Antiquarianism, Language, and Medical Philology

From Early Modern to Modern Sino-Japanese Medical Discourses


Based on several research seminars, the authors in this volume provide fresh perspectives of the intellectual and cultural history of East Asian medicine, 1550-1800. They use new sources, make new connections, and re-examine old assumptions, thereby interrogating whether and why European medical modernity is an appropriate standard for delineating the modern fate of East Asia’s medical classics. The unique importance of early modern Europe in the history of modern medicine should not be used to gloss over the equally unique and thus different developments in East Asia. Each paper offers an important contribution to understanding the dynamics of East Asian medicine, namely, the relationship between medical texts, medical practice, and practitioner identity. Furthermore, the essays in this volume are especially valuable for directing our attention to the movement of medical texts between different polities and cultures of early modern East Asia, especially China and Japan. Of particular interest are the interactions, similarities, and differences between medical thinkers across East Asia, Contributors include: Susan Burns, Benjamin A. Elman, Asaf Goldschmidt, Angela KC Leung, Federico Marcon, MAYANAGI Makoto, Fabien Simonis, Daniel Trambaiolo, and Mathias Vigouroux.
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Biographical Note

Benjamin Elman, Ph.D. (1980), University of Pennsylvania, is Gordon Wu '58 Professor of Chinese Studies at Princeton University. His publications include On Their Own Terms: Science in China 1550-1900 (Harvard, 2005), A Cultural History of Modern Science in China (Harvard, 2006), Civil Examinations and Meritocracy in Late Imperial China (Harvard, 2013).


All interested in the history of classical medicine and the medical classics in light of modern East Asian intellectual and cultural history, and anyone concerned with the comparative studies of the history of medical language and the place of classical doctors/ herediatary physicians and their medical practices in society.