Homoeopathy is a system of doctrines, laws and rules of practice which were first formulated, named and systematically set forth by Hahnemann in his Organon of the Rational Art of Healing. Homoeopathy, while not perfect, is complete in all essentials as a system of therapeutic medication, since it commonly uses medicines or drugs alone to effect its purposes.
Homoeopathy is not, strictly speaking, a “system of medicine” as it is often inaccurately called, using the word “medicine” in its broad general sense. It is a department of General Medicine like anatomy, physiology, pathology etc. But homoeopathy differs with regular medicine in its interpretation and application of several fundamental principles of science. It is these differences of interpretation and the practice growing out of them which give homoeopathy its individuality and enable it to continue its existence as a distinct school of medicine.
Its method of approach to the study of diseases and drug-actions on human organisms—is fundamentally different to that adopted by the dominant school of medicine. It is not a fact as is often erroneously held by medical men, that homoeopathy and the so-called “Allopathy” differ in their “Materia Medica” and “Therapeutics”. Dr. J. H. Clarke writes “Homoeopathic Materia Medica is so unlike anything known as Materia Medica of the old school that it is a pity that a different name could not have been found for it.” By the clinical mode of approach to the study of diseases and drug-actions homoeopathy has made medicine assume it’s true place in being an art—the art of healing, having a life of its own, independent of the nourishment its associated sciences bring. Homoeopathy has a limited scope and sphere of action. It is a science of vital dynamics. Proper appreciation of this fact will explain the difference in attitude of a homoeopath and a so-called allopath with regard to the relative importance of the pursuit of study of auxiliary sciences (anatomy, physiology, pathology etc.) and medicine proper. It must have a separate institution of its own; its method ofpedagogy must be different, in many ways, to that followed in an Allopathic institution; and necessarily the equipment and paraphernalia in the two types of institutions must not be judged by a common standard.
Modern sciences, in general, and medical science, in particular, regards the facts of the universe from a materialistic standpoint; they endeavour to reduce all things to matter and motion. The so-called modern scientific medical man, always tries to enrich his knowledge about life through the studies of bio-chemistry, bio-physics and bio-mechanics, yet, at every turn he is forced to admit that organism transcends mechanism. No complete vital phenomenon has yet found adequate chemico-physical description. Physiology and pathology can never be co-extensive with life and disease. Still, the modern scientific medico refuses to accept the existence of Life-principle, even though he is compelled to admit that, as a matter of fact, organisms require for their complete scientific description certain biological concepts or categories which cannot be reduced to those of physical sciences. Homoeopathy, on the other hand, views the facts of universe, in general and medical facts, in particular, from a vitalistic-substantialist standpoint —which regards all things including Life and Mind, as fundamental verities, having an objective existence, in the Universe.
The field of action for homoeopathy is the vital plane. Our attempt to judge the scientific validity of homoeopathy by the standard of conceptions relevant to the physical sciences, is to commit the philosophical crime of “confusion of categories”. It is a particular attitude of mind, a particular line of correct thinking and a particular method of handling of facts, that constitute science, whatever may be the content of a particular department of human knowledge. Judged according in this light, homoeopathy is as much a scientific study in domain of biology as physics and chemistry are in the sphere of physical science. Hence, the attempt on part of the “so-called” modern scientific medical man to belittle the scientific character of homoeopathy falls to the ground and betrays his utter ignorance about the funndamentals, scope and limitations of what science is. The homoeopathic teacher, Caroll Dunham pronounced homoeopathy as the science of therapeutics, but it seems more within the bounds of strict terminology facts to claim no more than that Homoeopathy follows a strictly scientific method, that it is the curative method of scientific medicinal therapeutics. Homoeopathy is the logical and legitimate off. spring of the Inductive Philosophy and method of Aristotle and Lord Bacon. The basic difference between orthodox medicine and Homoeopathy is that orthodox medicine is science based on causality and therefore subject to the endless search for causes and ever changing conceptions and terminologies, whereas homoeopathy is a descriptive science, based on phenomenalism and not concerned principally with causal explanations. This basic difference of thought which is underlying the conflict of both schools and which is more unconsciously felt than clearly understood, makes it so difficult for the orthodox school to find an easily understandable approach to homoeopathy.