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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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The Germ Theory and the Prehistory of “Pattern Differentiation and Treatment Determination”

The Germ Theory and the Prehistory of “Pattern Differentiation and Treatment Determination”

(p.167) 8 The Germ Theory and the Prehistory of “Pattern Differentiation and Treatment Determination”
Neither Donkey nor Horse

Sean Hsiang-lin Lei

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 8 examines the crucial debate on “the Unification of Nomenclature of Chinese Diseases,” the first and most important step in the efforts by the Institute of National Medicine to scientize Chinese medicine. The key issues of this debate were whether or not to assimilate the germ theory and the related ontological conception of disease into Chinese medical theory, and second, what the proper categorical relationship should look like between infectious diseases as defined by the germ theory and the two major traditional Chinese disease categories of Cold Damage and Warm Disease? Despite the fact that this debate failed to reach a consensus, the official category of notifiable infectious disease was incorporated into the organizing principles of disease classification in Chinese medicine. Drawing on the Japanese style of Chinese Medicine, practitioners of Chinese medicine developed the incipient form of what later became the defining feature of so-called “Traditional Chinese Medicine” (TCM), namely “pattern differentiation and treatment determination.”

Keywords:   germ theory, Cold Damage, Warm Disease, scientizing Chinese medicine, infectious disease, pattern, TCM, pattern differentiation and treatment determination, ontological conception of disease, Japanese style of Chinese Medicine

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