Meta-approaches to Asian medicine, part 2

This is a follow-up conversation with Dr. Pierce Salguero on Pierce’s three-part rumination on a “Meta Approach to Asian Medicine,” published at Medium.com. Those of you who have been members for a while may remember the wonderful inspiring conversation we had a couple of months ago here when he published Part Two. 

This time, we are joined by Sarah Zanolini, practitioner of Chinese medicine and PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins, so the ideal person to help us explore the gap between practitioner and academic critically. I have long wanted to have her join us for a Tea Time Talk, so this is a treat!

2 thoughts on “Meta-approaches to Asian medicine, part 2”

  1. Yea – how do we create space to privilege vulnerability and growth. Pierce’s inital salvos, getting people out of their “my way is the only way” epistemological hubris is the first,
    –generating a discourse where people can trust that they’re not going to be humiliated,
    –allowing people to become more conscious of eachother, in discussions like these about what the rules are in each context and community.

    One point that’s worth noting about Cohen’s notion of epistemological carnival is that his paper, or at least the way we discuss it, portrays an image of complete chaos, total relativism. But in fact, your three papers are an advance because they don’t articulate complete chaos and mingling (like a cocktail party, which, come to think of it, has its own unwritten rules and social alleigances), but rather a carnival with stalls.
    This carnaval has specific discursive arenas and domains which do not allow other kinds of discourse. Being self-reflective that a given set of rules is not universally applicable is the main step – to reflect back on how and why and when/where that knowledge is…. situated.

    I think part of the problem is thinking about what knowledge is – discursive and ideological – rather than thinking of it as practice – social, situated, local, performative. We need a better vocabulary for typologising when and where these differences occur, and how they are resolved.

    A danger is that in looking for “difference” we lose sight of where the equivocacy still exists, but people get over it, get on, and do stuff together. As humans, we collaborate all the time – we must as a species, and that is the basis of society. So which forms of cooperation come to the fore and which dissipate. So I don’t think that Pierce and Volker are operating at different “scales” and one is higher or lower – the issues are the same, just looking at different features.

    As they say in Saivism, everything is a sea of consciousness, and what we observe are currents of its movement. Sometimes things bump, sometimes they flow alongside one another, sometimes they change shape sometimes they change others, sometimes they merge. Noticing if there are patterns within these contours that can facilitate cooperation and better harmony of human species as it’s getting along with itself and with everything else, that seems to be a worthy goal.

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