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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

The Individual and the Whole

The Individual and the Whole

9 The Individual and the Whole
What Is Medicine?

Paul U. Unschuld

University of California Press

This chapter focuses on the differences in the emergence of Greek medicine and Chinese medicine. Chinese antiquity, the consciousness of the necessity of laws emerged against a completely different backdrop than in Greek antiquity. The increasingly larger political entity in China eventually required a departure from the arbitrary rule based on personal relationships and emotions. Dao De Jing depicts a political philosophy that proposes the ideal of the smallest possible community, a community that seeks no contact at all with the neighboring villages. The idea of “order” in early Chinese science was essential to the expression of the idea of systematic correlation and correspondence of all phenomena in Greek antiquity, the ideal of a government guided by laws could be realized only in the smallest political units, the city-states of the polis, since this ideal also comprised the self-determination of every individual full citizen, an aspect that will again be important understanding an especially remarkable difference between Chinese and Greek medicine. In Greece, there was no persistent “cataclysmic turmoil” lasting several centuries to influence the necessity of restoring unity of the country into the general consciousness and focus a view of the systematic correlation and correspondence of all phenomena.

Keywords:   Greek medicine, Chinese medicine, Greek antiquity, Chinese science, Chinese kingdom, Chinese antiquity

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