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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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Virtuosity and Orthodoxy

Virtuosity and Orthodoxy

(p.105) 4 Virtuosity and Orthodoxy
Know Your Remedies

He Bian

Princeton University Press

This chapter picks up the transformation of bencao in post-Conquest Jiangnan. It highlights the vocal critics of amateur authors and considers the ways in which the Qing state’s cultural policy over the eighteenth century shaped the now-marginalized field. The chapter explains that with the Qing reforms in government and culture came a parallel, albeit less pronounced, reconfiguration of natural studies within Confucian learning. The centrality of pharmacy and the nature of drugs in the pre-Conquest years also came under intense questioning in postwar decades. In a move that was hardly premeditated, the Qing rulers found themselves in the company of new allies from the elite strata of literati and physicians who were championing a new approach to the field of bencao.

Keywords:   post-Conquest Jiangnan, amateur authors, cultural policy, Qing China, Qing reforms, natural studies, Confucian learning, bencao

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