The theory of humors, vital fluids whose proportions in the human body determine its health and temperament, is far from outdated. And what we sometimes think of as a modern concern with ecology and alternative medicine is really as old as the traditional medical techniques of the classical West of South Asia. It is to the latter that Francis Zimmermann turns his attention, in a remarkable evocation that combines Sanskrit studies and anthropology. He reconstructs and exposes the linkage between humors, persons, and soils in classical Hindu medicine. His work will interested those involved in the areas of medical anthropology, medical anthropology, medical history, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, and South Asian studies.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Francis Zimmermann teaches South Asian anthropology at EHESS, the School of advanced studies in social science, Paris. A sophisticated specialist in the culture of Ayurvedic and related Indian medical tradition, he blends the perspectives of various Hindu knowledge systems with environmental history.