Frontiers of Philosophy in China

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 298–315

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

Research Article


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 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Jiang Jinsong (2008). “Zuowei Huanjing Wenti Genyuan de Shiyan Kexue Chuantong Chutan” 作为环境问题根源的实验科学传统初探 (“An Examination of the Tradition of Science from Its Environmental Origins”). In: Women de Kexue Wenhua, Vol. 2, Yangguangxia de Minke 我们的科学文化, 第二辑, 阳光下的民科 (Our Science Culture, Vol. 2. Science Fans under Sunshine). Shanghai: Huadong Shifan Daxue ChubansheGoogle Scholar
  2. Liao Yuqun (2006). Yizhe Yiye: Renshi Zhongyi 医者意也—认识中医 (The Meaning of Traditional Chinese Medicine—Understanding Chinese Medicine). Nanning: Guangxi Shifan Daxue ChubansheGoogle Scholar
  3. Liu Shen, and Zhou Bangkun (2007). Zhongyi de Cunzai Shi Shijie zhi Xing 中医的存在是世界之幸 (The Existence of Chinese Traditional Medicine Is the Blessing for the World). Shenzhen Wanbao, June 9, 2007Google Scholar
  4. Lu Guangshen, etc. (2007). Zhongyiyao de Chuantong yu Chulu 中医药的传统与出路 (The Tradition and Future of Chinese Traditional Medicine). Dushu Xianchang «读书→ 现场 (Reading on the Spot). Beijing: Sanlian ShudianGoogle Scholar
  5. Mettrie, J. O. de La (1921). L’homme Machine (Man Is Machine). Paris: Éditions BossardGoogle Scholar
  6. Postman N. (1993). Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. New York: Vintage BooksGoogle Scholar
  7. Rouse, J. (1987). Knowledge and Power: Towards a Political Philosophy of Science. New York: Cornell University PressGoogle Scholar
  8. Singer, C., Holmyard, E. J., and Hall, A. R. (1954). A History of Technology (Vol. 1): From Early Times to the Fall of Ancient Empires. Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  9. Tang Yun (2004). Zoujin Zhongyi—Dui Shengming he Jibing de Quanxin Tansuo 走近中医—对生命和疾病的全新探索 (Walking Closer to Chinese Medicine—A New Exploration of Life and Disease). Nanning: Guangxi Shifan Daxue ChubansheGoogle Scholar
  10. Tian Song (1997). “Cong Taihedian de Jianzao Kan Jingyan, Jishu yu Kexue de Guanxi” 从太和殿的建造看经验、技术与科学的关系 (“A Study on the Relationship among Experience, Technology and Science with the Illustration of the Building of the Taihe Temple”). Ziran Bianzhengfa Yanjiu, (8): 17–22Google Scholar
  11. Tian Song (2001). Kexue Huayuquan de Zhengduo yu Celüe 科学话语权的争夺与策略(Contention and Strategy for the Discursive Power of Science). Dushu, (9): 31–39Google Scholar
  12. Tian Song (2007). Huayuquan: Chuantong de Jiazhi 话语权: 传统的价值 (The Power of Words: The Value of Tradition). In: Youxian Diqiu Shidai de Huaiyi Lun 有限地球时代的怀疑论 (The Skepticism in the Age of Limited Earth). Beijing: Kexue ChubansheGoogle Scholar
  13. Wheeler J. A. (1996). At Home in the Universe. New York: Springer-VerlagGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Value and Culture, College of Philosophy & SociologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations