By Benjamin Elman

In keeping with a number of examine seminars, the authors during this quantity supply clean views of the highbrow and cultural background of East Asian medication, 1550-1800. They use new resources, make new connections, and reassess outdated assumptions, thereby interrogating no matter if and why eu clinical modernity is an acceptable average for delineating the trendy destiny of East Asia’s clinical classics. the original value of early smooth Europe within the historical past of recent medication shouldn't be used to gloss over the both certain and therefore diversified advancements in East Asia. every one paper bargains a big contribution to realizing the dynamics of East Asian medication, specifically, the connection among scientific texts, clinical perform, and practitioner identification. in addition, the essays during this quantity are specifically worthwhile for steering our consciousness to the move of clinical texts among diversified polities and cultures of early smooth East Asia, in particular China and Japan. Of specific curiosity are the interactions, similarities, and alterations among clinical thinkers throughout East Asia.

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Reasoning with Cases 23 been written by the physician Qian Yi, this is not the case; an interested third party recorded them. 8 This book, though intriguing due to its emphasis on pediatrics, was not a comprehensive treatise consisting predominantly of cases handpicked by the physician. Once again, it is more a collection of stories or anecdotes illustrating the grandeur of a physician rather than a literary means to transmit knowledge. This is exactly where the recorded cases of Qian Yi and Xu Shuwei differ.

35 This statement suggests that contemporary physicians diagnosed and treated patients afflicted by Cold Damage disorders according to fixed patterns of symptoms without understanding the underlying causes according to the doctrines of the Treatise. During the last decades of the Northern Song, we find increasing numbers of complaints from educated doctors suggesting that the practice of treating symptoms without understanding the underlying pathology had become much more prominent. 36 At first sight, Xu’s three books do not stand out except for the fact that the third is the first collection of medical case histories compiled by a Chinese physician.

The Bureau’s editors clarified ambiguous characters but added very little commentary regarding the contents of the text or its doctrines. 24 The Bureau’s publications by themselves would probably have created some change in the medical environment, but such a change would have been limited to scholarly, rather than practical, interest in medicine. Physicians or scholars with such textual tastes would have had to seek the imperial libraries in order to gain access to these books. The Song government’s ambitions to act benevolently, especially in terms of spreading practical medical knowledge, were, however, much bolder: the Song government wished to educate a new generation of physicians.

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