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December 2022

Uisahak. 1993 ; 2(1): 66-79.

[The medical philosophy of Choe Han-Ki]

Yeo IS, Rho JH.

Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University.

Choe Han-Ki was a philosopher of the 19th century who resided in Seoul. He accumulated vast amount of knowledge of Western science and on the basis of them he built his own philosophical system different from those of the philosophers before him. Not only has he wrote books on philosophy, but many books on science as well. Among them Shin-Ki-Chon-Hum is a very unique medical book which reveals his original medical philosophy. He acquired medical knowledge through the medical books put into Chinese by missionary doctor Hobson and on the basis of them he criticized traditional medicine. He criticized traditional medicine because it explained vital phenomenon through the reductionist theory, such as Oh-Haeng (theory of five phases). And he also criticized it because it lacked in exact anatomical knowledge and that the exact origin of the disease was not known and it had limitations on treatment. He also criticized Western Medicine because it supposed God as a creator. He saw the possibility of communication between Western Medicine and traditional medicine. He didn't regard medicine as concerning disease and health only, but it included everything in it. His philosophy of medicine is just a part of his original system of science, Ki-Hak.

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