Criticism of Boenninghausen’s therapeutic pocket book. Question mark on the idea of grand generalization….

Homoeopathy is slow to win its way because of the defective use of homeopathy books, as well as because of defective books, thus producing results that are not striking but merely ordinary. There are books in existence that seem to foster the idea of pure Homoeopathy which have done much harm along with much good. The Therapeutic Pocket Book has rendered all our old men a grand service, but it is most defective and yet has caused many good men to shun repertories. It has in most instances furnished only a moderate exhibition of results.

Its generalizing of all particulars has destroyed its worth in so many instances. When we see the circumstance of lying, shall we conclude that lying shall apply to headache, to vertigo, to dyspnoea, to palpitation, to backache, in the same degree? Shall we take the Mag-m. aggravation of liver symptoms when lying on the left side applicable to headache, to vertigo, to dyspnoea, etc., and all in the same degree? Must we have all our circumstances in the same degree in generals as in particulars?

All who have learned the better way look back with surprise at the faith reposed in the Pocket Book. One who is familiar with the materia medica can make very good use of this small book, but it will misguide the young man and lead him to drop the use of repertories, and thereby hinder the spread of Homoeopathy.

When all our books are arranged so that the whole being comes into view, from generals to particulars, when taking the case; when working out the case; when reading the materia medica and when studying the philosophy; then may we hope that our cause will march on by healing the sick and by teaching all who have the desire to learn it and the ability to understand it.

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.