Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Air/Qi Connections and China's Smog Crisis: Notes from the History of Science

Air/Qi Connections and China's Smog Crisis: Notes from the History of Science <p>abstract:</p><p>This article explores the relationship between <i>qi</i> and air in Chinese medical and scientific history in order to illuminate current approaches to air pollution and <i>wumai</i> (smog) in contemporary China. The modern concept of air is expressed in Chinese using terms related to the word <i>qi</i>. However, <i>qi</i> is a complex, multivalent term with a long history in Chinese cosmology and Chinese medicine and does not hold a clear one-to-one correspondence with air. <i>Qi</i> provided a resonating transcendent link between humans and their environment, yet pathogenic forms of <i>qi</i> arising from the environment could invade the body, causing illness and death. During the late nineteenth century, laboratory definitions of air as gas were introduced to China through the term <i>qi</i>, enabling some turn-of-the-century Chinese physicians such as Tang Zonghai to establish creative correspondences between air and <i>qi</i> that encompassed gas, vital energies, and even God. Such correspondences with their transcendent, potentially sacred valences appear to be unavailable today, even as contemporary Chinese embrace traditional medicines to ward off the effects of <i>wumai</i>. By probing the significant spaces between air and <i>qi</i>, this article suggests that the history of science in China has implications for how we might cope with and confront our current atmospheric crisis.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review University of Hawai'I Press

Air/Qi Connections and China&apos;s Smog Crisis: Notes from the History of Science

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-hawai-i-press/air-qi-connections-and-china-apos-s-smog-crisis-notes-from-the-history-4QvjMwn0e8
Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University
ISSN
2158-9666
eISSN
2158-9674

Abstract

<p>abstract:</p><p>This article explores the relationship between <i>qi</i> and air in Chinese medical and scientific history in order to illuminate current approaches to air pollution and <i>wumai</i> (smog) in contemporary China. The modern concept of air is expressed in Chinese using terms related to the word <i>qi</i>. However, <i>qi</i> is a complex, multivalent term with a long history in Chinese cosmology and Chinese medicine and does not hold a clear one-to-one correspondence with air. <i>Qi</i> provided a resonating transcendent link between humans and their environment, yet pathogenic forms of <i>qi</i> arising from the environment could invade the body, causing illness and death. During the late nineteenth century, laboratory definitions of air as gas were introduced to China through the term <i>qi</i>, enabling some turn-of-the-century Chinese physicians such as Tang Zonghai to establish creative correspondences between air and <i>qi</i> that encompassed gas, vital energies, and even God. Such correspondences with their transcendent, potentially sacred valences appear to be unavailable today, even as contemporary Chinese embrace traditional medicines to ward off the effects of <i>wumai</i>. By probing the significant spaces between air and <i>qi</i>, this article suggests that the history of science in China has implications for how we might cope with and confront our current atmospheric crisis.</p>

Journal

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture ReviewUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 18, 2019

There are no references for this article.