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History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization: Chemistry and Chemical Techniques in India (Volume IV, Part 1)

 
B.V. Subbarayappa (Editor)
Synopsis The volumes of the Project on The History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization aim at discovering the main aspects of India’s heritage and present them in an interrelated way. In spite of their unitary look, they recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. The Project is executed by scholars with different ideological persuasions and methodological approaches and is marked by ‘methodological pluralism’. In spite of its primary historical character, this Project, both in its conceptualization and execution, has been shaped by many scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an endeavour of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically a major world civilization like India. This volume presents a succinct account of chemical knowledge and techniques in the Indian culture-area from prehistoric times to about the eighteenth century AD. Metals and metal-working; dyes and pigments; coinage; rocks and minerals; cosmetics and perfumery; ceramics and glass; paper-making; pyrotechnics and the like were among the important chemical practices that were fostered by artisans and craftsmen who scaled peaks of excellence specially in metallurgy. Indian alchemy which came up as a part of tantrik tradition soon transformed itself into medicinal chemistry and added a veneer of mineral and metallic medicines treated with plant extracts. A notable aspect of Indian chemical practices in the ancient and medieval periods was their inter-relationship with religio-philosophical ideas as well as cultural embellishment. Such practices, though mainly endogenous, were not devoid of some exogenous influences from time to time. The authors who are experts in their fields, have portrayed the different nuances of Indian chemistry and chemical techniques based on extensive archaeological data as well as literary sources with their scholarly and integrated interpretations. The volume is a source book of great value to interested scholars and general readers alike.
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About the author

B.V. Subbarayappa

B.V. Subbarayappa (b. 1925), an Editorial Fellow of PHISPC, is Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. He was formerly Executive Secretary of the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi; first Project-Coordinator and Member-Secretary of the National Commission for History of Science in India; Professor of History of Science at Birla Institute of Science and Technology, Pilani; and Director, Discovery of India project, Nehru Centre, Bombay. He is the Editor/author of several books on history of science in India and has published nearly a hundred papers on this subject in national and international journals and other publications. He was the President (first non-Westerner to be so elected) of the Science Division of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science, related to UNESCO (1998-2001); elected Member of the International Academy of History of Science, Paris (1987); recipient of Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bologna, Italy; and R.C. Gupta Endowment Prize and Medal (2003) for History of Science from the National Academy of Sciences, Allahabad.

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Bibliographic information

Title History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization: Chemistry and Chemical Techniques in India (Volume IV, Part 1)
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.1999
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 818758601X
length xxvi+381p., Figures; Tables; References; Appendices; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; 29cm.
Subjects History