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Culture, Philosophy, and Chinese Medicine

Viennese Lectures

Series:

Fengli Lan

Chinese medicine is a culturally dependent art of healing deeply rooted in the culture and philosophy of the country it originated from: China. This book has three independent but progressive parts, each bearing the title of one of the three courses taught by the author as a visiting professor at the Faculty of Philosophy, Vienna University, in the 2010-2011 winter semester, namely: Overview of Chinese Culture through Chinese Characters, Fundamental Concepts of Classical Chinese Philosophy and The Importance of Metaphors in Chinese Medicine, which are in the fields of philosophy of language, philosophy of science, and intercultural philosophy, aiming to reveal the essence of philosophy of Chinese language, classical Chinese philosophy and Chinese medicine within the context of a global, multicultural background. This book sums up the author’s research outcome of the last few years in an area of study on culture, philosophy and Chinese medicine which has been too often misunderstood or insufficiently emphasized.

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Author's Foreword

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This is a stern reality: Information in English accounted for over 80% of the total information stored in the computers of the world; databases owned by the U.S.A. made up over 70% of the globe;1 the statistics of the United Nations showed that 80% of all the original documents were in English and less than 1% in Chinese; there existed great deficit in the cultural exchange: the works translated from Western languages into Chinese were about 50 to 100 times of the works translated from Chinese into Western languages.2 Influences of Chinese culture on the Western culture have still remained very limited although Confucius Institutes have been established internationally and widely by the P.R. China across the world, which aims at promoting dissemination of Chinese language and culture worldwide and in real fact promotes teaching and learning of Chinese language among foreigners. Does globalization mean westernization, easternization or similarization or even uniformation? No, globalization should be pluralization. Almost everybody has traveling experience. As a traveler, everyone would like to see something, some place, and some people with distinctive, specialized and local features. If everywhere were the same someday in the future, the world would be very boring. This is the same with the culture, philosophy and science of the globe, which should be manifold not unified. The world is manifold, which needs approaches from different cultures to enrich human understanding of the world from as many as possible perspectives. The research team of a key research project of National...

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