PHILOSOPHY VERSUS EMPIRICISM


PHILOSOPHY VERSUS EMPIRICISM. This is philosophic law versus empiricism in action. Man may gather facts from many observations over long periods of time and in many places, but until he arranges and classifies and correlates them and traces their origins back to their causations he will obtain little good from such observations.


Philosophy as defined by Websters Dictionary has several definitions. First: “The knowledge of phenomena as explained by, and resolved into, causes and reasons, powers and laws.” Second: “A systematic body of general conceptions or principles ordinarily with implication of their practical application as, a philosophy of life.” Third: “Practical wisdom, calmness of temper and judgment, equanimity.” Fourth: “A treatise on Philosophy.”.

Empiricism, defined by the same author, has first: “Method or practice of an empiric, especially in medicine, hence quackery.” Second: “The philosophical theory which attributes the origin of all our knowledge to experience.”.

From the above expressed dicta we can see that those who work along with philosophic principles and laws are able to arrive at definite conclusions and results which make for satisfaction and success because they prevent accidents and errors. While those who follow the empiric practice along the thorny road of “trial and error” with no law or principle to guide them on their way must meet mostly disappointment and chagrin. All progress made by man has come by the light of philosophical laws.

No science can grow or expand without a sound philosophy as its foundation. How far would the neophyte and student in chemistry get in an amply supplied laboratory without the guidance that comes from a knowledge of the chemical affinities governing the union of the elements? Trial and error or empiricism would soon bring him to grief, if not destruction. In medicine more that in any other field, is the need for philosophic approach most urgent because medicines are agents fraught with power for good or evil according to the method of their preparation and application.

If they are given in too crude or toxic a form, and in an empirical way or on the theory of producing some specific effect in the organism such as cathartic, diuretic or analgesic action, or if given in ignorance or regardless of what harm may come to the patient, as a sequel remaining long after the specific action has passed for which the medicine was given, then the agents under such conditions are forces of evil and destruction. Most of the so called “wonder drugs” fall of evil and destruction. Most of the so called “wonder drugs” fall into this class: highly specific to overcome certain conditions but leaving a train of weakness and broken health as a sequela lasting over a considerable period of time.

Experience may teach that the analgesic coal tar drugs, barbiturates, etc., can dull the sense of pain for a time; while the philosophic science of homoeopathy knows that such action is not curative but harmful and suppressive, leaving in the wake of their administration suffering and weakness and even more or less serious changes in the normal elements of the blood.

Toxicology, the science of classifying and treating poisons, may enable us to avoid the dangers attendant upon their use.

But homoeopathy will teach us how to use for the benign purpose of cure these same death dealing agents that toxicology warns us against. Homoeopathy has proven that drugs can cure (when applied by homoeopathic technique and principles) the same symptoms and conditions they produce on the well when given in the crude toxic form.

This is philosophic law versus empiricism in action. Man may gather facts from many observations over long periods of time and in many places, but until he arranges and classifies and correlates them and traces their origins back to their causations he will obtain little good from such observations.

When such knowledge is classified and coordinated and traced to causes the results becomes science, which can be employed with certainty for mans use and benefit.

The poet says “knowledge comes but wisdom lingers.” Knowledge expresses empiricism or experience. Wisdom expresses philosophy, the gathering together and the scientific application of such knowledge for uses and development.

Thus we observe the contrast of empiricism versus philosophy in the application of drugs in the treatment of the sick. Then there are other differences to be noted more striking than what has gone before. The concepts of sickness itself are important and fundamental. Empiricism from the remotest times to the present has had changing views of sickness and its origin.

In earlier times apart from physical injuries, infestations of devils and evil spirits were considered the cause of disease and methods for their removal were more or less varied and efficient; talismans, philters and repulsive concoctions of fifth of all kinds were among the common means employed. Even today among Tibetans and other Asiatic tribes as well as among those in Africa and the aborigines of North and South America, these concepts and methods are still practiced with fluctuating degrees of success.

In the enlightened glow of the twentieth century, empiricism substitutes germs, microbes, bacteria, viruses and allergies as disease causes and invokes the power of toxic drugs and laboratory filth in the form of disease-laden serums and vaccines to restore the bloom of health with more or less financial success in the healing process.

Following the night of empiricism dawns the golden morning of philosophy in medicine with its rational concept of sickness and health. Disease is not a material thing or an entity to be cut, burnt or driven away with any material thing or drug.

Disease is but a change of state occurring in a normal, well human being to a deranged or abnormal state of existence, Disease affects first the internal life forces and processes, the physiologic activities, before chemical and tissue changes begin.

The remedies against disease are as simple and subtle as is disease itself. They need only contain the vibratory forces corresponding to the vibratory rates inherent in the sick-making power. The intelligent application of the sick-producing force to the sick individuals body forces will bring equilibrium and health to the individual as his life processes are activated and harmonized.

Of course these processes take place in the unseen realm of physics where all causation of material ultimates has its inception.

It is known that every particle of matter in the universe, organic or inorganic, conscious or non-conscious, from the mightiest sun to the smallest electron, is inherently magnetic and consequently is governed and sustained by magnetic law. It is also known that when the human unity is sick there is change in the flow of the magnetic flux in the body co-existent with his being; and as this magnetic force fluctuates from the normal magnetic polarities of the healthy body back to abnormal rate of disease the state of health will change in unison with the direction and flow of the magnetic current.

The homoeopathic remedy carries a charge of magnetism of a specific nature which can change the abnormal polarity of the deranged life force back to its normal state and action. When the magnetic forces of the organism flow in harmony with cosmic order then health is present. Anything that interrupts or changes the direction of that force brings about disease.

These forces manifest themselves on the unseen etheric plane of nature where all chemical changes in the blood begin; and the blood is the common carrier of all the attributes and ingredients of life; the solar force, the magnetism and electricity, the oxygen and other gases essential to life and the mineral elements needed for the growth, sustenance and repair of the physical body all are carried from the deepest centers to the remotest externals of the organism by this vital fluid, the blood.

The homoeopathic potencies are subtle forces, catalytic in nature and impelled by powerful affinities and endowed with unlimited expansion and diffusibility to bring about their astounding results in cure.

From these facts we can see the ways and means by which homoeopathic cures are obtained and how the homoeopathic law of cure fits into the framework of cosmic law of which it is part.

Knowing these things, the physician can meet the problems appertaining to sickness of all kinds with a confidence and faith which insures success and diminishes the possibility of error and failure because he works in tune to the march of the Infinite. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.

DISCUSSION.

DR. ROYAL E.S. HAYES [Waterbury, Connecticut]: I think that the doctors paper is so clear that even the layman can understand it and I would recommend that he have some reprints made so that we can get some to pass along.

In the last year or two, I have sent around propaganda, handed it to my patients, such as Dr. Greens pamphlet on “Homoeopathic Philosophy and Practice,” and the little Boenninghausen book. Patients are very much interested in those things, and I wish the doctor would-at his expense or somebodys -think about that.

DR. EDWARD C. WHITMONT [New York City, New York]: I think we have to thank Dr. Grimmer very much for this paper. One point comes up here. You know, we ought to be aware that the present concept of science seems to be that you have to collect facts and facts and facts, but thinking is taboo. It is not permitted.

There cannot be any science without intelligent correlating of facts. Nowadays, if you are accused of being a philosopher, it is something terrible. We will not really be able to present our view, as it were, to the world unless we know clearly that it is philosophy that we have to uphold and that a new philosophical concept of science has to arise from us.

We never can present homoeopathy in an apologetic manner, trying to make it conform with the completely-or, lets say, mostly wrong-philosophical and scientific activity of present-day science. Homoeopathy is unacceptable to them because it does not agree with their premises but it is not homoeopathys fault that their premises are wrong. Therefore, the proper presentation of homoeopathic science on scientific lines as Dr.Grimmer has presented will be our task.

DR. ROGER SCHMIDT [San Francisco, California]: I would like to mention a very important book that I happened to read a few months ago which will help us all along that same line because we cannot deny the tremendous importance of the right philosophy.

If you have the right philosophy, then you can expand and you are on safe ground. This book is the book of “Science and sanity” by Korzybski. It is a master work that embodies the new tendencies of philosophy in science and knowledge and a new theory and philosophy of man, and I will bring that subject up tomorrow in my paper, and I am more and more enthused and impressed by the importance of any acquaintance with that new tendency which certainly will save the shattering decomposition of the world as it is going today.

DR. MARION BELLE ROOD [Lapeer, Michigan]: Before we get off this subject of reference to books, there is a historian named Toynbee who has written a twelve-volume work on “The Study of History,” not yet complete, in which he reminds us that all civilizations come to this denoucement: where a dominant minority replaces a creative minority. Our science was a creative minority which has been taken over enthusiastically by its profit side, big industry, and turned into a dominant minority. This dominant minority then succeeds in extorting from the people against their will where it was once a creative minority enthusiastically supported by their full cooperation.

The net result is an internal, displaced, dissatisfied proletariat. Militarism rises. The dominant minority using force creates war and one war begets another war. There becomes on the outlying border of this civilization now in place of our barbarian world, once charmed, the antagonistic external proletariat and when the internal proletariat joins the external proletariat, the dominant minority is all done.

I think the shadow of that is on our land today. May be the external proletariat are the Communists but the internal proletariat is the public to whom we homoeopaths should minister and we are failing in numbers. They believe in us more than we believe in ourselves, and it may be that if the homoeopaths would enthusiastically accept and spread and apply Dr. Grimmers very fine paper, we could postpone this inevitable denoucement of the crumbling of our civilization. but not forever.

DR. HARVEY FARRINGTON [Chicago, Illinois]: Mr. Chairman, as usual, Dr. Grimmer has given us a very thoughtful and instructive paper. I have only one point to comment on and that is his statement-if I quote it correctly-that the vibrations of the homoeopathic remedy are sublet and diffusive. I think it can be proven that the action of the remedy is through the nerves of the tongue. From thence, it is diffused through the nervous system. Whether nerve energy is actual electricity or not make little difference. It is akin to it and it is undoubtedly a fact that the electro-magnetism in the body and in the cells is the same as electro magnetism anywhere else.

Many years ago, Nash said that no remedy ever cured a case of disease. I must correct that. The primary action of any remedy never cured a case of a disease but the reaction in the body instituted by it. He uses this as an argument for out tenet that when a remedy begins to act. it should not be interfered with until the reaction begins to wane. Then another dose may be given.

DR. A.H. GRIMMER [Closing]: I would like to thank the discussants for bringing up and enlarging on the subject.

As Dr. Rood has suggested, I think that we do need to get some of our benevolent propaganda at work. I think there will be something in the line of an editorial in the July issue. I wrote a short editorial on that very thing-on the power of propaganda and showed where we are, to a degree.

There are two types of propaganda-evil and good-and evil brings on wars and dissolution and destruction, while the good propaganda brings on progress and good results.

And homoeopathy is one of the things that lends itself especially to the good propaganda. It is so apt to the time and place that if we will get some of our papers and thoughts together and put that in pamphlet form or in some way give it out to the great public to educate them, we will go places. That is one of the things we have to do. I want to thank the discussants for their reaction to my paper.

A. H. Grimmer
Arthur Hill Grimmer 1874-1967 graduated from the Hering Medical College (in 1906) as a pupil of James Tyler Kent and he later became his secretary, working closely with him on his repertory. He practiced in Chicago for 50 years before moving to Florida. He was also President of the American Institute for Homoeopathy.
In his book The Collected Works of Arthur Hill Grimmer, Grimmer spoke out against the fluoridation of water and vaccinations. Grimmer wrote prodigeously, Gnaphalium, Homeopathic Prophylaxis and Homeopathic Medicine and Cancer: The Philosophy and Clinical Experiences of Dr. A.H. Grimmer, M.D.