Time, Science, and Society in China and the West

By J. T. Fraser; N. Lawrence et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chinese Traditional Medicine: Temporal Order and Synchronous Events

Hans Ågren

Summary Time has been of central concern in Chinese traditional medicine, and the use of temporal schedules can be studied in two originally different medical and intellectual traditions. One is the tradition embodied in the Inner Canon of the Yellow Lord (Huangdi neijing), from the first century B.C., where resonance ideas of symbolic correspondence between macrocosm and microcosm prevail. Another tradition not involved in resonance theorizing but using time sequences in analyzing the progress of acute diseases is named after its principal ancient text, the Treatise on Cold Damage Disorders (Shanghan lun) from the second century A.D. These medical frameworks were never fully integrated with each other, and developments in Qing China and Tokugawa Japan from the seventeenth century on can be analyzed in terms of a continuing conflict between basically irreconcilable ideas.

In Western countries, the study of East Asian medical traditions from the vantage point of the history of science has only recently begun. Eastern traditional medicine has attracted Western followers and exegetes given to uncritical praise, who depend on anecdotal evidence in support of criticism, directed primarily against modern scientific medicine. The field has been dominated by individuals biased against Western medicine. This situation contrasts with that of the other East Asian traditional fields of scientific knowledge such as botany, physics, and astronomy, which have been more carefully studied.

The dominance of nonacademic and pseudoacademic writing on Chinese medicine has had several undesirable consequences. One is the perpetuation of the idea of a monolithic medical tradition based on the philosophic theories of the Huangdi neijing

(Inner Canon of the Yellow Lord) that had been compiled by the first century A.D. Another is a misconception that considers acupuncture to be a universally accepted Chinese treatment modality, consistently endorsed for more than two millennia. An error is also made supposing that all practitioners used similar methods of diagnosis and treatment.

This paper will attempt to delineate two streams of medical ideas in ancient China, for the most part presenting internal evidence to prove that they are more independent than has been generally surmised by Western scholars. One traditional cluster of concepts is that around the Huangdi neijing (hereafter abbreviated Neijing), largely characterized by correlative thinking (that has also been called "symbolic syncretism"), numerology, and resonance ideas. The Neijing represents a vast body of writings on natural philosophy, exerting an enormous influence on Chinese scientific history. The basic concepts are those

-211-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Time, Science, and Society in China and the West
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 262

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.