"A Way of Life" by Judith Farquhar

A Way of Life Things, Thought, and Action in Chinese Medicine Judith Farquhar

Series:
The Terry Lectures Series
Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
12 May 2020
ISBN:
9780300237238
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
192 pages: 210 x 140mm
Illustrations:
3 b-w illus.
Sales territories:
world

Traditional Chinese medicine is often viewed as mystical or superstitious, with outcomes requiring naïve faith. Judith Farquhar, drawing on her hard-won knowledge of social, intellectual, and clinical worlds in today’s China, here offers a concise and nuanced treatment that addresses enduring and troublesome ontological, epistemological, and ethical questions. In this work, which is based on her 2017 Terry Lectures “Reality, Reason, and Action In and Beyond Chinese Medicine,” she considers how the modern, rationalized, and scientific field of traditional Chinese medicine constructs its very real objects (bodies, symptoms, and drugs), how experts think through and sort out pathology and health (yinyang, right qi/wrong qi, stasis, and flow), and how contemporary doctors act responsibly to “seek out the root” of bodily disorder. Through this refined investigation, East-West contrasts collapse, and systematic Chinese medicine, no longer a mystery or a pseudo-science, can become a philosophical ally and a rich resource for a more capacious science.

Judith Farquhar is the Max Palevsky Professor Emerita in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. She studies traditional medicine, popular culture, and everyday life in contemporary China and has published five other books, most recently Ten Thousand Things: Nurturing Life in Contemporary Beijing.