Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Historical epistemology and the making of modern Chinese medicine$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Howard Chiang

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096006

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096006.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Bodily knowledge and western learning in late imperial China

Bodily knowledge and western learning in late imperial China

the case of Wang Shixiong (1808–68)

Chapter:
(p.80) 3 Bodily knowledge and western learning in late imperial China
Source:
Historical epistemology and the making of modern Chinese medicine
Author(s):

Yi-Li Wu

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719096006.003.0003

This paper aims to problematize a common yet misleading trope in modern descriptions of Chinese medicine: that it was historically interested in the body's "functions" but not its "structures." To make this point, I will analyze how doctors from the Wang family of Hangzhou used indigenous Chinese knowledge of the skeleton to critique Western anatomical teachings. The core of my case study is a close reading of Casual Jottings from the Hall of Repeated Felicitations (Chongqing tang suibi). First composed by the Hangzhou doctor Wang Xuequan in 1808, the work was annotated and expanded by three successive generations of Wang family doctors until it was finally published in 1855 by Xuequan’s great-grandson, the eminent physician Wang Shixiong (1808-68). The first section of the paper describes what I call the Wang family’s “anatomical skepticism.” Accurate knowledge of the human body was an important component of scholarly empirical research (gezhi). However, the perceived omissions and inconsistencies in Western anatomical texts made the Wang doctors skeptical about their claims to universal truth. Subsequently, I discuss a key issue that the Wangs used to evaluate Western anatomical knowledge: the issue of how many and what kind of bones there were in the human body.

Keywords:   Anatomy, body, Wang Shixiong, Warm Diseases, Evidential research

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.