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Concepts Of Nature In Traditional Chinese Materia Medica And Botany (Sixteenth To Seventeenth Century)

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Chapter Summary

In materia medica or other texts on plants, it appears that nature could be considered as absent in the way that plants are taken into account first of all for their medicinal, dietetical, alimentary, horticultural or symbolic value in close relationship with mans satisfaction. Notes on the nature of plant life, also appear incidentally in texts. It is from these data that the author analyses nature, the nature of plant life. This chapter also provides an analysis on the plant classification upon which Li Shizhen relied. To give a general idea of the nature of plant life, the author turns to Ye Ziqi, who compiled Caomu (The Book of Master Plants). In the conclusive part, the author undertakes a brief and incomplete comparison, using some material from sixteenth and seventeenth European botanists.

Keywords: Chinese Materia Medica; Li Shizhen; natural objects; plant life; sixteenth century botanists; Ye Ziqi



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