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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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Scorn, Mockery, and Invectives for Chinese Medicine

Scorn, Mockery, and Invectives for Chinese Medicine

83 Scorn, Mockery, and Invectives for Chinese Medicine
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

This chapter talks about the lack of respect and criticism for Chinese medicine. Europe's unbelievable enthusiasm in the nineteenth and early twentieth century to gain new knowledge by doing research and experiments had no parallel in China's tradition. The peak of this search came during and after World War I, when the imperial powers humiliated China. Several authors and filmmakers at this time of awakening used Chinese medicine as a symbol of their fathers' and grandfathers' most ineffective ways of thinking and put Chinese medicine at the center of their attacks on the structures that were to be overcome. At the end of the 1920s, impetuous and un-Chinese petitions for a referendum were introduced to completely forbid tradition, effective immediately. The decision-makers and the reformers trusted solely in modern Western medicine.

Keywords:   criticism, Chinese medicine, tradition, modern Western medicine, imperial powers

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