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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 21(1); 2012 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2012;21(1): 67-100.
청말 해부학 혁명과 해부학적 인식의 전환
The Anatomical Revolution and the Transition of Anatomical Conception in Late Imperial China
Kyu Hwan Sihn
Department of Medical History and Institute for History of Medicine, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea. jerryq@yonsei.ac.kr
This paper aimed to examine the anatomical revolution from Yilingaicuo (Correcting the Errors of Medicine) and Quantixinlun(Outline of Anatomy and Physiology) in late imperial China. As the cephalocentrism which the brain superintend human operation of the mind was diffused in China since 16th century, the cephalocentrism and the cardiocentrism had competed for the hegemony of anatomical conception. Because of the advent of Yilingaicuo and Quantixinlun, the cephalocentrism became the main stream in the anatomical conception. The supporters of the Wang Yangming's Xinxue(the Learning of Heart and Mind) argued that the heart was the central organ of perception, sensitivity, and morality of the human body in medicine since 16th century. Even reformist and revolutionary intellectuals like Tan sitong and Mao zedong who had supported the Wang Yangming's Xinxue embraced the cephalocentrism in the late 19th century and the early 20th century. May Fourth intellectuals had not obsessed metaphysical interpretation of human body any more in the New Culture Movement in 1910s. They regarded human body as the object of research and writing. The anatomy was transformed into the instrumental knowledge for mutilation of the body. Yilingaicuo challenged the traditional conception of body, and Chinese intellectuals drew interest in the anatomy knowledge based on real mutilation. Quantixinlun based on Western medicine fueled a controversy about anatomy. Though new knowledge of anatomy was criticized by traditional Chinese medical doctors from the usefulness and morality of anatomy, nobody disavowed new knowledge of anatomy from the institutionalization of Western medicine in medical school. The internal development of cephalocentrism and positivism had influence on anatomy in China since 16th century. The advent of Yilingaicuo and Quantixinlun provided the milestone of new anatomy, though both sides represented traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine respectively. They contributed to the development of new knowledge of anatomy, getting over the metaphysical system of knowledge. Based on the internal development of anatomy, Chinese anatomy was half century late than Japanese anatomy founded on Dutch anatomy.
Key Words: Benjamin Hobson, Quantixinlun(Outline of Anatomy and Physiology), Wang Qingren, Yilingacuo(Correcting the Errors of Medicine), Anatomy, cephalocentrism
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