Chapter

Longing for Order

Paul U. Unschuld

in What Is Medicine?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257658
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944701 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257658.003.0004
Longing for Order

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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

Chapter.  1364 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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