Friday, March 4, 2011

Epistemology and Vitalism in Acupuncture Today (2011-03)

here, I cite from an article regarding knowledge-type delineation [epistemology] and TCM's essential vitalism [see 001., below]:

001. William Morris writes in Acupuncture Today's "Medical Epistemology: A Bias of Culture?" (2011-03) states:

"for Chinese medicine, the core assumption [the a priori] is vitalism, or qi. This vitalist point of view [...] deleting vitalist language from the lexicon of Chinese medicine is dangerous because it eliminates critical knowledge building tools that lead to specific actions [...] a biomedical epistemology cannot recapture them [...] in essence, there is a need for both scientific and traditional epistemologies with corresponding language in the practice of Chinese medicine and acupuncture."


I argue that what is being called for is a blending of knowledge types.  I've termed this "epistemic conflation".   Science is not an epistemic conflation.  Vitalism has been science-ejected, profoundly.  Since a vital force is a figmentation, I'm sure that TCM is based on a kind of knowledge of that same kind.  The scientific epistemology that the author speaks of, I'll hazard to guess, is that small sprinkling of science that furthers this form of sectarian medicine in terms of marketing.  Though, in the end, science demolished TCM as a theoretical system.

Naturopathy is as similarly blended and vitalistic, and science demolished.  What stands the test of scientific scrutiny already exists in some science-domain INDEPENDENT of naturopathy.  An impressive amount of NDs / NMDs carry  LAc. credentials.  They are birds of a feather.

Overall too, I am of a hopeful type.  I believe in an objective universe accessible to all who seek to understand it, once they've taken off their cultural / ideological blinders.  There is not a separate epistemology of the objective for various cultures...that to me is racism.  I do recognize that science is a human endeavor, too. 
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