Chapter

Scorn, Mockery, and Invectives for Chinese Medicine

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/9780520257658.003.0083
Scorn, Mockery, and Invectives for Chinese Medicine

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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

Chapter.  845 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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