Did science develop differently in different ancient civilisations, and if so, why? This article compares the development of medicine, mathematics and astronomy in ancient Greece and ancient China. It identifies certain significant differences in the way in which the problems were formulated and the aims and methods used to resolve them, and it relates these to the social institutions and values of the society within which the scientists work.
Geoffrey Lloyd is Master of Darwin College and Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Science in the University of Cambridge, Fellow of the British Academy and Member, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. His interests have been in Greek philosophy and science but in recent years have been increasingly in Chinese Science. Amongst his many books are The Revolution of Wisdom, Demystifying Mentalities, Magic, Reason and Experience and Methods and Problems in Greek Science.
* Darwin College, Cambridge CB3 9EU, UK.