What Is Medicine?: Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing / Edition 1

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What Is Medicine? Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing is the first comparative history of two millennia of Western and Chinese medicine from their beginnings in the centuries BCE through present advances in sciences like molecular biology and in Western adaptations of traditional Chinese medicine.
In his revolutionary interpretation of the basic forces that undergird shifts in medical theory, Paul U. Unschuld relates the history of medicine in both Europe and China to changes in politics, economics, and other contextual factors. Drawing on his own extended research of Chinese primary sources as well as his and others' scholarship in European medical history, Unschuld argues against any claims of “truth” in former and current, Eastern and Western models of physiology and pathology. What Is Medicine? makes an eloquent and timely contribution to discussions on health care policies while illuminating the nature of cognitive dynamics in medicine, and it stimulates fresh debate on the essence and interpretation of reality in medicine's attempts to manage the human organism.

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Editorial Reviews

East Asian Science, Technology, And Medicine - Luis Montiel
“Fascinating, intelligent, and credible.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520257665
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/8/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul U. Unschuld is Professor and Director of the Horst-Goertz
Institute for the Theory, History, and Ethics of Chinese Life Sciences, Charité Medical University-Berlin. He is the author of numerous works on European medical history and Chinese medical history including Medicine in China: A History of Pharmaceutics and Huang Di Nei Jing Wen: Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in and Ancient Chinese Medical Text, both from UC Press. Karen Reimers, MD is a graduate of McGill University and the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich.

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Table of Contents


1 Life = Body Plus X 1
2 Medicine, or Novelty Appeal
3 Why Laws of Nature?
4 Longing for Order
5 Ethics and Legality
6 Why Here? Why Now?
7 Thales’ Trite Observation
8 Polis, Law, and Self-determination
9 The Individual and the Whole
10 Nonmedical Healing
11 Mawangdui: Early Healing in China
12 Humans Are Biologically Identical across Cultures.
So Why Not Medicine?
13 The Yellow Thearch’s Body Image
14 The Birth of Chinese Medicine
15 The Division of the Elite
16 A View to the Visible, and Opinions on the Invisible
17 State Concept and Body Image
18 Farewell to Demons and Spirits
19 New Pathogens, and Morality
20 Medicine without Pharmaceutics
21 Pharmaceutics without Medicine
22 Puzzling Parallels
23 The Beginning of Medicine in Greece
24 The End of Monarchy
25 Troublemakers and Ostracism
26 I See Something You Don’t See
27 Powers of Self-healing: Self-evident?
28 Confucians’ Fear of Chaos
29 Medicine: Expression of the General State of Mind
30 Dynamic Ideas and Faded Model Images
31 The Hour of the Dissectors
32 Manifold Experiences of the World
33 Greek Medicine and Roman
34 Illness as Stasis
35 Head and Limbs
36 The Rediscovery of Wholeness
37 To Move the Body to a Statement
38 Galen of Pergamon: Collector in All Worlds
39 Europe’s Ancient Pharmacology
40 The Wheel of Progress Turns No More
41 Constancy and Discontinuity of Structures
42 Arabian
43 The Tang Era: Cultural Diversity, Conceptual Vacuum
44 Changes in the Song Era
45 The Authority of Distant Antiquity
46 Zhang Ji’s Belated Honors
47 Chinese Pharmacology
48 The Diagnosis Game
49 The Physician as the Pharmacist’s Employee
50 Relighting the Torch of European Antiquity
51 The Primacy of the Practical
52 The Variety of Therapeutics
53 Which Model Image for a New Medicine?
54 The Real Heritage of Antiquity
55 Galenism as Trade in Antiques
UC-Unschuld-1pps.indd 10 3/17/29 12:50:21 PM
Integration and Reductionism in the Song Dynasty
57 The New Freedom to Expand Knowledge
58 Healing the State, Healing the Organism
59 Trapped in the Cage of Tradition
60 Xu Dachun, Giovanni Morgagni, and
Intra-abdominal Abscesses
61 Acupuncturists, Barbers, and Masseurs
62 No Scientific Revolution in Medicine
63 The Discovery of New Worlds
64 Paracelsus: A Tumultuous Mind with an Overview
65 Durable and Fragile Cage Bars
66 The Most Beautiful Antiques and the Most Modern Images
in One Room
67 Harvey and the Magna Carta
68 A Cartesian Case for Circulation
69 Long Live the Periphery!
70 Out of the Waiting Shelter, into the Jail Cell
71 Sensations that Pull into the Lower Parts of the Body
72 Homeopathy Is Not Medicine
73 “God with Us” on the Belt Buckle
74 Medicine
Independent of Theology
75 Virchow: The Man of Death as the Interpreter of Life
76 Robert Koch: Pure Science?
77 Wash Your Hands, Keep the Germs Away
78 AIDS: The Disease that Fits
79 China in the Nineteenth Century: A New Cage Opens Up
80 Two Basic Ideas of Medicine
81 Value-free Biology and Cultural
82 A Transit Visa and a Promise
83 Scorn, Mockery, and
Invectives for Chinese Medicine
84 Traditional Medicine in the PRC: Faith in Science
85 The Arabs of the Twentieth Century, or Crowding in the Playpen
86 When the Light Comes from Behind
In the Beginning Was the Word
88 Out of Touch with Nature
89 Theology without Theos
90 Everything Will Be Fine
91 Left Alone in the Computer Tomograph
92 Healing and the Energy Crisis
93 TCM: Western Fears, Chinese Set Pieces
94 Harmony, Not War
95 The Loss of the Center
96 Contented Customers in a Supermarket of Possibilities
97 The More Things Change
98 One World, or Tinkering with Building Blocks
99 A Vision of Unity over All Diversity



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