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The Relationship of Fengshui to the Scientific Tradition

Michael Paton

From the translation and examination of five texts from various dynasties considered to belong to the Form School of fengshui, it is found that although the earliest conceptual basis seems to be the decidedly unscientific belief in the nourishment of the spirits of the dead, there is a certain rationality to the theories of siting which would indicate some objective observation of the surrounding countryside. However, over time with the development of the theoretical basis of fengshui, this objectivity seems to have been lost as observation seems to have been created to fit theory rather than vice versa. Nevertheless, there are some conceptual parallels with modern geological theory, which are interesting but tenuous. Overall, fengshui of the Form School could be seen as playing a role as a pre-modern attempt to understand the energy of the land.

I realise that this is not related to the technological thrust of the conference, but I expect that it would be of interest to the delegates. If you are interested in this paper, please contact me by email as to whether a more formal application is necessary.

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