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Uisahak. 2015 Aug;24(2):457-96. doi: 10.13081/kjmh.2015.24.457.

[The Seongho () School's Study of the Ancient Learning () and Its Influence on the Debate about Materia Medica in the Late Joseon Dynasty].

[Article in Korean]

Author information

1
Department of History, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, KOREA.

Abstract

This study will determine the ways in which the ancient learning (gu xue, ) scholarship of the Seongho School, and its interest in the materia medica (ben cao xue, ) were related during the late Joseon period. The Seongho School centered its studies mainly on classical Chinese texts of the Han (206 BC-AD 220) and pre-Han (?-221 BC) (xian-qin lianghan, ) periods rather than those of the Tang and Song dynasties (618-1279). gu xue scholarship emerged during the Ming dynasty era (1368 -1644) as an alternative to the scholarly trends of the Song dynasty, which were dependent on Zhu Xi's (, 1130-1200) Neo-Confucianism and its interpretation of Han and pre-Han classical Chinese texts. This scholarly trend influenced Korean and Japanese literature, philosophy, and even medicine from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Focusing on Korean scholarship, we find a great deal of research regarding the influence of gu xue on Korean classical Chinese literature and Confucian philosophy in the late Joseon period; however, no study has examined how this style of scholarship influenced the field of medicine during the same period. This study will investigate how the intellectuals of the Seongho School, who did the most to develop gu xue among Joseon intellectuals, were influenced by this style of scholarship in their study of the materia medica. Jeong Yak-yong (1762-1836), the representative intellectual of the Seongho School, did not focus on complicated metaphysical medical theories, such as the Yin-Yang and Five Elements theory (yin yang wu xing shui, ) or the Five Movements and Six Atmospheres theory (wu yun liu qi shui, ). Instead, his interests lay in the exact diagnoses of diseases and meticulous herbal prescriptions which formed an essential part of the Treatise on Exogenous Febrile Disease (Shang han lun, ) written by Zhang Zhungjing (, 150-219) in the Han dynasty. The Treatise was compatible with the scholarly purpose of gu xue in that they both eschewed metaphysical explanations. The Seongho School's interest in the materia medica stemmed from a desire to improve the delivery and quality of medical practices in rural communities, where metaphysical theories of medicine did not prevail and the cost of medicine was prohibitive.

PMID:
26394994
DOI:
10.13081/kjmh.2015.24.457
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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