Hahnemann’s words about modern medicine

the limitations of conventional medicine.” [van Haselen, 121-2] The process is therefore akin to “Paracelsus and van Helmont building their systems impertinently amid the ruins of the Galenic.” [French, 211] He condemned “speculative refinements, arbitrary axioms…dogmatic assumptions…[and the] magnificent conjuring games of so-called theoretical medicine.” [Ameke, 134] The uncurative allopathic approach he condemned merely leads to ‘symptom chasing’ palliation and medical dependency: “the champions of this clumsy doctrine of morbific matters ought to be ashamed that they have so inconsiderately overlooked and failed to appreciate the spiritual nature of life, and the spiritual dynamic power of the exciting causes of diseases.” [Organon, 9]
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This is a perspective we always have to consider about him; as formerly Francis Bacon in his Novum Organum Scientiarum revealed the psychological and cultural mindset as possible sources of errors in science: “homœopathy was the logical and legitimate offspring of the Inductive Philosophy and Method of Aristotle and Lord Bacon.” [Close, 15] It was “founded and developed into a scientific system by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) under the principles of the Inductive Method of Science as developed by Lord Bacon.” [Close, 16-17] Hahnemann “seems to have been most influenced by the inductive philosophy of Lord Bacon.” [Close, Ch. 3] “Hahnemann began to blaze his way, guided by the compass of logic encased in the inductive method of Bacon.” [Close, Ch. 16]

Likewise, Hahnemann revealed the errors inherent to the inconsistent medical ideas of his time, while searching for a sound and factually-based grounding for medical practice. He “detaches himself entirely from his contemporaries by his conception of the nature of disease.” [Haehl, I, 291] Nonsense, “is his description of the materia peccans, which was then generally accepted as the cause of disease.” [Haehl, I, 291] He dismissed “mechanical or chemical alterations of the material substance of the body,” [Haehl, I, 291] as being the cause of disease, which he did not believe to be “dependent on a material morbific substance…[but resulting from] merely spirit-like [conceptual] dynamic derangements of the life.” [Haehl, I, 291] It is this morbidly affected vital energy alone [that] produces disease.” [Haehl, I, 291] He “strenuously…rejected and fought against the theories of disease origin and diagnosis, as known in his time.” [Haehl, I, 290] He “had to do with a confused babble of inferences and unproveable assertions.” [Haehl, I, 290] He dismissed “the crass materialism” [Haehl, I, 290] of his day, and “became disillusioned and dissatisfied with current medical practice. He…began experiments, later called ‘provings’, on himself and other healthy individuals.” [Flinn, 425-7]

Disease “is not to him, as to contemporary therapy, an agent distinct from the living whole, from the organism, and from the life-giving dynamis—a being, inwardly concealed however finely conceived.” [Haehl, I, 291] Diseases, he declares, “are not mechanical or chemical alterations of the material substance of the body and they are not dependent upon a material morbific substance. They are merely spirit-like [conceptual] dynamic derangements of the life;” [Haehl, I, 291] “the morbidly affected vital energy alone produces diseases.” [Aph 12, in Haehl, I, 291] Hahnemann rejected the view of such figures as Sydenham that “diseases were specific entities,” [Porter, 1998, 230]; who cited “mistletoe growing on trees, he emphasised how disease was independent of the sufferer.” [Porter, 1998, 230] For Hahnemann, this was merely false and misleading theorising. As with Paracelsus, Hahnemann took the view that “each individuum was wholly peculiar and…[that] there were as many diseases as patients.” [McLean, 170]

He dismisses all prior medicine as “an utterly irrational and useless art.” [Ameke, 134] He exhorts that “facts and experience must be at the root of all revelations of truth.” [Ameke, 134] He regarded the medicine of his day as having “evolved out of physicians’ heads, out of illusion and caprice,” [Ameke, 134] and of comprising “an infinite kingdom of fantasy and of arbitrary assumptions, the parent of disastrous delusion and of absolute nothingness.” [Ameke, 134] What Hahnemann terms “…’experience’ is equivalent to investigation; ‘sciences of experience’ are the same as what are now called the ‘inductive sciences’…or ’empiricism’…” [Ameke, 133] This refers to where Hahnemann says things like “true medicine is from its very nature a pure science of experience,” [Ameke, 134] that medicine “should rest only upon pure facts,” [Ameke, 134] and that medicine should be rooted in “pure experience and observation…and not venture a single step beyond the sphere of pure, carefully observed experience and experiment.” [Ameke, 134] Hahnemann was, “in all essentials, a flawless experimenter.” [Introduction to the 2nd Organon, xxiv]

These empirical methods are those “in the early days of homeopathy, Hahnemann undoubtedly employed,” [Cooper, Feb 1893, 66] for it is indeed axiomatic that “all great improvements in science are made by men who throw off the trammels of previous teachings and begin by a complete and radical overhauling of the entire subject.” [Cooper, 1894, 389] Hahnemann was an “exponent of the empirical…therapeutic method…in which symptoms and signs of the curative effort of the dynamis…must be interpreted as positive or beneficial phenomena.” [van Haselen, 123] The era of scientific medical experimentation begins with Hahnemann and nobody else. Scientific to the core, Hahnemann experimented scientifically for scientific observation…” [ibid., xxvii] “The true healing art is in its nature a pure science of experience, and can and must rest upon clear facts and on the sensible phenomena pertaining to their sphere of action.’ and that it ‘…dares not take a single step out of the sphere of pure, well-observed experience and experiment, if it would avoid becoming a nullity, a farce.” [Preface to 2nd Organon, xiv]

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