Does Homoeopathy Fulfill conditions of Sci of Theraps Returning now to our argument, we find that the field is open for a science of Therapeutics. In the light of what has been said we proceed to examine the claims of Homoeopathy to the honor of being that science.
In its structure as a science, Homoeopathy conforms to the model we have delineated. It consists of a law or formula which expresses the relation between two series of phenomena, those of a given case of disease on the one hand and those of a given drug-proving on the other. The elaboration of each of these series is the province of various subsidiary sciences, and they are analogous in their mode of elaboration. Each series, however, is entirely independent of the other. Each may be pursued independently, as a branch of Natural Science and under the heads of Pathology and Pathogenesy respectively, researches may be made in each without any view to a practical application in the cure of the sick. It is only when connected by the law of their relation (the formula of similarities) that they constitute the science of Therapeutics.
Their application, moreover, in obedience to this law is based upon no hypothesis respecting the essential nature of either variety of phenomena or of their modus operandi where brought into operation. This may surprise some who know how earnestly Hahnemann argued on these very points in his Organon. But these arguments were no essential part of his system. They were the result of an endeavor to commend his discovery to the prevalent way of thinking. They constitute the only controvertible part of his writings, and are the only positions of his which have not triumphantly withstood the assaults of his critics.
Coming now to apply to Homoeopathy, as tests, the conditions to which we have shown that every inductive science must conform, we find in the first place that it is capable of infinite progress in each of its elements, without such progress involving the destruction or denial of what has been previously constructed or received. The study of the phenomena (whether of disease or of drug-action) was limited at first to the observation of external manifestations and subjective sensations as these might present themselves to our senses unassisted by any of the aids by which modern science has sharpened them, or to our minds relations and dependences of symptoms for which we are indebted to modern discoveries in Chemistry and Pathology. But these advances in Pathology, great as they have been have not altered the relation which the phenomena of natural disease bear to those of drug-disease. There phenomena respectively, whether rudely apprehended, or clearly and fully understood in all their relations and inter-dependences, still bear the same relation to each other- expressed by the law Similia Similibus Curantur. And we can imagine no possible Similibus Curantur. And we can imagine no possible development of the sciences of Pathology and Pathogenesy which could alter this relation.
And then the law itself may be but a stepping-stone to a still wider generalization which shall one day embrace both it and something besides, and which shall make clear some things which we now see darkly. But should this occur, as the like has occurred in other Natural Sciences, there will be, there can be, no revolutionary action in it. It may be that the edifice, as we now occupy it, is still unfinished, it may be that other stories are one day to be added, but assuredly, as the tower is to the spire, as the buttress to the pinnacle, so will this generalization be to that which may be constructed upon it, a basis, an indispensable first step in the construction of the science.
The complete manner in which the second condition that of prevision-us fulfilled by Homoeopathy is a source of inexpressible benefit to the race. It follows, from the very terms of the science, that if the phenomena of a given case of disease be known, the law of relation will at once point to the appropriate remedy (if this be contained in the Materia Medica); and this indication may be relied upon with implicit confidence, even though no such case of disease ever heretofore been subjected to treatment.
Conversely, when the properties of a given drug been investigated and its toxic phenomena well ascertained, the physician is able to pronounced with certainty what form of disease it will cure, even though no such disease has ever been witnessed or treated by himself, or by anybody. An illustrious example of this prevision was afforded by Hahnemann. The terrible fatality of Asiatic Cholera, on its first invasion of Europe, is well known. In extenuation of their lack of success, physicians of the Old-School pleaded that the disease was new to them, they had had no opportunities to study it, and to ascertain by experiment the effects of remedies upon it. The plea was plausible, but fatal to the pretensions of their science. In fact, it was good for nothing. For surely the first thousand cases should have afforded means enough for learning the Pathology of the disease and how to cure it, if this were to be learned from Pathology. But hundreds of thousands perished, and yet the percentage of mortality remained the same.