The Logic Of Homoeopathy

Before Lord Bacons time, logic was used principally as an instrument for argument and disputation. Little or no attention was given to facts. Directed and systematic investigation of nature was unknown or ignored. Opinions, speculations and theories were used as the material for constructing more opinions and theories. The search for truth ended nowhere.

Lord Bacon called upon men to cease speculating and go direct to nature in their search for truth. He demolished innumerable false systems, and restored logic to its true place as the guide to truth.

“There are, and can exist,” says Bacon, “but two ways of investigating and discovering truth. The one hurries on rapidly from the senses and particulars to the most general axioms; and from them as principles and their supposed indisputable truth derives and discovers the intermediate axioms. This is the way now in use. The other constructs its axioms from the senses and particulars, by ascending continually and gradually, till it finally arrives at the most general axioms, which is the true the unattempted way.” (Nov. Org. Axiom, 19.)

As induction is the antonym of deduction is has been supposed that the two processes are in some way antagonistic. This is an error. They are simply opposite ways of arriving at the same conclusion; two modes of using the same general process, namely, inference, or inferring.

All reasoning is reference, and, in the last analysis, all reasoning is deductive. By inductive reasoning we ascertain what is true of many different things. Our senses tell us what happens around us, and, by proper reasoning, we may discover the laws of nature in consequence of which they happen.

In Inductive reasoning we do the opposite, and inter what will happen in consequence of the laws.

Reasoning a priori and a posterior are not different modes of reasoning, but arguments differing in the character of one of the premises. It is merely a difference of viewpoint. In one we reason from antecedents to consequents; in the other from consequents to antecedents.

True says: “Logic is the science of inference; it teaches how one judgment may be inferred from other judgments. To reason is to infer, hence it is usually called the science of reasoning.”

“It assumes that every mind conceives intuitively some ideas or judgments which are at once primary and certain; otherwise we could have no foundation for inference; and to infer one idea or judgment from others would give no certainty.”

“These ideas are called first truths. They are given by the senses, the consciousness and the reason, and they are innumerable. I exist. There is an external world. This body is solid, extended, round, red, warm or cold, are first truths.”

“At first these ideas are particular, but afterwards the mind unites those which are similar, or which agree in some respect, into classes. This is called generalization. To express this we no longer say this or that body, but body; not coat, shirt, trousers, etc., but clothes.”

To test their qualifications in this respect, I once gave a senior class of medical students a list of garments and asked them to generalize it: Only one man, in a class of about thirty, was able, offhand, to reply correctly, “clothes.” This does not imply that they were ignorant of logic, but merely that they were not accustomed to consciously using the principle of generalization in their ordinary thinking. Hence, they were dull and slow to grasp its significance and importance as a practical method in their daily work.

To show that all reasoning is, in the last analysis, deductive, True uses the following illustrations: “I infer that heat in such a degree as will cause the mercury in the thermometer to rise to the point marked two hundred and twelve degrees Fahrenheit will always cause water to boil; in other words, it is proved by induction to be a law of nature that two hundred and twelve degrees Fahrenheit will cause water to boil.

Now the conclusion is not drawn from any number of instances of the boiling of water, but with a few instances combined with the principle that like causes will produce like effects; for if this principle were not true, then forty thousand instances of water boiling would not prove that another case would happen. But now I know will causes will produce like effects, and I know by observation that two hundred and twelve degrees Fahrenheit did once or twice cause water to boil.

Admit the premises and the conclusion is unavoidable; and to do this is simply to affirm something of a class, then a refer the individual to that class, and then to affirm the same thing of the individual.” “Now the first premise is the general principle, which is intuitively true. The only question is about the second premise, namely, whether two hundred and twelve was the cause of the boiling in the instance observed.”

“The proposition that all reasoning is deductive may be proved by a similar argument using another intuitive principle – no event happens without a cause.”

“Every case of induction proper proceeds upon the same grounds and in the same way. It is, therefore, evident that induction is no exception to the rule that inference is always from generals to particulars, and from particulars to generals.”

“Reasoning by analogy proceeds in the same way, the difference is only in the character of the first premise, which is, that similar causes are likely to produce similar effects, or that things that agree in certain attributes or relations are likely to agree in certain other attributes or relations.”

“It is evident that, in order to reason, the mind must have some general ideas and judgment that are conceived intuitively, and not formed by mere addition or generalization; for nothing is gained by making a class of individuals or particulars, and then drawing one or more out again.”

“Some of the earliest intuitive judgments are: Everybody is in space. No event happens without a cause. Like material causes produce like effects.”

“It is province of psychology to explain under what circumstances these primary ideas are given by the senses, the consciousness and the reason; but logic assumes their existence as the indispensable basis of inference, and its appropriate office is to explain in what way we infer one judgment from another.”

“The process of reasoning, when completed, is found to be simply this:

“Something is predicated, that is, affirmed or denied of a class; an individual is affirmed to belong to this class, and then, of course, the same thing can be affirmed or denied of that individual.”

Jevons truly says: “It is true that we cannot use our eyes or ears without getting some kind of knowledge, and the brute animals can do the same. But what gives power is the deeper knowledge called Science. People may see, and hear, and feel all their lives without really learning the nature of things they see. But reason is the minds eye, and enables us to see why things are, and when and how events may be made to happen or not to happen. The logician endeavors to learn exactly what this reason is which makes power of man. We all must reason well or ill, but logic is the science of reasoning and enables us to distinguish between the good reasoning that leads to the truth, and the bad reasoning which every day betrays people into error and misfortune.”

Examination of the Organon of Hahnemann, as well as of the history of homoeopathy and the life of its founder, shows clearly that homoeopathy is a product of inductive logic applied to the subject of medicine. It is, in fact, the first as well as one of the most brilliant examples of the application of the inductive method to the solution of one of the greatest problems of humanity, namely, the treatment and cure of disease.

Its basic principle, the “Law of Similars,” dimly perceived and tentatively stated in various forms or referred to as a possible therapeutic law by Hippocrates, Nicander, Xenocrates, of the Greek Schools; Varro, Quintus Serenus, Celsus and Galen, of the Roman Schools; Basil Valentine, a Benedictine Monk of Erfurt, 1410; Paracelsus, in the sixteenth century, and others, was conceived by Hahnemann to be the general law of medicinal action.

With this general conception as a starting point, Hahnemann began to investigate. He reasoned that if there was any truth in the proposition that “disease are cured by medicines that have the power to excite a similar affection,” the only way to determine it scientifically would be to give a medicine to a healthy person and observe effects, since a healthy person would be the only kind of a person in whom an affection similar to disease could be excited.

This would give a scientific basis, and indeed the only possible basis, for a comparison between the symptoms of drugs and the symptoms of disease.

Accordingly, as every homoeopath knows, he began to experiment with “good cinchona bark” upon himself, that drug having been suggested to him while he was translating Cullens work on materia medica, in which his theory was strikingly confirmed by repeated experiments, he then search medical literature for records of poisonings and accidental cures. Collecting these, as a basis for further experiment and corroboration, he enlisted the aid of few students and physicians and continued his experiments upon the healthy, carefully recording and classifying all the phenomena elicited, and verifying them in the sick as he had opportunity.

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.