The Rediscovery of Wholeness

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:
The Rediscovery of Wholeness

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The intellectual elite in China entertained several separate traditions, not only of political philosophy but also of therapeutics. There was the medicine of systematic correspondences of all phenomena, in which mainly the world models of the Confucians and the Legalists were found. This medicine corresponded to structures of the unified empire. There was also the pharmaceutical tradition of therapeutics that had close links to Daoist political ideals. The Romans also produced a second influential school, the Pneumatics. The doctrine of the Pneumatics could not draw its justification from the graphic nature of the organism. No reality in the body could provide a model image. The medical historians Aschoff and Diepgen have stated that under the influence of Stoic philosophy, the Pneumatics brings energy and matter into the closest connection. The common thing, in which both are active simultaneously, is pneuma, belonging simultaneously to heaven and earth, body and soul. It is the true effective agent in the humors and qualities.

Keywords: political philosophy; therapeutics; Confucians; Legalists; pharmaceutical tradition; Daoist political ideals; Pneumatics

Chapter.  743 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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