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ISSUE 19 : Writing Down the Body and Time
Seeing and Touching: “Pulse Curve” of the West vs. Chinese “Pulse Image”
March 25th, 2015Type: Opinion
Author: Lee, Li-chun
Note: Through the comparison of the pulse curve in Western medicine with the images of pulse in Chinese tradition medecine, the author points out the "writing/notation" of the pulse recorded by machines is not as objective as it appears to be. He argues that the "Western way of visualization" is related to the anxiety about the "inaccuracy of language" and the "attempt to capture time linearly" in the Western culture, and in addition, the pulse curve reflects that the Western medicine's approach of "visualizing" their comprehension of the "tactile pulse".
圖1(left): Étienne Jules Marey, 不同的脈搏曲線 (1859); 圖2: 明嘉靖間 (1522-1566)《圖註王叔和脈訣》中的七表八裏之圖
圖3: Étienne-Jules Marey於1891年新設計的脈搏記寫器 (sphygmograph)
圖4: 波蘭醫生Josephus Struthius在1555年用音符來圖示四種年紀不同的脈搏
圖5: 德國醫生Samuel Hafenreffer在1640年用四線譜的四線代表醫生觸摸脈搏時的四指, 並呈現出脈搏的一段樂曲
圖6: Fritz Kahn, Der Arzt der Zukunft (1925)