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Traditional Chinese Medicine


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A leading authority explains the origins and history of Chinese medicine from its beginnings in antiquity to today. Paul U. Unschuld describes medicine's close connection with culture and politics throughout Chinese history. He brings together texts, techniques, and worldviews to understand changing Chinese attitudes toward healing and the significance of traditional Chinese medicine in both China and the Western world.

Table of Contents

Preface to the English Edition
Part I: The Historical Foundations
1. Origins and Characteristics of Chinese Medicine
2. The Lack of Existential Autonomy
3. The Longing for Existential Autonomy
4. Quotations from the Medical Classics
5. The Banality of Violence
6. The Mawangdui Texts
7. Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology in the New Medicine
8. Deficiencies in the Credibility of the New Medicine
9. The Alternative Model: The View from Illness
10. Radical Healing: Life as a Form of Disease
11. Between Antiquity and the Modern Age
12. Two Medical Authors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
Part II: Modern and Contemporary Times
13. The Confrontation with the Western Way of Life
14. The Persuasiveness of Western Medicine
15. The Opinions of Intellectuals and Politicians
16. The Selection
17. The Surprise
18. The Creative Reception of Chinese Medicine in the West
19. The Objectification of the Discussion: Opportunity and Challenge

About the Author

Paul U. Unschuld is the director of the Horst-Goertz-Institute for the Theory, History, and Ethics of Chinese Life Sciences, Charite-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin. His books include What Is Medicine? Western and Eastern Approaches to Healing (2009) and The Fall and Rise of China: Healing the Trauma of History (2013).


This small volume by one of the most distinguished living historians of traditional Chinese medicine is a tour de force of specialist knowledge. -- Victor H. Mair, University of Pennsylvania

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