Scientific Testing of Chi (Qi) Claims

  • Michael R. Matthews
Part of the Science: Philosophy, History and Education book series (SPHE)


Feng shui energy is yet to be identified and measured in any reputable laboratory. There have been some embryonic steps towards scientific validation of chi claims. Of special interest were those made by Dr Yan Xin, a former TCM practitioner who had worked in or visited different Chinese and US universities. Despite detailed and staggering claims made by Dr Xin and colleagues, none have ever survived a reputable test. One fallback option for chi theorists who wish to maintain the scientificity of their system and of the chi construct, yet who also acknowledge the reality that chi has never yet been found or measured, is to abandon the referential dimension of chi and to swing over to seeing chi as an intervening variable not a hypothetical construct. The final option for chi theorists who wish to retain the concept, while acknowledging that there is no non-inferential, immediate evidence for it, is to say that chi talk is metaphorical not literal. For the purpose of this book, these fundamental philosophical arguments need just be noted, not solved. Students and teachers can themselves, with time and curricula allowing, follow up the arguments and literature.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Matthews
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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