Annäherungen an Biographien der Materia Medica. Anregungen aus der Ethnobotanik für die Heilpflanzenerkenntnis

Elemente der Naturwissenschaft 96, 2012, P. 29-55 | DOI: 10.18756/edn.96.29


Knowledge of anthroposophical medicines has developed a living and diverse approach to its healing substances. This article aims to contribute towards this venture by illustrating the relevance of recent cultural scientific theories in healing plant science, the central concepts of which are holism and interdisciplinarity. In the following article, interdisciplinarity is related to the cooperation between the natural and the cultural sciences, and holism to an attempt to link together the various sources of knowledge. As examples for this, on the one hand we present the interdisciplinary field of ethnobotany, and on the other hand we discuss theories of scientific research, placing the thing in the centre of its cultural and social scientific interest. We start from existing studies which have worked on a resolution of the separation between the natural and the cultural sciences, and whose approaches have been adduced in order to sketch the possibilities for combining the different paradigms. Which approach to things will be sought in these works in order to provide an outlook that crosses boundaries? Through the discussion of the concept of 'network' and the 'biography of things' a relational and process-orientated understanding of substance is illustrated. In conclusion, the article proposes an interdisciplinary, holistically-orientated method capable of extending our understanding of healing substances.

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