Research Article

Frontiers of Philosophy in China

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 298-315

First online:

A study of experiential technology and scientific technology, exemplified by Chinese and western medicine

  • Song TianAffiliated withResearch Center for Value and Culture, College of Philosophy & Sociology, Beijing Normal University Email author 


Experience and science, being the two sources of technology, have different focuses. In experiential technology, techniques and skills are emphasized while in scientific technology tool or equipment. Experiential technology is generally regarded as local knowledge, and scientific technology universal. Traditional Chinese medicine is an experiential technology. In contrast, Western medicine is set up as a scientific technology with great efforts. Through the comparison of these two medicines, this paper attempts to illustrate the difference between the two technologies and in turn, the difference between these two medicines by defining these two technologies. Finally, this paper further investigates the special values of Chinese medicine. Making use of the SSK theory, this paper deconstructs the idea of universality of science, and argues that, the universality is the feature that science pursues, but not what it already has. With more historical evidence, experiential technology is more stable, while scientific technology is less stable because it updates quickly, and often changes reversely.


experiential technology scientific technology traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Western medicine skills tool instrument