From Hahnemann onward, Homoeopaths speaks of the totality of symptoms as the guide for selecting a remedy. Homoeopaths speaks of treating the patient and not the disease. Is this thinking now redundant?
The study of diseases and drug actions consists of the sum total of symptoms in every scientific medical system. The term “symptoms” in its broadest sense including both physical signs and subjective sensations.Each science though dealing with abstractions, does so deliberately after making suitable conceptions relevant to the purpose in hand in order to make the knowledge of the subject more clear, precise and systematized to give us a wider command over the subject.
The physicists ignore the secondary qualities of substances and deal with their primary qualities only, but in so limiting their data, they take us to a sphere which is unthinkable at first sight and we remain in awe over the achievements of modern science.
The truth from the standpoint of the physicist may not be the ultimate truth, but this also belongs to the truth of a particular order or degree of reality. From this, there is further consideration in the different medical systems currently in existence.. Though each system deals with the scientific study of diseases and drug action and the therapeutic applicability of drug to cure the diseases, their standpoints of study differ and correspondingly their conceptions relating to diseases and drug action vary. The subject matter of all the systems are the same, yet, their methods of study differ; i.e., they use different concepts to explain the factual reality of the diseases and drug actions. Every system acknowledges that diseases and drug actions manifest themselves in and through symptoms; and even logic agrees with it.
That is why Hahnemann was always talking of the “totality of symptoms.’ Evidently he wanted us to change our perceptive view to study diseases and drug actions. In order to bring out its latent implications we have to go to the root of things, just as to understand the nature of homoeopathic truth we had to study the fundamental nature of truth and science and the relativity of knowledge implied in the different branches of science .
Let us study the fundamentals of Epistemology This has been one of the cardinal problems for philosophers of all ages and climes from time immemorial. We will not go into the discussion of various theories which properly belong to the domain of philosophy. Some of my colleagues will accuse me of digression regarding a subject of medical interest. My answer is that we should not take philosophy in its more confined and technical sense. Philosophy in the full sense is only man thinking, thinking about generalities rather than particulars.
Whether it be Generalities or particulars, man always uses the same methodology. We observe, discriminate, generalize, classify, look for causes, trace analogies and make hypotheses. Philosophy, taken as something distinct from science or practical affairs, follows no method peculiar to itself.
The conclusion of modern philosophy about knowledge is that it is based on experience which in its turn is grounded in fact. By experience the ENTIRETY is meant, not the subjective half of the universe as distinguished from the objective thoughts and feelings as distinguished from things and relations, but the undefined, seamless but varied continuum of experience, in which subjects may, by an analytic operation, dissociate themselves from objects, ideas from things, but which is not, in its wholeness, determined and defined by such an operation, to become either subjective, either a complex of ideas and their relations or a complex of physical objects and their relations.