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Know Your RemediesPharmacy and Culture in Early Modern China$
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He Bian

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691179049

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691179049.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

The Nature of Drugs

The Nature of Drugs

(p.74) 3 The Nature of Drugs
Know Your Remedies

He Bian

Princeton University Press

This chapter zooms in on the early decades of the seventeenth century to examine the amateurization of bencao in certain literati circles. However, it is not only about subtle debates within the neo-Confucian doctrine about the nature of drugs. The chapter also concerns the numerous and diverse attempts to live up to those ideals in late Ming China. At the time, many Confucian literati who took an interest in the subject of bencao belonged to the younger generations who came of age during or after the late decades of the Wanli reign (1572–1620). Not surprisingly, most of them lived and were primarily active in Jiangnan, the most prosperous and populous region of Ming China; but the enthusiasm for bencao did travel outside Jiangnan.

Keywords:   amateurization, neo-Confucianism, nature of drugs, Confucian literati, bencao, Jiangnan

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