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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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Longing for Order

Longing for Order

4 Longing for Order
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

This chapter sheds light on the only thing in humankind's visible environment that is constantly changing, society. Despite constant change in history, the intensity of change has varied. The era in ancient China that saw inherent laws of nature being recognized and formulated lasted for a century or two. At the end of this era, a very decisive event led to a completely new kind of social order. A political structure in China in the eighth century bc collapsed due to disputes over succession to the throne. From about 500 bc, many states of varying populations and sizes battled with increasing resoluteness for dominance. The smaller number of increasingly larger kingdoms fought on, changing alliances back and forth, for a long time. In the third century bc, the ruler of one of the remaining states, Qin, won the struggle. In 221 bc, he achieved the first unification of China as a single empire under Qin rule. The discovery of inherent laws in nature falls in the final century prior to the unification of these kingdoms.

Keywords:   society, Qin rule, political structure in China, ancient China, laws of nature

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