The present work offers a renewed perspective on natural-kind classification in the field of ethnobiology, one that focuses on analyzing higher-order classifications as a form of narrative. By examining changes in classification of materia medica in three main medical/pharmacological texts from three time periods of the Tibetan medicine tradition, we see an overarching shift in classification from a focus on medical efficacy to one on material substance and morphology, thus suggesting influence from pre-twenty-first century western, Linnaean science. The work then links this historical narrative to the complexities of classification of materia medica among contemporary doctors of Tibetan medicine in the People's Republic of China, who utilize several classificatory schemata. The work encourages continued research in the area of diachronic classification, particularly in terms of what can be gleaned about cultural, political, and social changes in a tradition.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 38 • No. 1