, claiming this as a distinctive European development.
For an overview, see, for example, Lindberg 2008.
For this interpretation of the Scientific Revolution, see Lefèvre 1978; Renn and Valleriani 2001; Damerow and Renn 2010.
For a discussion of the intercultural aspects of scientific exchange, see also Aoyama and Seebold 2005.
See the discussion of métissage in the colonial context as a form of communication wherein no “veritable fusion” of European and autochthonous knowledge took place, but quite selective and short-term practices of mixing métissage and unmixing demétissage of knowledge prevail Lienhard 1999, 60–61. According to Ann Laura Stoler 2009, 249, knowledge in the colonial context was generally unstable. See also the discussion in the survey chapter 16.
Such conflicts of identity are at the heart of conversion processes, as explained in Viswanathan 1998, 75: “I propose examining conversion as an act akin to the forces of modernity in its appeal to personal (rather than collective) choice, will, and action; to the forces of colonialism in its introduction of other epistemologies, ideologies, and cultural frameworks; and to the forces of feminism in its representation of subjectivity at variance with what is legislated not only in code books of social morality but also in civil and ritual practices. Combining the effects of all three, conversion posits a severe challenge to the demarcation of identities set by the laws that govern everyday life and practice. Changes of religious belief reconstitute the shape of the nation just as forcefully as do systems of personal and customary laws, which lay the groundwork for organizing different communities along sectional lines.”
For a discussion of the role of printing, see Febvre and Martin 1990; Giesecke 1991.
See also Eisenstadt 2000; Eisenstadt 2002.
Modern means of mass communication have also contributed significantly to shaping national identities in non-Western areas, as in the case of Indonesia where the spread of nationalistic ideas by mass media preceded state formation; see Anderson 1996.
For elaborate studies of such transformation processes, see the works published in the context of the Collaborative Research Center 644 “Transformations of Antiquity,” in particular Renn and Damerow 2007; Damerow and Renn 2010; Böhme et.al. 2011.
See Abattouy et.al. 2001b, on which the following is largely based.
See Abattouy et.al. 2001b and the discussion in Glick 2005, 313 ff..
For a comprehensive study of the relation between translation and globalization, see Cronin 2003, who emphasizes the importance of translation in processes establishing hegemony and its antagonisms. The transformative and generative power of translation in the context of globalization processes has been stressed by Ning 2008, 75–87.
See Amelung 2001.
For case studies dealing with the African situation, see Omenka 1989; Ndongmo 2007. Valentin Y. Mudimbe calls the colonial education system “violence” Mudimbe 1997, 61.
Developing countries have adopted different strategies for science policy with varying degrees of success. For a review, see Gibbons et.al. 1994, 132–33.
For more on this, see Eisenstadt 2000.
Table of Contents
1 The Globalization of Knowledge in History: An Introduction
Jürgen Renn, Malcolm D. Hyman
2 Knowledge and Science in Current Discussions of Globalization
Helge Wendt, Jürgen Renn
PART 1: From Technology Transfer to the Origins of Science
3 Survey: From Technology Transfer to the Origins of Science
Malcolm D. Hyman, Jürgen Renn
4 Technological Transfer and Innovation in Ancient Eurasia
Daniel T. Potts
6 The Origins of Writing and Arithmetic
PART 2: Knowledge as a Fellow Traveler
9 Survey: Knowledge as a Fellow Traveler
10 The Spread of Buddhism as Globalization of Knowledge
12 Normative Islam and Global Scientific Knowledge
13 From Khwarazm to Cordoba: The Propagation of Non-Religious Knowledge in the Islamic Empire
14 The Sciences in Europe: Transmitting Centers and the Appropriating Peripheries
Manolis Patiniotis, Kostas Gavroglu
PART 3: The Place of Local Knowledge in the Global Community
16 Survey: The Place of Local Knowledge in the Global Community
18 The Introduction of the European University System in Brazil
Oscar Abdounur, Adriana Cesar de Mattos
19 Celestial Navigation and Technological Change on Moce Island
Jarita C. Holbrook
21 On Juridico-Political Foundations of Meta-Codes
23 The Transformations of Knowledge Through Cultural Interactions in Brazil: The Case of the Tupinikim and the Guarani
Circe Mary Silva da Silva, Ligia Arantes Sad
PART 4: The Globalization of Modern Science
24 Survey: The Globalization of Modern Science
Jürgen Renn, Malcolm D. Hyman
25 The University of the 21st Century: An Aspect of Globalization
26 The Soviet Psychologists and the Path to International Psychology
27 The Global Diffusion of Nuclear Technology
28 The Role of Open and Global Communication in Particle Physics
Hans Falk Hoffmann
29 Internationalism and the History of Molecular Biology
30 The Role of Chemistry in the Global Energy Challenge
31 Climate Change as a Global Challenge – and its Implications for Knowledge Generation and Dissemination
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