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Asian Medical Systems: A Comparative Study

by Charles Leslie

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Asian Medical Systems provide fascinating opportunities to observe directly practices that continue ancient scientific modes of thought, and to analyse the historical processes that meditate their relationship to modern science and technology. Three great traditions of medical science evolved during antiquity in the Chinese, Indian, and Mediterranean civilizations, all based on humoral conceptions of health and illness. Folk curers throughout the world continue to practice humoral medicine, but in Asia along educated physicians maintain its learned traditions. Thus, in these societies the great and little traditions of humoral medicine coexist with cosmopolitan medicine, which draws upon modern science and modes of professional organization.

This volume has been designed to show how research on Asian medicine opens a new field of scholarship, the comparative study of medical systems. Such a book requires the skills of authors with many kinds of training, and those who have contributed essays to this volume are trained in history, sociology, anthropology, public health, pharmacology, epidemiology, cosmopolitan medicine, and philosophy.

A series of important essays on all apects of Indian and Oriental health and medical systems, from Ayurveda, to Hindu, Arabic and Chinese medicine, plus its impact in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Japan, China, Sumatra, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

This book provides opportunities to observe directly practices that continue ancient scientific modes of thought, and to analyse the historical processes that mediate their relationship to modern science and technology. This volume has been designed to show how research on Asian medicine opens a new field of scholarship, the comparative study of medical systems. Those who have contributed essays to this volume are trained in history, sociology, anthropology, public health, pharmacology, epidemiology, cosmopolitan medicine, and philosophy.

About the Author:

Charles Leslie is Professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware, where he headed the Center for Science and Culture. He is best known as a pioneer in the field of Medical Anthropology. While working in the Mexican Indian communities, he became interested in traditional medicine. He eventually found himself drawn to the Asian medical systems, in particular Ayurveda, on which he has written books and articles that have provided the foundation for an entire field of anthropological study.





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Title: Asian Medical Systems: A Comparative Study
Author(s): Charles Leslie
Language: English
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