By Charles Leslie, Allan Young
Like its vintage predecessor, Asian scientific structures, Paths to Asian scientific wisdom considerably expands the research of Asian drugs. those essays ask how sufferers and practitioners be aware of what they know--what proof of illness or health and wellbeing they think about convincing and what cultural traditions and emblems consultant their pondering. even if discussing jap anatomy texts, Islamic humoralism, Ayurvedic scientific perform, or various different matters, the authors supply an exhilarating variety of data and recommend new theoretical avenues for scientific anthropology.
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Extra info for Paths to Asian Medical Knowledge (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care)
L. Basham organized an international conference on traditional Asian medicine at the Australian National University and used the occasion to found the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine (IASTAM). The Wenner-Gren Foundation awarded IASTAM a small start-up grant, and the three hundred scholars who attended the Canberra conference were enrolled. Page 8 Five years later, IASTAM sponsored a second major conference hosted by Airlangga University in Surabaya, Indonesia, and in 1990 IASTAM organized a third conference in Bombay, cosponsored by three Indian universities, and attended by over six hundred participants.
Here, the most notable writer is the psychoanalyst, Sudhir Kakar, author of Shamans, Mystics and Doctors: A Psychological Inquiry into India and Its Healing Traditions (1982). But the prevail- Page 12 ing tendency among Indian ethnologists and sociologists has been to neglect research on Ayurveda, Unani, and other forms of indigenous medicine, in favor of biomedical institutions (Banerji 1986, 1988; Madan 1980). Medical anthropology as a special field of research has been very largely a creation of North American scholars, and the majority of Asianists among them have worked in South and Southeast Asia.
Influenced by the ideas of Louis Dumont, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Gaston Bachelard, Zimmermann argues that the ecological contrasts between dry and wet regions of South Asia structured the Ayurvedic classification of therapeutic substances and the cosmic physiological processes that sustain life. Like Porkert, though, in this book he is primarily interested in describing a system of thought apart from particular historical circumstances that affected its development. Students of Chinese and Sanskrit texts, writers like Nathan Sivin, Paul Unschuld, Kenneth Zysk, and Francis Zimmermann, have a sophisticated understanding of the social sciences, but anthropological and sociological perspectives are not conspicuous among students of Arabic texts.
Paths to Asian Medical Knowledge (Comparative Studies of Health Systems and Medical Care) by Charles Leslie, Allan Young