History of Science, History of Text

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Karine Chemla
Springer Science & Business Media, Apr 7, 2006 - History - 266 pages
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two main (interacting) ways. They constitute that with which exploration into problems or questions is carried out. But they also constitute that which is exchanged between scholars or, in other terms, that which is shaped by one (or by some) for use by others. In these various dimensions, texts obviously depend on the means and technologies available for producing, reproducing, using and organizing writings. In this regard, the contribution of a history of text is essential in helping us approach the various historical contexts from which our sources originate. However, there is more to it. While shaping texts as texts, the practitioners of the sciences may create new textual resources that intimately relate to the research carried on. One may think, for instance, of the process of introduction of formulas in mathematical texts. This aspect opens up a wholerangeofextremelyinterestingquestionstowhichwewillreturnatalaterpoint.But practitioners of the sciences also rely on texts produced by themselves or others, which they bring into play in various ways. More generally, they make use of textual resources of every kind that is available to them, reshaping them, restricting, or enlarging them. Among these, one can think of ways of naming, syntax of statements or grammatical analysis, literary techniques, modes of shaping texts or parts of text, genres of text and so on.Inthissense,thepractitionersdependon,anddrawon,the“textualcultures”available to the social and professional groups to which they belong.
 

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Contents

WHAT IS A TEXT? Spatial Organization of Ancient Chinese Texts Preliminary Remarks
3
Text as Process 51
53
The Production of Cultural Authority
81
A Reaction to Michael Cahns Paper
97
The Algebraic Art of Discourse Algebraic Dispositio Invention
122
An Oral Tradition
137
The Limits of Text in Greek Mathematics
161
A ThriceTold Tale
177
What is the Content of this Book? A Plea for Developing History
201
EPILOGUE
231
Subject Index
247
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About the author (2006)

Karine Chemla is Senior Researcher at the CNRS (Research Unit SPHERE, France) and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. She is also Professor on a Guest Chair at Northwestern University, Xi'an, as well as at Shanghai Jiaotong University and Hebei Normal University, China. She was awarded a 'Chinese Academy of Sciences Visiting Professorship for Senior Foreign Scientists' in 2009.

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