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Download The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine (Zone Books) ePub

by Shigehisa Kuriyama

Download The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine (Zone Books) ePub
  • ISBN 0942299892
  • ISBN13 978-0942299892
  • Language English
  • Author Shigehisa Kuriyama
  • Publisher Zone Books; Reprint edition (March 15, 2002)
  • Pages 344
  • Formats txt mobi lit doc
  • Category Different
  • Subcategory Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Size ePub 1433 kb
  • Size Fb2 1146 kb
  • Rating: 4.3
  • Votes: 131

A meditation on the human body as described by the classical Greeks and by the ancient Chinese.

At the heart of medical history is a deep enigma. The true structure and workings of the human body are, we casually assume, everywhere the same, a universal reality. But then we look into the past, and our sense of reality wavers: accounts of the body in diverse medical traditions often seem to describe mutually alien, almost unrelated worlds. The Expressiveness of the Body meditates on the contrasts between the human body described in classical Greek medicine and the body as envisaged by physicians in ancient China. It asks how this most basic of human realities came to be conceived by two sophisticated civilizations in radically diverging ways. And it seeks answers in fresh and unexpected topics, such as the history of tactile knowledge, the relationship between ways of seeing and ways of listening, and the evolution of bloodletting.


of the body through the lens of classical Greek and Chinese medicine. Why a book of this caliber and methodology would forego a bibliography is utterly beyond me.

In "The Expressiveness of the Body", Shigehisa Kuriyama explores the differences between Western and Eastern concepts of the body through the lens of classical Greek and Chinese medicine. In examining classical Western medicine, Kuriyama draws primarily upon the work of Plato and Galen, while he uses the concept of mo to drive his understanding of classical Chinese medicine.

Body, Human - Social aspects, Medicine, Chinese - Philosophy, Medicine, Greek and Roman - Philosophy. New York : Zone Books. inlibrary; printdisabled; trent university;.

It asks how this most basic of human realities came to be conceived by two sophisticated civilizations in radically diverging ways. And it seeks answers in fresh and unexpected topics, such as the history of tactile knowledge, the relationship between ways of seeing and ways of listening, and the evolution of bloodletting.

Published March 1st 2002 by Zone Books (first published July 23rd 1999). This book is an analysis of ancient Greek vs Chinese medicine in terms of their different perceptions of-and ways of perceiving-the body. It discusses how ancient Chinese medicine differed from that of Greek and Western medicine, which provides important insights to how culture and approaches to medicine and health are different. As someone who studies communication, this book was also interesting. Kuriyama's extensive discussion about pulse-taking in each of these traditions was fascinating, and I think I will always have it in mind when a clinician reaches for my wrist.

p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. 1. Medicine, Chinese - Philosophy. 2. Medicine, Greek and Roman - Philosophy. 3. Body, Human - Social aspects.

Yet Kuriyama traces the provenance of the pulse in ancient Greek medicine from pathological spasm to rhythm of life .

Yet Kuriyama traces the provenance of the pulse in ancient Greek medicine from pathological spasm to rhythm of life, akin to music. In ancient China, by contrast, doctors measured the palpitations of quiemo, a kind of vital flow to which a complex of descriptive terms including slippery and deep - but not rhythmic - could be applied. Rather than just better or worse sci- ence, Kuriyama sees in these distinctions a clue to the changeable aesthetics and lived perceptions of bodies that help to shape our art, philosophy, and healing.

The expressiveness of the body and the divergence of Greek and Chinese medicine.

The true structure and workings of the human body are, we casually assume, everywhere the . Publication date 15 Mar 2002. Publisher ZONE BOOKS.

The true structure and workings of the human body are, we casually assume, everywhere the same, a universal reality. Publication City/Country New York, United States.

Shigehisa Kuriyama’s project, however, moves from common ground to. .The first (and least convincing) sections of the book address Greek and Chinese pulse diagnosis.

Shigehisa Kuriyama’s project, however, moves from common ground to divergence. It would be as fitting to say that his book, The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine, is about perception and truth as to say it is about ancient medicine, for the divergences he traces stem from fundamental issues of knowing and experiencing. Kuriyama's book is a delightful display of erudition, quoting an impressive phalanx of philosophers and medical authorities of ancient Greece and ancient China.

By Shigehisa Kuriyama. Distributed for Zone Books. A great achievement! Arthur Kleinman.

Talk about The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine (Zone Books)


Jediathain
In "The Expressiveness of the Body", Shigehisa Kuriyama explores the differences between Western and Eastern concepts of the body through the lens of classical Greek and Chinese medicine. In examining classical Western medicine, Kuriyama draws primarily upon the work of Plato and Galen, while he uses the concept of mo to drive his understanding of classical Chinese medicine. Kuriyama divides his work into three sections, focusing on the pulse and veins, musculature and coloration, and blood and breath. Kuriyama concludes, “This is how conceptions of the body diverge – not just in the meanings that each ascribes to bodily signs, but more fundamentally in the changes and features that each recognizes as signs” (pg. 272). In working toward this conclusion, Kuriyama examined Western medicine’s need for clear language and abandonment of metaphor, writing, “The core problem lay in the human inability to see the imaginings of others” (pg. 80). Further, he writes, “…We cannot peer into other minds. Does your idea of ‘undulating’ correspond to mine? We simply cannot know,” recalling the work of Merleau-Ponty on phenomenology (pg. 81).
The differences in cultural approaches demonstrate how something so universal, the human body, can take on multiple meanings dictated by the needs of various cultures. For example, musculature, which seems so ubiquitous and commonplace in Western depictions of the body, did not factor into classical Chinese portrayals of the human form. I found Kuriyama’s argument that “in tracing the crystallization of the concept of muscle, we are also, and not coincidentally, tracing the crystallization of the sense of an autonomous will” quite compelling (pg. 144). Both that section, and the discussion of the Greek search for a hegemonic organ while the Chinese considered the various parts of the body interconnected demonstrates the manner in which cultural values and perceptions shape what cultures look for in their examinations. As Kuriyama writes, “Alternate visions of the body reflect alternate readings of the vital self” (pg. 192).
salivan
I happened upon this book in a local bookstore a few years ago and thought, well that's an interesting subject. I've read it cover to cover twice, bought a loaner copy to give to friends, and plan to read it a third time this winter. Yes, it's not only that good, it's that packed with ideas that make you want to put it down for a few minutes and just ponder.
I'm a college grad, but not an academic by any means. I don't like reading philosophical texts or literary criticism or anything full of jargon. The language, the development of the argument and the flow of the narrative are all well-done - the book is as much a "good read" as it is a fascinating look at how two cultures from divergent views of how we are made arrived at differing views of what it is to be human.
Kerdana
I brought this book to read before I start my course in Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM). Although it is a hard read, the book is still very interesting and gives a great insight of pulse taking ( at this point, I've only read the first chapter.
I would recommend it to anyone who is starting a course in TCM (mainly for acupuncturists). If you will get this book, enjoy!
Kekinos
This is one of those hauntingly beautiful genius books written by a really smart guy, filled with some really thoughtful research and writing about Chinese medicine and theories of the body. This would be a good read for anyone interested in China, Japan, medicine, humanism, philosophy, and the interdisciplinary sciences. I had to look up the press/publisher because I can't believe people are publishing such great books these days.
Rigiot
A book that will change the reader's thinking.
Ice_One_Guys
Good good good
Arcanescar
This book is not at all as it first appears. It is not an investigation into how the body expresses itself, but into what the body expresses.

At first glance, the casual reader may assume that categories like “body” and “medicine” presuppose the purview of body qua thing, in the sense that such an explication would look at the body as that thing that gets sick and the focus of various eastern and western scientific curiosities. But this is not at all what the author has in mind. His function is to intimate and nudge our own curious glances into the dark places of knowledge where the mind, body, and soul meet. In this sense, this is not merely an historical overview of second and third century C.E. Greek and Chinese views of the body—which taken at face value is still quite remarkable—but an opportunity to catch a furtive and fleeting glimpse of the big picture of human being.

At first gloss, the chapters of the book appear to be overly simplistic—almost childishly so—orientations of looking at the human being; grasping, words, muscles, colors, blood and life, wind and self. But these chapters with their sensual orientation unfold quite magnificently into something much larger. To his explain his style, I’ll use Jung’s personological categories of sensing and intuition. In brief, sensors are more aware of sense data and more concrete things, while intuitors are more aware of patterns and theories; the former sees the mountains while the latter sees the valleys, if you would. With this in mind, the author is quite ostensibly writing from the perspective of sensing. But, he is also intimately aware of how language works in our culture and how it is better suited for grasping things (“Say that a living person possesses a soul, or spirit, or vital breath, and we have only invented names for ignorance.”), much to the chagrin of the philosopher. The things he latches onto are historical bits of evidence. But with these things, he beautifully paints out the negative space between them. I’m not sure what to make of this, but I will tentatively, and half-jokingly, call it “dark philosophy.” In this dark un-spoken space, the reader is faced with a field of data and ideas about the human being wherein he or she may fancifully play with some very serious questions. That the author can generate such a space while avoiding the jargon of philosophy is as remarkable as it is delightful.

In the construction of his explication, he employs a casual story telling-like meter with no introductory preparation for the reader. You must simply trust the author and follow him along the journey. This is where my frustrations arise. You’ll note something is awry immediately if you go into this thinking it is just an historical analysis. But if you follow his arguments and start to see the big picture, this will most certainly pay off. This all depends on how much you will insist that scholarship has a clear introduction to guide your expectations. I don’t think the author does this well, or even at all, which is really part of this book’s charm.

There are a few times when his lack of philosophical attention does become disappointing though. For example, in Chapter Three concerning Muscularity and Identity, he makes the case that in Greek thought, muscularity was an organ or tool for the expression of the will. In this regard he writes, “I come to my chief contention about the origins of muscle-consciousness…” If it was his “chief contention,” why was it so casually introduced without any preparation for the reader so late in the chapter? It was great that he led the leader there, but as an academic work, this struck me as quite odd. This also brings up his historical biases. This is clearly an issue of mind-body dualism, about which volumes have been written, yet he references absolutely none of the material. This, he leaves to the reader. This similarly occurs in Chapter Two (The Expressiveness of Words) and Chapter Six (Wind and Self). In the second he, again, quite casually, introduces the idea that thought in the western world is constrained by geometry and the presuppositions of space-time. Then in the sixth, he references how western and eastern cultures saw their own autonomy in relation to time. These are extremely enormous categories, both in scope and importance, that are introduced almost anecdotally so that the reader may conjure whichever images may come. In one sense this is quite frustrating as it appears dismissive and far too casual, but in another, it’s really quite something to behold.

There is another problem with the author’s narrative prose through historical topics, which is his own tone. At times the reader loses the distinction between which terms he is employing as representation of his own values, and which he is employing for effect. When he writes about how “fanciful” Chinese theories of mo seemed to European advocates of the pulse, the reader is left to guess as to which is in use. That is, the reader loses track of what is merely part of the story and what are the author’s values.

My last concern with the book is its bibliography: there isn’t one. Incredible amounts of research poured into this book, yet no way for the reader to easily extract it. Citations are surely given, but they are sprinkled throughout the book’s 640 endnotes. Complicating matters, the endnotes are in an extremely small font. If you are interested in note 84, and encounter just a last name and a page, best of luck to you, as some of the original citations are hidden in the middle of a longer note. I have given up looking for some citations as the determination of their whereabouts struck me as hopeless. Why a book of this caliber and methodology would forego a bibliography is utterly beyond me.

Complaints aside, this is a marvelously fascinating book that is markedly the work of an erudite scholar who broke from the status quo to bring the academic reader something a little bit more than another historical review. I suspect that this text will be responsible for stimulating fresh ideas in countless minds.