On the Historiographical Reform of General History of Chinese Science and Technologyin the Post-Needham Era
Liu Shengli;Research Institute of Philosophy and Culture, Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences;
The research of General History of Chinese Science and Technology(GHCST) has so far failed to transcend the"positivist history", a program of historiography initiated by Joseph Needham. The historians after Needham have made important explorations on the historiographical reform of GHCST. However, nearly all of these explorations are still the methodological reflections of the positivist history perspective, failing to reflect metaphysically on such historiographical presuppositions as views of science, technology and history, which means they have failed to break away from the positivist history perspective. To go beyond the limitations of positivist history calls for the introduction of the perspective of phenomenology of body and reflecting on and criticizing the historiographical presuppositions of positivist history on a metaphysical level. Such reflection will lead us to a new program of historiography in the post-Needham era, that is"phenomenal history"or the GHCST from the perspective of the phenomenology of body.