The Logic of Homeopathy by Stuart Close
The logical principle which underlie homoeopathic prescriber are commonly overlooked. Apparently there are almost as many methods of prescribing as there are prescribers. The remarkable cures performed by such men as Boenninghausen, Lippe, Dunham and Wells are commonly regarded as having been due to some mysterious power possessed by them as individuals. That similar results are attainable by anyone who will master the method is difficult for many to believe; yet a clear and comprehensive statement of the principles involved and an identification of the source from which they are drawn will be sought in vain in homoeopathic literature.
As a rule, only personal opinions and fragmentary statements by individuals of how they did or thought they did their prescribing will be found, and these are scattered through a voluminous literature, much of which is out of print and difficult of access. They indicate, however that there is a basic method somewhere, it only it can be found and identified.
Reviewing these collected bits of personal teaching and experience creates an impression that their authors were either unaware, perhaps through forgetfulness, of the nature of the principles they were using; or that they took it for granted that the student already possessed the requisite knowledge. They did not seem to realize the educational value and importance to the student of being able to identify and consciously use an unnamed science which is fundamentally related to medicine, and especially to homoeopathy; for they certainly did not name it nor definitely refer to it. This is not so strange or unusual as it may seem.
Monsieur Jourdain, an amusing character in one of Moliere’s plays, expressed great surprise on learning that he had been *talking prose for more than forty years.
“Ninety-nine people out of a hundred,” says Jevons, “might be equally surprised on learning that they had long been converting propositions, syllogizing, falling into paralogisms, framing hypotheses and making classifications with genera and species. If asked whether they were logicians they would probably answer, No! They would be partly right; for I believe that a large number even of educated persons have no clear idea of what logic is. Yet, in a certain way, everyone must have been a logician since he began to speak. * * * All people are logicians in some manner or degree; but unfortunately many persons are bad ones, and suffer harm in consequence.” Hence the necessity of books and essays on logic.
It is equally true that ninety-nine homoeopathic physicians out of a hundred might be surprised on learning that they had been using logic good or bad, in every prescription they ever made.
They might be still more surprised on learning homoeopathy itself is founded and constructed upon logical principles; and that all its processes may and if they are to be correctly and efficiently performed must, be conducted under the principles by the methods of good logic.
It was very stupid to me. of course, but I had been practicing homoeopathy a good many years and making, I thought, some pretty good prescriptions, before it dawned upon me in any definite way that logic as a science had any technical connection with homoeopathic prescribing. It was a “purple moment” for me when I made that discovery.. It explained all my good prescriptions and accounted for all my bad ones which, of course, outnumbered the good ones ten to one. It opened up possibilities of improving my methods and bringing the percentage of cures a little more in my favor.
If the making of a good prescription, a good examination, or a good diagnosis depended upon a correct application of the principles of logic, I saw that it behooved me to get down my old textbooks on logic, long before relegated to an upper shelf in my library, along with certain other old school books which some of us like to preserve for sentimental reasons, and refresh my memory by a review of the subject in the light of experience.
It also occurred to me to examine into the mental processes of acknowledged masters of the art of homoeopathic prescribing from that point of view and try to make out how they did it.
It is surprising how such a middle-age review of one’s youthful studies will sometimes dispel delusions long fondly held.
How many, for example recall and realize the practical bearing of the fact that the science of logic exists in two parts- the logic of form and the logic of reality or truth; or technically, Pure or Formal Logic and Inductive Logic.
An outline of a few of the principal operations of formal logic is about all most of us can recall in any definite way. Our ordinary mental processes are governed largely by what was hammered into us in youth. If we try to analyze our mental processes we are likely to thinks in the terms of formal logic because formal logic is what is usually taught and formal logic is what sticks.
Now formal logic, with all its fascinating processes, takes no account of the * matter of our reasonings- of the things reasoned about. Formal logic deals solely with the form, or skeleton of the *reasoning itself. It does not concern itself in the least with the truth of falsity of a statement as a matter of fact or science. Its purpose is to provide the general or symbolic forms which reasoning must assume in order to insure that the end of a proposition may be constituent with its beginning.
Its objects is merely consistency, and “consistency’s a jewel” of sometimes doubtful value. Emerson wittily said : ” A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” So there may be a *foolish consistency as well as a *false logic. A rogue may be as good a logician as an honest man- perhaps a better; a quack may be as logical as the most ethical practitioner; and an allopath, who gives his massive doses of combined drugs upon empirical grounds, may be a consistent, from the standpoint of formal logic, as the homoeopath who gives only minimum doses of the single, similar remedy.
Each of these can and does take his stand against the world, on the ground that he is logical and consistent. His conclusions are consistent with his premises; and there you have the psychology of it, with the secret of the arrogance of the average medical man.
“He was in Logic a great critic, Profoundly skilled in analytic; He could distinguish and divide A hair “twist the south and southwest side.”
He does not know, nor wish to know what some of us may have learned and forgotten- that *Inductive Logic, the Logic of Bacon, mill and Hahnemann, has a higher function than the Logic of Aristotle, which exists and is used largely for the purpose of mere argumentation.
Inductive Logic does concern itself with facts, with reality. Its primary purpose is the discovery and use of *Truth.
The first requirement of Inductive Logic is that *the premises must be true, the result of true and valid observation of facts, based, if need be, upon pure experimentation.
Before we proceed to make deductions, classifications and generalizations and spin theories, we must be sure that we have reliable facts. The induction must be complete, without break from premise to conclusion. We may not reason from a hypothesis, nor jump to a conclusion as medical sophists do. We must follow the course laid down, and “keep in the middle of the road.” The road into the great unknown is dark and full of pitfalls for the unwary, but the electric lamp of inductive logic lights the way safely from the known into the unknown.
This is *The Logic of Homoeopathy. This what we mean when we say that homoeopathy is based upon the inductive philosophy. Not only are the conclusion of homoeopathy consistent with its premises, but its premises are founded upon Truth; for homoeopathy as a method is drawn logically, according to the strictest rules of inductive generalization, from data which have been derived from direct observation of facts and pure experimentation. Every one of its processes, from the conduct of the proving to the making of a curative prescription is governed by the principles of inductive as well as deductive logic.
The purpose of t
his part of the work is no to instruct the reader in the elements of logic, but simply to define and discuss some of the more general relations of logic to various processes of applied homoeopathy; and to point out the great advantage that accrues to the physician who consciously and definitely uses the methods of inductive logic in his daily work.
If the reader’s early education in formal logic has been deficient, it will be an easy matter for him to gain the requisite knowledge from any standard work on the subject.
*The inductive Method in Science is the application of the principles of inductive logic to scientific research. This method was originated by Lord Bacon, and set forth in his *Novum Organum. It was further developed by John Stuart Will in his great *System of Logic, It has been the inspiration the basis and the instrument of every modern science.
Inductive Logic Defined.- “The inductive Method in Logic is the scientific method that proceeds by induction. It requires (1) *exact observation; (2) *correct interpretation of the observed facts with a view to understanding them in relation to each other and to their causes; (3) *rational explanation of the facts by referring them to their real case or law; and (4) *scientific construction; putting the facts in such co-ordination that the system reached shall agree with the reality.”
“The search for the cause of anything may proceed according to any one of four methods: (1) the *method of agreement, in which a condition uniformly present is assumed to be probably a cause; (2) the *method of difference, in which the happening of an event when a condition is present, and its failure when a condition is absent, lead to the assumption of that condition as a cause; (3) the *method of concomitant variations, in which the simultaneous variation in similar degree of condition and event establishes a casual relation; and (4) the *method of residues or of residual variations, where after subtracting from a phenomenon the part due to causes already established the remainder is held due to some other unascertained cause or to the known remaining causes.” (F. &. W. Standard Dictionary.)
Before Lord Bacon’s time, logic was used principally as an instrument for argument and disputation. Little or no attention was given to facts. Direct and systematic investigation of nature was unknown or ignored. Opinions, speculations and theories were used as the material for constructing more opinions and theories. The search for truth ended nowhere.
Lord Bacon called upon men to cease speculating and go direct to nature in their search for truth. He demolished innumerable false systems and resorted logic to its true place as the guide to truth.
“There are and can exist,” says Bacon, “but two ways of investigating and discovering truth. The one hurries on rapidly from the senses and particulars to the most general axioms; and from them as principles and their supposed indisputable truth derives and discovers the intermediate axioms. This is the way now in use. The other constructs its axioms from the senses and particulars, by ascending continually and gradually, till it finally arrives at the most general axioms, which is the true but unattempted way.” (Nov. Org. Axiom 19.)
As induction in the antonym of deduction it has been supposed that the two processes are in some way antagonistic, This is an error. They are simply opposite ways of arriving at the same conclusions; two modes of using the same general process, namely : inference, or inferring.
All reasoning is inference, and in the last analysis all reasoning is deductive. By inductive reasoning we ascertain what is true of many different things our senses tell us what happen around us and by proper reasoning we may discover the laws of nature, in consequence of which they happen.
In deductive reasoning we do the opposite and infer what will happen in consequence of the laws.
Reasoning *a priori and *a posteriori are not different modes of reasoning, but arguments differing in the character of one of the premises. It is merely a difference of viewpoint. In one we reason from antecedents, in the other from consequents.
True says: “Logic is the science of inference; it teaches how one judgment may be inferred from other judgments. To reason is to infer, hence it is usually called the science of reasoning.”
“It assumes that every mind conceives intuitively some ideas or judgments which are at once primary and certain; otherwise we could have no foundation for inference; and to infer one idea or judgment from others would give no certainty.”
“These ideas are called first truths. They are given by the senses, the consciousness and the reason, and they are innumerable. *I exist. *There is an external world. *This body is solid, extended, round, red, warm or cold, are first truths.
“At first these ideas are particular, but afterward the mind unites those which are similar, or which agree in some respect, into classes. This is called generalization. To express this we no longer say this or that body; but body not coat shirt, trousers, etc.; but clothes.”
To test their qualifications in this respect, I once give a senior class of medical students a list of garments and asked them to generalize it: Only one man in a class of about thirty, was able, off-hand, to reply correctly-“clothes!”
To show that all reasoning is, in the last analysis, deductive, True uses the following illustrations : “I infer that heat in such a degree as will cause the mercury in the thermometer to rise to the point marked two hundred and twelve degrees Fahrenheit *will always cause water to boil; in other words, it is proved by induction to be a law of nature that two hundred and twelve degrees Fahrenheit will cause water to boil.
“Now the conclusion is not drawn from any number of instances of the boiling of water, but with a few instances combined with the principle *that like causes will produce like effects; if this principle were not true, then forty thousand instance of water boiling would not prove that another case would happen. But now I know like like causes will produce like effects, and I know by observation that two hundred and twelve degrees Fahrenheit did once or twice cause water to boil. Admit the premises and the conclusion is unavoidable; and to do this is simply to affirm something of a class, then to refer the individual to that class, and then to affirm the same thing of the individual.” ” Now the first premise is the *general principle, *which is intuitively true. The only question is about the second premise; namely: whether two hundred and twelve degrees was the cause of the boiling in the instances observed.”
“The proposition that all reasoning is deductive may be proved by a similar argument using another intuitive principle;- no event happen without a cause.
“Every case of induction proper proceeds upon the same grounds and in the same way. It is. therefore, evident that induction is no exception to the rule that *inference is always from generals to particulars, and not from particulars to generals.
“Reasoning by analogy proceeds in the same way; the differences is only in the character of the first premise, which is, that similar causes *are likely to produce similar effects, or that things that agree in certain attributes or relations are likely to agree in certain other attributes or relations.”
It is evident that, in order to reason, the mind must have some general ideas and judgments that are conceived intuitively, and not formed by mere addition or generalization; for nothing is gained by making a class of individuals or particulars and then drawing one or more out gain.
Some of the earliest are: Everybody is in space. No event happens without a cause. Like material causes produce like effects.
“It is the province of psychology to explain under what circumstances these primary ideas are given by the sense, the consciousness and the reason; but logic assumes their existence as the indispensable basis of inference, and its appropriate office is to explain in what way we infer one judgment from another.
*”The process of reasoning, when completed is found to be simply this: Something is predicated, that is, affirmed or denied of a class; an individual is affirmed to belong to this class, and then, of course the same thing can be affirmed or denied of that individual.”
When the student perceives that the foundation of homoeopathy is solid, *concrete, composed of the broken rock of hard facts, united by the *cement of a great natural principle, he has grasped one important phase of the subject. But when he raises his eyes to the superstructure and sees that it is joined to the foundation and held together in all its parts by a *framework of logic, he has grained possession of the key that not only admits him to the edifice, but unlocks the door of every room in it.
Jevons truly says: – “It is true that we cannot use our eyes or ears without getting some kind of knowledge, and the brute animals can do the same. *But what gives power is the deeper knowledge called Science. People may see, and hear, and feel all their lives without really learning the nature of the things they see. But reason is the mind’s eye and enables us to see why things are, and when and how events may be made to happen or not to happen.The logician endeavors to learn exactly what this reason is which makes the power of men. We all must reason well, or ill, but logic is the science of reasoning and enables us to distinguish between the good reasoning that leads to the truth, and to bad reasoning which every day betrays people into error and misfortune.”
Hence the value and need to the physician of the study of inductive logic as a distinct science.
Analysis of the *Organon of Hahnemann, as well as of the history of homoeopathy and the life of its founder, shows clearly that homoeopathy is a product of inductive logic applied to the subject of medicine, It is, in fact the first as well as one of the most brilliant examples of the application of the inductive method to the solution of one of the greatest problems of humanity; namely, the treatment and cure of disease.
Its basic, principle, the law of similars, dimly perceived and tentatively stated in various forms or referred to as a possible therapeutic law by Hippocrates, Nicander, Xenocrates, of the Greek schools; Varro, Quintus Serenus, Celsus and Galen of the Roman schools; Basil Valentine, a Benedictine Monk of Erfurt, 1410; Paracelus in the sixteenth century and other, was conceived by Hahnemann to be the general law of medical action.
With this conception as a starting point Hahnemann began to investigate. He reasoned that if there was any truth in the proposition that “diseases are cured by medicine that have the power to excite a *similar affection,” the only way to determine it scientifically would be to give a medicine to a healthy person and observe the effects, since a healthy person would be the only king of a person in whom *an affection similar to disease could be excited.
This would give a scientific basis, and indeed the only possible basis, for a comparison between the symptoms of drugs and the symptoms of disease.
Accordingly, as every homoeopathist knows, he began to experiment with “good cinchona bark” upon himself, that drug having been suggested to him while was translating Cullen’s work on materia medica, where it was highly recommended as a cure for intermittent fever. Finding his theory strikingly confirmed by repeated experiments, he began to search medical literature for records of poisoning and accidental cures.Collecting these as a basis for further experiment and corroboration, he enlisted the aid of a few students and physicians and continued his experiments upon the healthy, carefully recording all the phenomena elicited and verifying them in the sick he had opportunity.
After several years of this work he had a collection of reliable drug phenomena so large and comprehensive that he felt he could complete the induction and independently and authoritatively formulate the general principle which he had so long been working to establish.
This is Hahnemann’s chief contribution to science. He was the first to make a comprehensive induction of medical facts, deduce therefrom the general law of therapeutic medication and establish healing by medication upon a sound basis.
Thus we see that although Hahnemann’s primary conception was one of those rare flashes of insight or intuition vouchsafed only to transcendent genius, it was subsequently developed by logical reasoning and confirmed by a series of elaborate experiments extending over a period of many years, before it was published to the world.
When the relation of these facts to the practice of homoeopathy is perceived it is evident that in logic the homoeopathic physician has, or may have the means not only of conducting his daily work with ease and facility, but of solving his most difficult and important problems; *for the logical process by which homoeopathy was worked out and built up is applicable in every concrete case a homoeopathic physician is called upon to treat, The principles are the same with each case. The examination of a patient or a prover; the analysis of the mass of symptoms derived from such an examination; the classification of symptoms for any purpose; the selection of the remedy and the diagnosis of the disease are all properly conducted under the rules and by the methods of applied logic.
As applied in the examination of a patient, the principles of inductive logic lead the examiner first to gather all the facts of a case and to complete each symptom by careful inquiry into its origin, its exciting or occasioning cause or causes; its history and duration; its relations to other symptoms; and its modalities or modifying circumstances and conditions.
Logic then, by the processes of analysis, synthesis, comparison and generalization makes it possible to determine the relative value and importance, from the prescriber’s standpoint of every symptoms. It thus furnishes the means of discovering “characteristic symptoms,” which are of such importance in the study of the case.
“Characteristic Symptoms.” – Characteristic symptoms are *general symptoms, or generalizations, inferred or deduced from particular symptoms by the logical process of generalizing.
By generalizing we learn what is true of many different things; that in which they agree or have in common.
Considering the symptoms of Pulsatilla, for example, we find that they agree in all being worse in a warm room” or better in the open air. “Aggravation in a warm room” therefore is a “keynote.” a “characteristic,” or a “general” of Pulsatilla. These terms are used to describe or epitomize those peculiar features which characterize the patient as an individual; facts that are *true of the case as a whole; of or a number of the particular symptoms of the case, considered as a group. In other words “characteristics: are the individualizing factors of a case of or remedy. They are the points which enable us to differentiate between the similar cases and remedies. After deducing the general features of a given case or remedy and logically grouping them, thus determining its individuality, we are in a position to compare it with other similar, related remedies or cases for classification, selection of the curative remedy, or any other purpose.
Pathological Unity of Symptoms – The inductive method brings into view *the pathological unity of the symptoms of which diseases consists, enabling us to identify and name the various forms they take.
Speaking, generally the internal, invisible, abnormal state of the organism which we call disease, is made manifest externally by perceptible symptoms. If it were necessary only to consider each symptom separately, without regard to the individuality of the general abnormal condition which they represent, we might place the symptoms of disease in numerical order, like words in a dictionary, and select the similar medicine by a mere a mechanical comparison of symptom with symptom.But in this case we should be working only with particulars none of which taken singly discloses the individuality of either, the disease or the remedy. (Hempel.)
Every disease is the result of the action upon the living organism of some definite, specific, individual agent or influence from without, and the phenomena of its action as a whole take on individualizing general characteristics. By these we identify, name and classify diseases as well as medicines. The names, pneumonia, diphtheria, measles, smallpox, typhoid fever, and many others, represent pathological forms which are in their characteristic general features, constant in all ages and countries. They owe their existence to causes which are constant, although particular symptoms and the conditions of their manifestations may vary in individual cases and at different periods. We must not lose sight of this essential fact:- that pathological symptoms in definite diseases derive their meaning and relative value from their connection with a definite, general pathological condition or state, exactly as pathogenetic symptoms derive their meaning and value from an individual definite drug, the action of which upon the vital substance they manifest and express.
In order to recognize these pathogenetic and pathological forms, therefore, we resort to the process of inductive logic; namely, observation and collection of particular facts or phenomena, from the consideration of which we arrive at a conception of the nature and individual character of the groups by the process of generalization.
Totality of the Symptoms.- Logic facilitates the comprehension of the related totality or picture of the symptoms of the case as a whole. From all the parts, logic constructs the whole. It reveals the case; in other words, by generalizing it assigns each detail to its proper place and gives concrete form to the case so that it may be grasped by the mind in its entirety.
The true “totality” is more than the mere numerical totality or whole number of the symptoms. It may even exclude some of the particular symptoms if they cannot, at the time, be logically related to the case. Such symptoms are called “accidental symptoms.” and are not allowed to influence the choice of the remedy.The “totality” is that concrete form which the symptoms take when they are logically related to each other and stand forth as an individuality, recognizable by anyone who is familiar with the symptomatic forms and lineaments of drugs and diseases.
The basis of homoeopathic prescription is the totality of the symptoms of the patient, *as viewed and interpreted from the standpoint of the prescriber. A successful prescription cannot be made from the standpoint of the diagnostician, the surgeon nor the pathologist, as such, because of the differing interpretation and classification of symptoms. *A prescription can only be made upon those symptoms which have their counterpart or similar in the materia medica.
A surgical or a diagnostic symptom may perhaps be elaborated or interpreted into the terms of materia medica, but unless this can be done it is of not value to the prescriber. It is entirely a matter of interpretation and classification. Given all the ascertainable facts in a case (the numerical totality.) the representative of each department in medicine selects, defines and interprets those facts which are of use to him in accordance with the demands of his own department; whether there be several individuals acting or only one individual acting in several capacities.
Individualization.- The practical work of the prescriber in constructing the totality or “case” and selecting the remedy is governed throughout by the logical principle of individualization. It applies equally in the three departments of his work.
1. The examination of the patient. This must be conducted in such a manner as to bring out all the facts of the case. Each symptom, as far as possible, must be rendered complete in the three elements of locality, sensation and modality or conditions of existence.
2. The examination of the symptoms- record of the patient, or the “study of the case.” This must be made in such a manner as to determine what symptoms represent that which is curable by medication, under the law of similars; in other words, to determine, in each particular, case, what symptoms have a counterpart in the materia medica.
3. The examination of the materia medica, by means of indexes, repertories, etc., for the purpose of discovering that remedy which, in its symptomatology, is most similar to the symptoms of the individual patient, at a particular time.
To individualize is to confer particular characteristics upon, distinguish. To select or mark as individual; note the peculiar properties of; particularize; characterize.
“Individualization” has been the burden of the message of every great teacher, since Hahnemann. But too often they have failed or omitted to state the principles upon which the process of individualization is based. They have reported cases illustrating their own personal method of selecting the curative remedy, by which they have attained marvellous results; but they have not shown us fully the inner working of their minds. They have formulated certain rules, but few or none of these rules are of general application. We are like the man from Missouri; we “want to be shown.” We want to known the “why” as well as the “how.” We want principles as well as rules.
It was not because they were unwilling nor that they did not try to reveal the secret of their great skill and power as prescribes. To some of their personal students, with whom they were in peculiar sympathy, they at least partly succeeded in imparting their secret. It is probable, however, that most of these fortunate students received more by unconscious absorption or by intuition than they did by direct verbal instruction. It is doubtful if they themselves always recognized and identified the mental process by which they did their work. It they did, they neglected to *name it.
Simple, even trivial as it seems, the omission to *name a thing or a process, once it is known and used, leads to almost endless trouble and confusion. In its outworking it is sometimes tragical. “A name.” quantity say Hobbes, “is a word taken at pleasure to serve for a small mark which may raise in our mind a thought like to some thought we had before, and which being pronounced to others, may be to them a sign of what thought the speaker had before in his mind.” Names then are contrivances for economizing language: But this is not their sole function. It is by their means that we are enabled to assert general propositions; to affirm or deny any predicate of an indefinite number of things at once. (Millefolium)
Had our teachers of materia medica and therapeutics told us, simply, that they were using the logical faculty in their work, the faculty by which we *reason upon facts and proposition; and that the principles which governed them were the principles of *Applied Logic, we should have been directed at once to the science which, above all others, tends to elucidate the problems that meet us at every step in our medical career and saved us much groping in dark places.
In order to perform successfully the various processes that make up the work of homoeopathic prescriber, he must use his reason in a scientific manner, that is logically; for logic is the Science or Reasoning.
These seem like truisms until we watch to work of the ordinary prescriber and find that instead of doing this, he is merely using *his memory of a few facts and a few inadequate or erroneous rules which he has picked up. This is empiricism, not science. In an art which has to do with the saving of human life it is a crime.
Science is the application of *principles to art and life. Principles are deduced from facts by the exercise of reason. Reasoning is conducted according to fixed laws, which it is our business to learn and apply. To learn how to reason scientifically upon the facts of his department is as essential for the homoeopathic physician as it is for any other scientific man.
Great medical artists, men like Hahnemann, Boenninghausen, Hering, Lippe, Dunham, Wells, Guernsey, Fincke had logical minds, and used the methods and processes of applied logic, perhaps without realizing that they were doing so. They were great by natural endowment as well as by attainment. The special value of their work for us in this connection lies, not in the great number of characteristics and particular indication for treatment which they discovered and published; nor in their valuable manuals and repertories; but in the fact that they possessed and used certain general principles, by the application of which, when they are made known, we, as well as they, may individualize each case and remedy and discover its characteristic for ourselves.
The Art of generalizing.- Analysis, comparison, classification, and generalization are the logical processes by means of which the homoeopathic artist accomplishes his purpose, which is the individualization of his case and the selection of the similar remedy therefor.
Of these processes, generalization, being the synthesis or summing up of the results of preceding work, is perhaps the most important, Certainly it is the one which is least understood and most neglected in ordinary practice; and yet without it, it is impossible to do good work.
The greater includes the less, Generals are more important than particulars in constructing a case and as a basis for prescribing. The generals, which include and are derived from the particulars, constitute the only reliable basis of a curative prescription. Generalizing therefore is one of the most important function performed by the homoeopathic prescriber in selecting the curative medicine.
Mill, in his Treatise on Logic, says : “A general truth is but an aggregate of particular truths; a comprehensive expression by which an indefinite number of individual facts are affirmed or denied at once.” A generalization is the process of obtaining a general conception, rule or law, from a consideration of particular facts or phenomena. A generalization is not possible until the mind has grasped and assimilated all the particulars which enter into its formation. Then they take on form and individuality and are seen as a whole. The mind recognizes and perhaps names the identity, or describes its characteristics in comprehensive phrase. Details enter into minor generalizations, and minor generalization into major until one all-inclusive concept or principle is seen and stated. Such is *Similia Similibus Curantur, one of the most far-reaching generalizations ever made by the mind of man. Its scope no man had ever yet compassed. We have a fair comprehension of its application in healing the sick by the use of medicine, but of its application in the realm of ethics, for example to which it obviously stands related, we have only begun to have an inkling.
*The value of a generalization depends primarily upon the data from which it is drawn. We have seen that these must be accurate and complete. The mistake is constantly being made of attempting to generalize from insufficient, in correct or hastily gathered data.This is as true of the homoeopathic doctor who rushes into the sick room, asks a few hurried questions, looks at the nurse’s chart and makes a “snap-shot prescription” as it is of the pathologist who jumps to the conclusion that microbes are the ultimate cause of disease because he has failed to see his microscope what lies in the surroundings field.
General Symptoms.- *The patient sometimes correctly generalizes part of his own case. This he may do quite unconsciously, as when he refers certain symptoms or conditions of symptoms to his inner consciousness by saying, “I feel” thus and so; “I am worse in rainy weather;” “I am sad, or depressed, or easily angered” as the case may be.
*Nearly all mental symptoms are generals because mental states can only be expressed in generals terms.
Psychologically an emotion or a passion such as anger, grief of jealousy *is a complex state of consciousness in which one or more forms of excited sensibility are expanded, made sensuous and strengthened by admixture of various peripheral or organic sensation that are aroused by some primary feeling. The process by which we become aware of the resulting concrete emotion and give it a name, is essentially a *generalization, subconsciously performed. For this reason mental symptoms, when they appear in the record of a case, are always of the highest rank as material for the final generalization and completion of the totality upon which prescription is based.
The most intimate and interior thing; the things that lie nearest to the heart of man; the things that touch and express the centers of life, are among the generals.
Statements or observations that reflect a man’s state of mind his moods, his passion, his fears his desire and aversion, are all generals because they express the man himself and not merely some part or organ. “The mind is the man.”
Symptoms that express the subconscious or involuntary actions of the mind, such as the manner of sleeping, peculiar or unusual positions assumed during sleep or disease, character of dreams or delirium are generals.
“Modalities or conditions of aggravation and amelioration applying to the case as a whole, or the patient himself, are generals of high rank.” (Kent.)
Particular symptoms, or those which express the suffering of some part, organ or function of the body have a two-fold use. They are the data from which the general symptoms are drawn; and they are sometimes the differentiating factors between two or more remedies arrived at by exclusion in the comparison of general symptoms.
“Particulars that are included in generals may be left out. Nothing in particulars can contradict or contra-indicate strongly marked generals, though they may appear to do so. `Aggravation from heat’ will exclude Arsenic from any case.” (Kent.) (Except a certain form of headache, which is relieved by a cold application.)
Negative General Symptoms.- Absence of certain striking or customary features of a disease may be a general symptom of a case.
Fever without thirst, coldness with aversion to being covered, hunger without appetite, exanthematous diseases without appearance of the eruption, are examples of these negative generals. Every one of the illustrative symptoms given has been determined by the logical process of generalization.
The materia medica is full of such generalizations. There, the work has already been completed and recorded. It is in the clinical cases, at the bedside, or in the office, that the physician must do his own generalizing. Hence the necessity for familiarizing himself with logic and the inductive method in Science.
Grading and Grouping.- Upon correct generalizing depends all successful work as a homoeopathic prescriber. Mere mechanical comparison of one particular symptom with another is but little better than “pathological prescribing.” The simillimum will but rarely be found by either method. As well might a general expect to win a battle by trying to direct each individual soldier in his army against each individual soldier in the enemies’ army. He must grade and group his men into companies, his companies into regiments, his regiments into brigades and the whole into a great army, and direct its movements as a whole. The individual soldier is the until of strength, but the units must be massed and graded and drilled according to scientific principles until they act as one man. This gives what the French significantly call *”esprit de corps.” The army of individuals then comes to have an individuality as an army one spirit and purpose permeating the whole.In like manner must the symptoms of a proving, or of a case of sickness, be graded and grouped and studied, until the individuality of the remedy or the case appears distinct and clear before the mind.
The study of materia medica and the study of disease are conducted in a similar manner, for they are counterparts. The materia medica is a *facsimile of the sickness of humanity in all its phases and features.
Memorizing Symptoms.- The attempt to obtain a practical grasp or working knowledge of the materia medica, or even of a single remedy by merely *memorizing details or single symptoms will always fail. The provings must be so studied as to impress upon the mind and memory an image, or concept of the *individuality of the drug as a whole, so that it may be recognized as we recognize any other individual or person. The memorizing of single symptoms, peculiar in themselves, has its place and value, but it is secondary in the larger scheme under discussion.
When a miscellaneous collection of data is submitted to the logically trained mind for comprehension, it immediately begins to compare phenomena according to some comprehensive plan, in order that it may discover general characteristics, if possible, which may again be grouped in such a manner as to develop from and individuality in the whole. This is generalizing, and is the method employed in the construction of materia medica from the provings. In this way “keynotes” or characteristic symptoms” are discovered. A “keynote: may be defined as a concise statement of a single characteristic feature of a drug deduced by a critical consideration of its symptoms as recorded in a proving. In other words it is a minor generalization based upon a study of particulars. It is not usually a single symptom as stated or observed by a prover in describing his sensation, for that which is characteristic in any large way of a drug is rarely shown in a single symptoms. Thus the statement that the Pulsatilla case is “worse in a close or warm room” is a generalization drawn from the observation of particular symptoms in numerous cases, both in provings and clinically. The same is true of nearly every condition of aggravation and amelioration contained in Boenninghausen’s Repertory, the greatest masterpiece of analysis comparison and generalization in our literature.Experience has shown that most of these “conditions” or modalities of Boenninghausen are *general in their relations. The attempt to limit the application of the modality to the particular symptom with which they were first observed has not led to success in prescribing. Boenninghausen did his work well, and he followed strictly the inductive method. Of these modalities he wrote: “All of these indications are so trustworthy, and have been verified by such manifold experience, that hardly any others can equal them in rank-to say nothing of surpassing them. But the most valuable fact respecting them is this: That this characteristic is not confined to one or another symptoms, *but like a red thread it runs through all the morbid symptoms of a given remedy, which are associated with any kind of pain whatever, or even with a sensation of discomfort, and hence it is available for both internal and external symptoms of the most varied character.” In other words they are general characteristics deduced by a critical study of particulars and verified in practice.
Dramatizing the Materia Medica.- “Personification” of remedies by artistic character delineation is an interesting form of materia medica study for those who have a highly developed imagination.
This attempts to bring before the mind’s eye the imagination, a picture of the drug in human form, as an individual, whose features we may recognize as we do those of a friend whom we meet on the street. The artist draws the symptom portrait of a man. or a woman, as the case may be. He introduces us to a personality. Taking the material furnished by the prover and following anatomical and physiological lines, he delineates a human figure, first in bold and sweeping outlines, then in finer and more characteristic touches which give individuality. Even the mental traits and pecularities are there. True a sick man is portrayed, but none the less does he possess the traits of humanity. We do not love our friends the less when they are sick. They may even possess additional elements of interest for us because they are sick. And so these ghostly forms which the materia medica wizard conjures up out of they “vasty deep” are friends of ours and allies; inhabitants of a “spirit-world” from whence they are ever ready to appear at our behest. Our knowledge of the law of cure and of potentiation gives us control over such spirits, and we may say, with disciples of old, “even the devils are subject to us,” for substances like Crot. or Lachesis, deadly serpent poisons, which in their crude state possess properties simply devilish in their terrible malignity, by dilution and potentiation become beneficent healing remedies full of blessing to suffering mankind.
Generalizing for Repertory Work.- In using repertories, notably “Boenninghausen,” which all Hahnemannian prescribers use, we constantly generalize. We bring together and correlate the partial, disconnected statements of the patient into complete and rounded wholes which may, perhaps be characterized by a single word corresponding to a rubric in the repertory. Take, for example, the word “maliciousness, classified by Boenninghausen under the general heading “mind.” At first thought that would seem to be a particular symptoms; but a little reflection will show it to be a generalization, drawn from a number of observations, Rarely will a patient state, or even admit on being directly questioned, that he is maliciously; disposed. If It is a fact it will be deduced by the discerning physician from a number of facts, learned directly by the inductive process. The same is a true of great number of mental states. We become aware of them in the course of our careful observation and study of the case, by piecing together detached bits of evidence.
Generalizing the mental states is the most difficult of all and requires the exercise of the highest powers of the physician. In difficult cases of nervous and mental disease the physician must be a trained psychologist and a logician, as well as a most alert and accurate observer.
Reviewing and summarizing the ground thus far covered we find that the inductive method in science is cumulative and evolutionary. It eliminates every element of speculation and deals only with established facts. It takes nothing for granted when data are concerned. It ignores no fact, no matter how trifling it may seem. It confines its operation strictly within the limits of the subject directly in hand. Its deductions are always direct, never indirect.It never makes an inference or deduction from a process of reasoning, or from theoretical grounds, but always from carefully observed facts, A generalization made according to the principles of Inductive Logic Stands in direct and logical relation with the data from which it is drawn and includes them in their essential features. It is arrived at through a series of steps or degrees, in which each conclusion rests firmly upon the preceding steps.
The principles which govern the art of generalization may be summarized as follows:
1. The mind must be freed from the bias of pre-conceived opinions and theories.
2. The subject must be clearly defined, or restricted within definite limits.
3. The phenomena must be determined by actual observation or experimentation, with a single end in view; viz, the truth.
4. All the phenomena must be gathered, if possible. No fact must be omitted, however trifling it may seem.
5. No phenomena are to be admitted to the induction of a study but those elicited by its own process in its own province.
6. The facts must be clearly expressed and recorded with exactness and precision.
7. The phenomena must be expressed and recorded in terms of simple fact, free from speculation about their causes.
8. The facts having been ascertained and clearly stated, they are to be arranged in their natural relation to each other and to the subject of the inquiry by comparison and generalization.
9. Generalization proceeds by bringing together similar and related phenomena into groups, considering these in there relation to each other and to other groups, deducing their general characteristics and stating them in simple, comprehensive form.
10. Particulars appropriately grouped lead to minor generalization, which in turn lead to greater generalizations, but always as required by Lord Bacon’s formula. “ascending continually and by degrees.” “The most rigorous conditions of gradual and successive generalizations must be adopted.”
11. Nothing should be deduced from the facts of observation except what they inevitably include.
12. At every stage of the investigation, the analysis of the phenomena must be carried to its utmost limits before the process of synthesis is begun.
The Law of Causation.- The science of logic has an important relation to medicine in the matter of assigning the causes of disease, upon which, as far as possible, treatment is based, If treatment is to be governed to any extent by the idea of removing or counteracting the effects of the cause of the disease, it follows that success will depend upon correct conclusions as to what constitutes the cause or causes.
Many, if not most, of the mistakes and failures in medical treatment are due to the failure to comprehend and correctly apply the principle of logic known as the *Law of Causation.
Everyone is quite ready to agree that “every effect must have a cause.” But investigation shows that very few seem to know, or, if they know, make use of their knowledge of the fact, that *every effect has a number of causes, all of which must be taken into consideration if correct conclusions are to be formed.
Mill (System of Logic) says :
“The theory of *Induction is based upon the notion of *Cause. The truth that every fact which has a beginning has a cause is co-extensive with human experience. The recognition of this truth and its formation in to a law, from which other laws are derived, is a generalization from the observed facts of nature upon which all true science is based.”
“The phenomena of nature exist in two distinct relation to one another; that of *simultaneity and that of *succession. Every phenomenon is related, in a uniform manner, to some phenomena which co-exist with it, and to some that have preceded and will follows it.”
“Of all truths relating to phenomena the most valuable are those which relate to the order of their succession. On a knowledge of these is founded every reasonable anticipation of future facts, and whatever power we possess of influencing those facts to our advantage. From the same knowledge do we derive our power to make the most effective use of past and present facts.”
“When we speak of the cause of any phenomena, we do not mean a cause which is not itself a phenomenon. It is not necessary (in practice) to invade the realm of metaphysics and seek for the ultimate cause of anything.Of the essences and inherent constitution of things we can know nothing. The only notion of a cause which the theory of induction requires is such a notion as can be gained by experience, in the correct observation and interpretation of facts. But much depends how we observe facts. The trustworthiness of facts often depends upon how the accuracy and freedom from prejudice of the observer. Inasmuch as we do not reason from facts, but from *our conception of the facts, it follows that the reliability of our conclusions depends not only upon correct observation and correct reasoning, but upon the truthfulness of our conceptions of facts.”
(Jevons says : “Science is in the mind and not in things..”
“The Law of Causation, which is the main pillar if inductive science, is but the recognition of the familiar truth that between the phenomena which exist at any instant and the phenomena which exist at the succeeding instant, there is an invariable order of succession. To certain facts, certain facts always do, and, as we believe, will continue to succeed. The invariable antecedent is termed the cause; the invariable consequent, the effect.”
“The universality of the law of causation consists in this, that every consequent is connected in this manner with some particular antecedent, or set of antecedents. Let the fact be what it may, if it has begun to exist, it was preceded by some fact of facts, with which it is invariably connected. For every event there exists some combination of objects or events, some given concurrence of circumstances, positive or negative, the occurrence of which is always followed by that phenomena. We may not have found out what the concurrence of circumstances may be; but we never doubt that there is such a one, and that it never occurs without having the phenomenon in question as its effects on consequence.”
*”It is seldom, if ever, between a consequent and a single antecedent that this invariable sequence subsists. It is usually between the consequent and the sum of several antecedent; the concurrence of all of them being requisite to produce, that is, to be certain of being followed by, the consequent.”
“In such cases it is very common to single out one only of the antecedents under the domination of Cause, calling the others merely conditions : thus, if a person eats of a particular dish and dies in consequence, that is, would not have died if he had not eaten of it, people would be apt to say that eating of that dish was the cause of his death.There need, not however be any invariable connection between eating of the dish and death; but there certainly is, among the circumstances which took place, some combination or other on which death is invariably consequent; combination or other on which death is invariably consequent; as, for instance the act of eating of the dish, combined with a particular bodily constitution a particular state of present health, and perhaps even a certain state of the atmosphere; the whole of which circumstances perhaps constituted in this particular case the *conditions of the phenomenon, or in other words, the set of antecedents which determined, it and but for which it would not have happened.”
*”The real cause is the whole of these antecedents and we have no right, philosophically speaking to give the name of the cause to one of them, exclusively of the others.”
The most common, and in its outworking the most pernicious medical error, is to assume that a disease or a morbid condition had a single cause, and to direct all efforts and agencies against that.
This error is responsible for such tragical failures as have resulted from the attempts to treat or eradicate cholera, tuberculosis and diphtheria on the assumption, at least virtually, that bacilli were the sole cause of these diseases.
The mortality in the last great cholera epidemic under antibacillar treatment was the greatest in history. Human tuberculosis under the same *regime continues its ravages unabated, while millions of dollars worth of cattle have been uselessly destroyed in the attempt to stamp out bovine tuberculosis.
In 1915, after about fifteen years of experience, the Department of Health of New York City, in its official Weekly Bulletin, December 18, 1915, announced the total failure of diphtheria antitoxin and all other measure of treatment based upon the bacilli hypothesis to reduce or control the prevalence of diphtheria.
Reporting a conference held at the Department of Health, It said:-
“Thus it was generally agreed that the prevalence of diphtheria was as great, or even greater now as if it was years ago, although of course, (Sic) the mortality from that disease has been very greatly reduced. In other words, although the administrative efforts of the health authorities-that is, the provision of facilities for early diagnosis and the introduction in the number of the Antitoxin treatment has produced a striking reduction in the numbers of deaths, they have been wholly without influence on the number of cases occurring.”
The oriental expedient of trying to “save face” by emphasizing reduced mortality is as shallow as the former claims of ability to reduce and control the prevalency of the disease; for it can easily be shown that the reduced mortality is due more to other causes, some of them purely natural than measures based upon the bacillar hypothesis.
The ridiculous “Swat the Fly” campaigns, enthusiastically conducted in various parts of the country in recent times, afford another example of the prevailing ignorance of the law of causation. Of what use is it to “swat the fly” while no attention is given to the uncovered garbage pails, the reeking manure heaps and privy-vaults and the numerous other filth centers which are his breeding places?
Ignorance or misapprehension of the Law of Causation is the strongest and most serious indictment that has been brought against the advocates of bacteriology as a foundation for therapeutics. Brilliant and successful as have been the attainments of bacteriologists in creating a new science of sanitary engineering, they failed, and must continue to fail, to establish bacteriology as the basis of a true therapeutics. The fatal tendency in this department of medical research to focus attention and effort upon *one cause to the exclusion of all other inevitably leads in to error and failure.
In cholera, for example, admitting the existence and presence of the bacilli as one causative factor, we still have to reckon with sanitary, atmospheric and telluric conditions; with economic and social conditions and habits of life; with means and modes of transportation and intercommunication between individuals and communities; with individual physical, mental and emotional states etc., all of which are essential factors, in some combination, in determining and modifying the susceptibility of individuals to the bacilli; for without some combination of these factors the bacilli are impotent and the disease would never occur. Each of these factors is a cause at least equal in rank with the bacilli, and any successful method of treatment must able to meet all the conditions arising from any existing combination of the causes.
This may seem like an impossible requirement, but experience proves that homoeopathy, with a mortality record in cholera as low as four per cent and less, against a record as a high as seventy per cent under other forms of treatment, is able to meet it. The secret of this success is that homoeopathy does not direct its efforts primarily or solely to the destruction of the *proximate physical cause of the disease (the micro-organism), but against *the disease itself; that is, *the morbid vital process as manifested by the symptoms, using symptomatically similar medicines capable of causing a *counter action of the organism *similar in nature to that of the pathogenic agent, neutralizing its effects and thus restoring systemic balance, or health.
“From nothing, from a mere negation no consequence can proceed. All effects are connected by the law of causation with some set of *positive conditions; negative ones it is true, being almost always required in addition. In other words, every fact or phenomenon which has a beginning, invariably arises when some certain combination of positive facts exists provided certain other positive facts do not exists.” (MIll.)
Thus diphtheria may be prevalent in a community, and the specific micro-organism (Klebs-Loeffler bacilli) of that disease be present in the throats of may healthy individuals; but if those individuals have a high or sufficient resistance to the action of the bacilli, and are not therefore susceptible to infection, they destroy the bacilli and escape the disease. The necessary combination of positive facts and conditions does not exist for them.
The power of the bacilli or other infectious agents is always relative and conditional, never absolute as many are led to believe. The bacilli, therefore are not the sole cause of the disease, but only one possible factor in a group or combination of causes or condition, all of which much exist and act together before the disease can follow.