Scientific aspects of European expansion


Scientific aspects of European expansion

edited by William K. Storey

(An expanding world, v. 6)

Ashgate , Variorum, 1996

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Includes bibliographical references and index



Traditional models of the 'spread of Western science', informing and colonising the world, are rejected in the papers included here. Presenting the most significant interpretative problems in its field, some chapters demonstrate that European states did indeed use science overseas as a way to increase their power and this interpretation can be applied even to the history of cartography; others show how Amerindian knowledge of geography contributed heavily to North American mapping. Examples of Ayurvedic and Arabic medical expertise with tropical diseases, Chinese astronomy and Ottoman science illustrate the cultural dimensions of scientific interactions: a two-way interchange took place in this period, with other cultures often rejecting major sections of the Western scientific and medical canon.


  • Contents: Introduction
  • The spread of western science, George Basalla
  • On visiting the 'moving metropolis': reflections on the architecture of imperial science, Roy MacLeod
  • Viajes, comisiones y expediciones cientA-ficas espaA+/-olas a ultramar durante el siglo XVIII, Francisco de Solano
  • Science for political purposes: European explorations of the Pacific Ocean, 1764-1806, Alan Frost
  • Seapower and science: the motives for Pacific exploration, Daniel A. Baugh
  • Anthropological analysis of exploration texts: cultural discourse and the ethnological import of Fray Marcos de Niza's journey to Cibola, Daniel T. Reff
  • Silences and secrets: the hidden agenda of cartography in early modern Europe, J. B. Harley
  • English charting of the River Amazon c.1595-c.1630, Sarah Tyacke
  • The influence of Father Ricci on Far Eastern cartography, Helen Wallis
  • Amerindian contributions to the mapping of North America: a preliminary view, Louis De Vorsey
  • Indicators of unacknowledged assimilations from Amerindian maps on Euro-American maps of North America: some general principles arising from the study of La Verendrye's composite map, 1728-29, Malcolm G. Lewis
  • Ayurvedic medicine in Goa according to the European sources in the 16th and 17th centuries, John M. de Figueiredo
  • The pre-history of modern science in Japan: the importation of western science during the Tokugawa period, Yabuuti Kiyosi
  • Chinese astronomy and the Jesuit mission: an encounter of cultures, Joseph Needham
  • Western mathematics in China, 17th century and 19th century, Catherine Jami
  • Ottomans and European science, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
  • Index.

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