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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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Value-free Biology and Cultural Interpretation

Value-free Biology and Cultural Interpretation

Chapter:
81 Value-free Biology and Cultural Interpretation
Source:
What Is Medicine?
Author(s):

Paul U. Unschuld

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520257658.003.0081

This chapter throws light on the interpretation of Western medicine by the Chinese. The Chinese, influenced by the Confucians' early intervention maxims, did not like the concept of the powers of self-healing. It is unwelcome even today, more so because the practice of medicine is now subject to economic factors. The emphasis is on prevention, which usually means early detection and early treatment. Immunology, molecular biologists' newest playing field, cannot be forgotten. It has a qualified germ theory and is familiar to the Chinese. The culture of medicine takes certain processes out of value-neutral biology and judges them. It has been known by the Chinese for two millennia. It does so today, in modern medicine. Knowledge of reality has changed considerably. Yet the cultural interpretation has stayed the same.

Keywords:   Western Medicine, Chinese, self-healing, culture of medicine, value-neutral biology, cultural interpretation

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