The Authority of Distant Antiquity

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 Authority of Distant Antiquity

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This chapter provides an overview on a new world view, Neo-Confucianism, developed by philosophers of that era. This view of human society and of nature offered itself as a new model image for medicine. Neo-Confucianism significantly affected medicine but the effects remained superficial. They joined Confucian-Legalistic medicine with the system of pharmacy that had been established under Daoism. The image from the classic Yellow Thearch in the Han era was once again clearly reaffirmed in the Song era. Confucianism was expanded and newly interpreted yet progress always cited the supposed or real authorities of distant antiquity that the new views were made to resemble. Physicians found a real authority from the Han era to whom they could trace their innovations. The innovations were not only due to the changed social philosophy but marginal structural changes might also have made a contribution.

Keywords: Neo-Confucianism; human society; medicine nature; Confucian-Legalistic medicine; pharmacy; Daoism

Chapter.  633 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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