主 办:北 京 中 医 药 大 学
ISSN 1006-2157 CN 11-3574/R

JOURNAL OF BEIJING UNIVERSITY OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE ›› 2019, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (6): 445-450.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1006-2157.2019.06.001

• Qi Forum •     Next Articles

Reflections on interpretation of qi in the context of modern science*

Xing Yurui   

  1. Shaanxi University of Chinese Medicine, Shaanxi 712046, China
  • Online:2019-06-05 Published:2019-06-05

Abstract: As the cornerstone of TCM theory, the concept of qi always arouses reflection and discussion in the context of modern science. In response to such a situation, this paper firstly explains the reason for the question “What is qi?” to come into existence, i.e. it is difficult for people to comprehend the concept of qi with attributes of natural philosophy in the context of modern science based mainly on atomism. Secondly, the present research points out that contemporary scholars have expounded the concept of qi from the perspectives of biology, physics and even modern systems science and tried to reveal the essence of qi through laboratory research or by analogy with some findings in modern science, but their conclusions are far from the real concept of qi. Thirdly, it elaborates the ways to enunciate the concepts of qi in philosophy and TCM respectively to modern audience. Fourthly, it is noted that when the value of primordial qi theory is evaluated, both its merits and demerits should be analyzed instead of focusing on the former only. Lastly, the author explores future research directions and issues worth attention.

Key words: qi, atom, scientific elaboration, methodology

CLC Number: 

  • R221