The Logic of Homeopathy

Every one of homeopathy’s 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 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 this 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.

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.