Materialism in Medicine


The materialist refuses to believe anything that does not conform to the laws of time and space. It must be measured it must be weighted, it must occupy space, or he has no idea of it, and ill distinctly affirm that without this it is nothing and has no existence….


Several paragraphs now to be read are scarcely more than a recapitulation of subject spoken of. In going over previous paragraphs I have introduced these points in advance, because it was natural to do so in connection with the subject in hand. I will therefore glance over them until we reach something new.

“In thirteenth paragraph Hahnemann says:

“Therefore disease (that does not come within the providence of manual surgery), considered, as it is by the allopathists, as a thing separate from the living whole, from the organism and its animating vital force, and hidden in the interior, be of ever so subtle a character, is an absurdity that could only be imagined by minds of a materialistic stamp, and has for thousands of years given to the prevailing system of medicine all those pernicious impulses that have made it a truly mischievous (non-healing) art.

The material notion referred to was that existing in the time of Hahnemann. Materialism is still growing. It seems impossible for the majority of men of the present day to perceive. Perception, that is, seeing with the understanding, seems to be entirely lost. The materialist refuses to believe anything that does not conform to the laws of time and space. It must be measured it must be weighted, it must occupy space, or he has no idea of it, and ill distinctly affirm that without this it is nothing and has no existence.

Everything beyond this is to the material mind poetical, dreamy, mysterious. So they look in vain in the material world for causes. You will never find a material entity as in any way causing anything. It has no causative power, no creative influence, no propelling influence. Causes or simple substance are, in the natural state, in motion, and cause motion in the bodies that they occupy; the natural state for simple substance is that of power, of mobility, of activity. The natural state of matter is rest, quietude, silence; it has no power to move unless acted upon. Like the dead man, whose tissues are at rest, it has no action of its own. But the simple substance dominates matter and animates it.

The two worlds, the world of motion of power, and the world of inertia, exist in one. There is a world of life and a world of dead matter. The realm of thought and the realm of matter are the realm of cause and the realm of result. Causes are invisible, results are visible. We see the actions of material substance, but the thinking man has only to reflect to see that these actions that are visible in material form are but result of the cause that exist in the form of simple substance which is invisible to the natural eye but visible to the spiritual eye or understanding.

The materialist cannot grasp this idea, he cannot think in this way. We have the grandest confirmation of these things in the wonderful action of our potencies in the varying degrees in which they operate upon man, from the lowest to the highest. You will discover in course of time that in a large number of chronic diseases our antipsorics will cause changes in the economy, curative or otherwise, in from five to seven different potencies,. In this you have the demonstration of degree of simple substance, and their relation to different planes in the interior of the economy.

$ 14. There is, in the interior of man, nothing morbid that is curable, and no invisible morbid alteration that is curable, which does not make itself known to the accurately observing physician by means of morbid signs and symptoms-an are arrangement in perfect conformity with the infinite goodness of the all-wise. Preserver of human life.

This we have already spoken of. Every curable disease is made known to the physician by signs and symptoms. Incurable diseases have few signs and symptoms, and by their absence the disease is often thus known to be incurable. By watching the patient gradually decline without any symptoms but those which are the common expressions for pathological condition, we see that the case is incurable and is going down to death.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.