A Study on The Etiology of Wu You-ke(吳又可)'s Epidemic(溫疫) Theory

오우가(吳又可) 온역학설(溫疫學說)의 병인관(病因觀)에 대한 연구

  • Eun, Seok-Min (College of Oriental Medicine, Woosuk University)
  • 은석민 (우석대학교 한의과대학 원전의사학교실)
  • Published : 2007.11.30


This study is a research on the etiology in Wu Youke's wenyi theory. In regard to the etiology of epidemic disease that had been spread on a very large scale at that time, Wu Youke denied the traditional theory which urged the irregular change of climate as the cause of epidemic disease, and proposed the concept of 'zaqi' which was considered by him to be something that could be the real cause of epidemic disease. And He treated the wenyi disease as something that has the same meaning with wenbing, so his concept on wenbing was basically the thing that treats 'zaqi' as the fundamental cause of wenbing and treats the concept of 'wen(溫)' as an environmental cause that could help activate the virulence of 'zaqi'. Such concept like this was the thing somewhat different from the traditional etiological theory that considers the change of climate as the principal cause of waigan(外感)-disease, and it must for the most part have been originated from the experience of Wu Youke himself. But this study, in contrast, based on the thing he denied the traditional theory on the irregular change of climate, has been done in the point of view that fundamental concept of his wenyi theory such as 'zaqi' was not only originated from his clinical experience but also from the influence of paradigm shift in the natural philosophy of that time. There had been so much change in cosmology and natural philosophy from the fundamental basis at that time, and the the most principal concept of it was that there always exists irregular faces in the change of nature. Such concept like this got into its stride from about 17th century, and it was expressed in the form of the severe criticism against the traditional natural philosophy. In regard to this, this study has outlined the academic thought of the leading scholars who made a significant progress in such a paradigm shift, and it includes the scholars like Wang Tingxiang, Wang Fuzhi, Hu Wei, Huang Zongxi, who played their role in the time of the latter period of Ming dynasty and the former period of Qing dynasty.