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The reason for this reluctance may be found in the epistemological differences between the two mathematical traditions. It is instructive to note that Kerala calculus did not have a Greek mathematical epistemology. Possibly influenced by Aryabhata, the Kerala calculus adopted a pragmatic epistemology. The proof paradigm in this epistemology did not place much value on thought experiment, since Indian mathematics tended to be bundled in with the empirical science of astronomy. 21 In Indian mathematics, there was little tension between empirical demonstration (or numerical calculation) and proof.

The same claim can be made with respect to Pomeranz’s Great Divergence. The problem here is that the adaptability argument is embedded within a functionalist narrative. 31 But this does not explain what it was that enabled its invention. 32 Invoking “functional-ecological necessity” or pure ecological contingency does not explain the factors that enabled the Europeans rather than the Chinese to invent the steam engine in the first place. ”33 Likewise Frank emphasizes the point that Britain invented the steam engine and other “labour-saving” technologies out of the structural-functional imperatives imposed by the global economic downturn of the 1760s (as was noted above) but tells us nothing about what enabled this.

London: Adam & Charles Black. Pomeranz, Kenneth. 2000. The Great Divergence. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Said, Edward W. 2004. Power, Politics, and Culture. London: Bloomsbury. Stoddard, L. 1920. The Rising Tide of Color against White World Supremacy. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. Vries, Peer. 2003. Via Peking Back to Manchester. Leiden: CNWS. ———. 2005. “Is California the Measure of All Things Global? 2. Waley-Cohen, Joanna. 1999. The Sextants of Beijing. New York: W. W. Norton.

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