A Chinese Physician: Wang Ji and the Stone Mountain Medical by Joanna Grant

By Joanna Grant

A chinese language health care provider is the portrait of a sixteenth century scientific author and medical practitioner. Drawing on socio-economic/biographic, textual, and gender research at the side of numerous resources, from hagiographical biographies to scientific case histories, the ebook tells 3 very diversified yet complementary tales approximately what it used to be to coaching drugs in sixteenth century China. Woven jointly, those tales mix to create a multi-dimensional portrayal that brings to existence the very human stories, frustrations and aspirations of a good revered and influential medical professional who struggled to win appreciate from fellow practitioners and loyalty from sufferers. The publication creates a colourful and vibrant photograph of up to date scientific perform and even as deepens our figuring out of the interrelationship among gender tradition and medication.

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Extra info for A Chinese Physician: Wang Ji and the Stone Mountain Medical Case Histories (Needham Research Institute Series)

Example text

As he followed his father into medicine it is tempting to see Wang Ji as a hereditary physician, but alternatively he is described by Cheng Zeng in the preface to the Shishan yi’an as a Confucian physician (ruyi ) and this portrayal is further validated by Wang Ji’s espousal of traditional Confucian values, by his scholarly studies and by his attempts to succeed in the civil service examinations. Chen Jue commented that Wang Ji was a filial son who had chosen a career as a physician because he believed that in order to serve one’s parents (shiqin ) one should know medicine,135 again demonstrating the central role played by the Confucian ethic of benevolence in Wang Ji’s beliefs, 41 MEDICAL CULTURE AND CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY as in those of many elite physicians of the time.

Wang Ji therefore shared a common intellectual and social heritage with his elite contemporaries, and from his writings there is no doubt that he saw himself as belonging to their ranks, and was so perceived by others. 137 There is much evidence to substantiate this assertion, as Wang Ji seems to have been well respected in his own lifetime. Firstly, the biography contains many of Wang Ji’s case histories, recorded by his disciples Zhou Chen and Xu Zhong , and they comment that their reason for printing these cases and the biography was the sheer volume of people asking to borrow and read it.

These appeared on a range of subjects, from management of household affairs to letter writing and exemplary examination answers, intended to help people of lower status attain the necessary knowledge to improve themselves and their opportunities. 61 Over time the Huizhou merchants had considerable success in assimilating themselves into elite culture. However, the social mobility characteristic of the period was not a one-way process; scholars and officials were also turning to trade, often because of the increasing difficulties in attaining official posts as a result of increased competition from the aspiring lower classes and reduced civil service intake quotas.

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