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What Is Medicine?Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing$
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Paul Unschuld

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257658

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257658.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Pharmaceutics without Medicine

Pharmaceutics without Medicine

(p.63) 21 Pharmaceutics without Medicine
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

According to the opponents of the state idea, drugs formed a central mode of therapy. The opponents of the state idea published their own political manifestos. They attributed different levels of meaning to various drugs, and they designated individual substances “ruler,” “minister,” “servant,” and “messenger” to clarify their roles. The opponents praised as “ruler” substances those substances that were in the position to free the body from its mortal constraints and to extend the lifespan of the organism. The opponents of the state idea and of new medicine classified drugs used for the therapy of illness at the lowest “rank,” intentionally or unintentionally using the term that also denoted the ranks of the bureaucracy. The lowest rank was comparable to the bailiffs who carried out executions of criminals. Among these delinquents were, as always, the demons and microorganisms. Both had their place in the natural environment of man. In the worldview of the healers who continued to use medical drugs, there was no reason to exclude the demons and microorganisms.

Keywords:   therapy of illness, microorganisms, natural environment, medical drugs, Chinese culture

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