There is nothing else I can cite from Morris that would substantiate these claims. Searching for the sources he relied on, I was led to Benjamin Elman's From Philosophy to Philology: Intellectual and Social Aspects of Change in Late Imperial China (1984). For Elman the intellectual changes in 17th-18th century China constituted a veritable ‘epistemological revolution’. Chinese scholars began to speak and promote ‘evidential research’, as opposed to mere bookish speculations. But Elman never says there was a comparable scientific revolution in China. The conquest of the Manchus and the collapse of the Ming in 1644 led some Chinese scholars to find new ways to restore China's greatness by bringing attention to the ideas of the Warring States period and the Han dynasty. The comparison Elman makes is with the Italian Renaissance scholars who rediscovered the Greeks and Romans. Chinese scholars, in their search for ancient texts, cultivated a philological reading of texts to determine which of many editions of the classics were really original and which copied or forged additions of later centuries.


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