Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

9/1/2006 - 5/31/2007

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

Chinese Medical Epistemology in Transition, ca. 350 BCE-220 CE

FAIN: FA-52204-06

Miranda Dympna Brown
Regents of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382)

This study explains the origins of acupuncture during the Western Han period (206 BCE-25 CE) in terms of a shift in medical epistemology around the first century BCE. Whereas earlier medical theorists stressed knowledge about the body grounded in experience, those living after the first century BCE de-emphasized the experience of ordinary men in favor of revealed wisdom attributed to sages. This shift was related to the rise of a new, political notion of sagehood in the Qin court, which held that sages were not morally perfected men, but beings with extraordinary faculties of perception.