Schools of Philosophy


Schools of Philosophy like Materialism, Idealism and Substantialism are discussed along with Hahnemann’s approach and view point….


It will be well to take a glance at the various schools of philosophy in order to be able to understand his point of view and identify the fundamental ideas and concepts out of which Hahnemann developed his system.

The various schools of philosophy may be broadly classified as materialistic, idealistic and substantialistic.

Materialism.- ” The doctrine that the facts of experience are all to be explained by reference to the reality, activities and laws of physical or material substance. In psychology this doctrine denies the reality of the soul as psychology this doctrine denies the reality of the soul as psychical being; in cosmology, it denies the need of assuming the being of God as Absolute Spirit or any other spiritual ground or first principle; opposed to spiritualism. Materialistic theories have varied from the first, but the most widely accepted from regards all species of sentiment and mental life as *products of organism, and the universe itself as resolvable into terms of physical elements and their motions.” (standard Dictionary.)

Here we should consider for a moment the meaning of the words “reality” and “substance”. The “dyed in the wool” materialist regards nothing as real and substantial which has not *tangibility. He reduces everything to the terms of physical matter, which is for him the only reality. If he use the words, energy, power, force, motion, principle, law, mind life or through, which represent intangible things, it is to regard them merely as attributes, conditions or products of matter. For him the things represented are neither real or substantial. They exist, as it were, only in the imagination. Because they are not tangible they are not real. Not being real, according to his way of looking at things, they are not substantial and therefore, are not worthy of consideration. The fact that he is compelled to act as if they were real makes no difference in his mental attitude. He refuses to admit their existence as any thing but properties of matter.

The unfortunate thing about this philosophy is that it seems to induce and foster a peculiarly irritating, skeptical, antagonistic and unscientific frame of mind toward many things which others feel and known in their in most consciousness to be very real indeed ideas which are the source and substance of their deepest convictions, highest aspirations and most illuminating conceptions. This attitude may and often does become offensive in the extreme, largely because it is so one-sided, and those who hold it refuse so obstinately to “call things by their right names” To the broader and more philosophic mind the intangible, invisible energy, power principle, law or intelligence is as real and as substantial as the material things which it creates and controls and should be so denominated in all frankness and sincerity.

Idealism.– “That system of reflective thinking which would interpret and explain the whole universe, things and minds and their relations, as the realization of a system of ideas. It takes various forms as determined by the view of what the idea or the ideal is, and of how we become aware of it. (*Vide.)

Substantialism. – The doctrine that substantial existences or real beings are the sources or underlying ground of all phenomena, mental and material; especially the doctrine which denies that the conception of material substance can be resolved into mere centers of force”. (*Vide.)

The fundamental idea of Substantialism is ancient, but the systematic development and application of it is modern.

“The predominant thought of substantialism is that all things in Nature which exist or can form the basis of a concept are really substantial entities, whether they are the so-called principles or forces of nature or the atoms of corporeal bodies, even extending to the life and mental powers of every sentient organism, from the highest to the lowest. (Hall.)

Stuart Close
Stuart M. Close (1860-1929)
Dr. Close was born November 24, 1860 and came to study homeopathy after the death of his father in 1879. His mother remarried a homoeopathic physician who turned Close's interests from law to medicine.

His stepfather helped him study the Organon and he attended medical school in California for two years. Finishing his studies at New York Homeopathic College he graduated in 1885. Completing his homeopathic education. Close preceptored with B. Fincke and P. P. Wells.

Setting up practice in Brooklyn, Dr. Close went on to found the Brooklyn Homoeopathic Union in 1897. This group devoted itself to the study of pure Hahnemannian homeopathy.

In 1905 Dr. Close was elected president of the International Hahnemannian Association. He was also the editor of the Department of Homeopathic Philosophy for the Homeopathic Recorder. Dr. Close taught homeopathic philosophy at New York Homeopathic Medical College from 1909-1913.

Dr. Close's lectures at New York Homeopathic were first published in the Homeopathic Recorder and later formed the basis for his masterpiece on homeopathic philosophy, The Genius of Homeopathy.

Dr. Close passed away on June 26, 1929 after a full and productive career in homeopathy.