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Neither Donkey nor HorseMedicine in the Struggle over China's Modernity$
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Sean Hsiang-lin Lei

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226169880

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226169910.001.0001

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Imagining the Relationship between Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine, 1890–1928

Imagining the Relationship between Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine, 1890–1928

(p.69) 4 Imagining the Relationship between Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine, 1890–1928
Neither Donkey nor Horse

Sean Hsiang-lin Lei

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 4 discusses how Chinese people imagined the relationship between Chinese medicine and Western medicine, and traces how this conception evolved, from the popular idea of “converging Chinese and Western medicine” championed by Tang Zonghai in the 1890s to the emergence of a radically different modernist discourse advocated by Yu Yan in the late 1910s. Based on a globally circulated discourse of modernity, Yu Yan partitioned Chinese medicine into three distinctive categories: theory, Chinese drugs, and experience. On the one hand, this tripartite characterization encouraged the abandonment of what many then considered the erroneous theories of Chinese medicine; on the other hand, with the help of the internationally renowned research on ephedrine at PUMC, it helped to generate a national consensus on the study of Chinese drugs. Until the eve of the 1929 confrontation, practitioners of Chinese medicine had managed to resist this modernist discourse, which effectively denied the possibility of the co-existence between two medical traditions.

Keywords:   Yu Yan, Tang Zonghai, K. K. Chen, Zhnag Taiyan, Yu Jianquan, qi-transformation, meridian channels, ephedrine, Chinese drugs, ontology

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