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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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The Rediscovery of Wholeness

The Rediscovery of Wholeness

36 The Rediscovery of Wholeness
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

The intellectual elite in China entertained several separate traditions, not only of political philosophy but also of therapeutics. There was the medicine of systematic correspondences of all phenomena, in which mainly the world models of the Confucians and the Legalists were found. This medicine corresponded to structures of the unified empire. There was also the pharmaceutical tradition of therapeutics that had close links to Daoist political ideals. The Romans also produced a second influential school, the Pneumatics. The doctrine of the Pneumatics could not draw its justification from the graphic nature of the organism. No reality in the body could provide a model image. The medical historians Aschoff and Diepgen have stated that under the influence of Stoic philosophy, the Pneumatics brings energy and matter into the closest connection. The common thing, in which both are active simultaneously, is pneuma, belonging simultaneously to heaven and earth, body and soul. It is the true effective agent in the humors and qualities.

Keywords:   political philosophy, therapeutics, Confucians, Legalists, pharmaceutical tradition, Daoist political ideals, Pneumatics

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