Dr Partha P Ray
In the spring of 1755, April 10th Hahnemann was born as the second son and the third child of Christian Gottfried and Johana Christiana Hahnemann at the old, beautiful and famous Meissen in the south east of Germany. He was put in Prince’s school of St. Afra in 20th of July 1767 at his 12 years of age. This phase of school-ship was intermittent. As Samuel’s autobiography suggests, his father used to take him away “for more then a year at a time, so, I might pursue some business more sited to his income”. But at the same time he praises his father saying, “My father had — the healthiest, independent conceptions of that which was good and of man who can be labeled worthy. The conception he implanted in me — he did not seem to have any imposing conceptions of the nature of creation, the dignity of mankind and heir edifying, appointment which stood in the least contradiction with his manner of acting”. This study became continuous when again admitted in the same school from 21st. November 1771 and came under the loving shelter of Johann Müller, the old teacher of Samuel, now became the rector of the school. His name has repeatedly found in his vast literature as his genuine guide and fatherly attitude. This Prince’s school had been established in 1544 and other two glorious student of this school was Gotthold Lessing (1729 – 1781 A. D.), who was famous for the drama “Miss Sara Samphon” based on the common German life. The second was Christian Furchtegott Gellert (1715 – 1769 A. D.) whose poem came as the front page in the first edition of Hahnemann’s Organon. Gellert is known to the history as a poet and novelist. He was a prominent representative of the German Enlightenment whose works were, for a time, second in popularity only to the Bible.
The son of a pastor, Gellert was reared in a poor and extremely pious family. After working as a tutor, he studied at the University of Leipzig, where he became a Privatdozent (unsalaried lecturer) in 1745 and a professor in 1751. Popular both for his work and for his personality, his lectures on poetry, rhetoric, and ethics were exceptionally well attended.
Gellert was best known for his Fabeln und Erzählungen (1746–48; “Fables and Tales”), a collection of naïvely realistic fables and moralizing stories charming for their directness and simplicity. These tales not only had many readers among the common people but also influenced other fable writers. Equally popular was Geistliche Oden und Lieder (1757; “Spiritual Odes and Songs”), poems and hymns that combined religious feeling with the rationalism of the Enlightenment. The most famous of these, “Die Himmel rühmen des ewigen Ehren” (“The Heavens Praise the Eternal Glories”) and “Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur” (“The Glory of God in Nature”), were later set to music by Beethoven and still appear in hymnbooks. Gellert also wrote a sentimental novel, Das Leben der schwedische Gräfin von G (1748; “The Life of the Swedish Countess of G”), which combined the late 17th-century novel of exotic adventure with the character novel of modern literature and introduced the moralistic “family novel” in German literature.
At 1775, Samuel, at the school leaving ceremony orated “The wonderful construction of human hand”, written in French¶ as per those day’s costume, which provides the first hint of his later turning as a medical professional. It was a study of human hand in which the optimistic teleologic orientation of the liberal period he voiced a laudation with fine sensitiveness to the ‘benevolent creator’ of this important part of the body. This orientation is characteristic of Hahnemann; he maintained it to the end of life. A resultant attitude of this was his shift to the University of Leipzig at the ester of 1775 to study medical art. His patron, the physician and counselor Pőrner, had arranged for Hahnemann to have free lecture instruction form Leipzig professors. He had to provide his own support through lesions in languages which he imparted to foreigners and from earnings by translations of foreign medical works.
The first book translated by him is the “Physiologische versuche und Boebachtung” (Leipzig, 1777) which was provided with a complete index to the discussion on the pulse. This was compiled by young Hahnemann only. In the foreword we find him to write, “The combination of physics and mathematics worthy of imitation and for common good, with physiologic and medical knowledge which one necessarily treasures in a Hales, Borell, a Boerhaave and Haller and all who follow these illustrious examples, deserves so much more thanks since the unification of these sciences is too rare and infrequent in physicians”. But this university was lacking on practical study of medicine on the patients. So he shifted form Leipzig to Vienna in 1776 when he mat Dr. Quarine, who helped Samuel a lot in studying the practical aspect of medicine. Truly speaking medical education was at a very poor state during that time. The most famous German university, Vienna, what Hahnemann had chosen for his study, in 1775, only four regular instructors were there for the subject of chemistry and botany, anatomy, physiology & therapeutics and for pathology and clinical practice. Wilhelm Ebstine reported in his paper ‘Unsere Heilmethoden’ that in the famous Gőttingen University, the first hospital was founded in 1781 with fifteen beds for poor patients. There as elsewhere it was also poorly appointed for clinical instruction. In Vienna, Hahnemann attended only the most important lectures and developed himself through extensive reading of the best publications. Here, obviously he secured the foundation for his embarking knowledge of medical literature. Among the Leipzig teachers Ernst Platner may be mentioned. He was essentially a supporter of Stahl even if lie had made certain alternations in his theory. It is possible that the teleologic opinions of Hahnemann became emphasized through Platner. But Hahnemann had chosen this university. This was fruitful to him because here Quarin introduced Hahnemann to Von Brukenthald who was the governor of Transylvenia. Quarin was born in 1733. He studied in Feriburg and then came to Vienna and collaborated in the efforts of Storeck in a small work on Conium. He was criticized and said as an eclectic he was not a path breaker and this book does not offer any thing new. Later Quarin became medical director of the new and famous ‘Allgemeinen Krankenhauses’. Hahnemann left for Hermannstadt with Brukenthal. Brukenthal made his festive entrance in 3rd October, 1777. They had good terms between them because both of them were Protestants¨ and Deists§ in the sense of the then existing interpretation. This is same way truth that after few days (October 16th, 1777) Hahnemann was taken in to the lodge of free masons- at that place. Here Hahnemann studied for one year and nine months as a librarian and become competent in German, Latin, Greek, English, Spanish and few other languages. In the year 1779 he shifted to the University of Erlangen to become doctor of medicine at his twenty-four years.
The theme of the work was “Conspectus adfectum spasmodicorum aetiologicus et therapeuticus” means the causes and treatment of spasms. It is a collection of all the possible causes of spasms and methods of treatment.
As a historical event Hahnemann’s shift to Erlangen and not to Leipzig is significant. The reasons are two; one the disappointing practical aspect of study, that led him to study ‘more from books and less from lecture’ and secondly, at that time Erlangen used to accept less registration fees and required a short period of residence at the university to qualify for the final examination. Samuel’s financial carrier could not provide him that luxury which could enable him to be a whole time student. Then he started his first practice at Hettestd in summer 1780 and his real disappointment began.
We should not forget that the medical world was still corrupted by theories it was away from practical experiences. The middle age dark era was still valiant in the form of cupping, leaching, blistering1. The materialistic consideration Cartesian concept was the sole philosophy over any medical endeavor and Vitalism, slowly but steadily gaining its control over it.
Copious withdrawal of blood by vainesectiond, cupping or leaching was a regrettable feature of medical practice in the 18th and 19th centuries. Blood was drawn in pounds. For treatment of cholera, for example, ‘it must be four to five pounds”, recorded by Dr. Reiser. “If insufficient blood is drawn”, as Bischoff instructed, “the patient is still in danger of contracting a serious chronic disease; therefore it is necessary to repeat vainesection, repeat it until the patient faints”. Even in whopping cough, “bleeding at earlier and more is better”, as Romberg records in 1853. The arch protagonist of blood letting, Dr. Broussais (1722 – 1838 A. D.), whom Hahnemann, called “Blood thirsty physician”Ö and alleged for, “robbing million of men gradually of their life, more then fell on Napoleon’s battle field”, was an army surgeon and senior professor of military hospital.
François – Joseph -Victor Broussais was born in Dec. 17, 1772 at Saint-Malo, France and died in November 17, 1838 in Paris. He is the French physician whose advocacy of bleeding, leech treatments, and fasting dominated Parisian medical practice early in the 19th century. Following publication of L’Examen des doctrines médicales (1816; “The Examination of Medical Doctrines”), Broussais’ system of “physiological medicine” rapidly became the most popular medical philosophy around Paris. His doctrine insisted that all disease originates as an irritation of the gastrointestinal tract that passes to other organs “sympathetically.” Broussais is one of history’s most notorious “bleeders.” His methods fell into dis-favour, however, when his treatment of victims of the 1832 Paris cholera epidemic ended disastrously.
He, for this mania is named as “Medical Robespierre”, who even drained two pounds of blood from celebrated poet Goethe for from a massive hemorrhage. But the physician of Europe and elsewhere accepted this as a convenient treatment of all diseases according to a single rule. They only had to take care “to assuage the pangs of conscience and console themselves that they were not the originators of this system, that all the others thousands of Broussaisuist did the same. As record says that bleeding by leaches was a thriving business in 19th century and France imported more than 41 millions of leaches to supplement to their own production.
These were the seed of Hahnemann’s discontent and subsequent rebellion. This inhumanity unscientifically appalled him. Hahnemann was so disillusioned with the state of medical practice and medical knowledge, that soon after his marriage in 1782, he totally retained practicing medicine – so deep was his belief that the tools he had been given would do more harm then good.Truly speaking this no confidence was ripening from his student days. As we put two reasons for his choosing the Erlangen but one possibility still exists. The 18th century Germany was a century of tremendous intellectual movement. The rationalist school of scientists, scholars, philosophers, artists, dramatists including Goethe (Poet, philosopher, the author of Foust), Schiller (Naturalist), Wolff (Philosopher), Gellert, (Poet), Lessing – all stimulated the entire life of the nation.
Goethe was the German poet, novelist, playwright, and natural philospoher, the greatest figure of the German Romantic period and of German literature as a whole. One of the giants of world literature, Goethe was perhaps the last European to attempt the mastery and many-sidedness of the great Renaissance personalities: critic, journalist, painter, theatre manager, statesman, educationalist, natural philosopher. His blank-verse drama to his Faust, one of the masterpieces of modern literature.
Schiller was leading German dramatist, poet, and literary theorist, best remembered for such dramas as Die Räuber (1781; The Robbers), the Wallenstein trilogy (1800–01), Maria Stuart (1801), and Wilhelm Tell (1804). He was ennobled (with the addition of the von) in 1802.
Wolff the philosopher, mathematician, and scientist who worked in many subjects but who is best known as the German spokesman of the Enlightenment, the 18th-century philosophical movement characterized by Rationalism. Wolff wrote numerous works in philosophy, theology, psychology, botany, and physics. His series of essays all beginning under the title Vernünftige Gedanken (“Rational Ideas”) covered many subjects and expounded Leibniz’s theories in popular form. This was the phase called “Aufklarung” (Illumination / German Renaissance), which brought in existence of freethinking and opining. This was the period of discoveries and many of these discoverers were in contact to Hahnemann. Here a list is submitted
|1||1169||Phosphorus||Brand (German Alchemist)|
|2.||1755||Magnesium as element||Black (1728 – 1799 A. D.)|
|4||1766||Hydrogen||Cavendish (1731 – 1810)|
|5||1771||Fluorine||Carl Scheele (1742 – 1786 A. D.)|
|8||1774||Oxygen||Priestley (1733 – 1804 A. D.)|
|9||1781||Water as a compound||Cavendish|
|10||1803||Atoms have different weight||John Dalton (1766 – 1844 A. D.)|
|11||1808||Atomic table||John Dalton (1766 – 1844 A. D.)|
|13||1813 – 1814||Atomic symbols||Berzelius |
Hahnemann met Lavoisier in Dersden in1786. Berzelius, looking Samuel’s contribution in the field of chemistry said, “That man (Hahnemann) would have made a great chemist had not turned to a great quack. There ware Carolus Linnaeus (1707 – 1778 A. D.) in botany, Georges Cuvier (1769 – 1832 A. D.) And Lamarch (1744 – 1829 A. D.) in zoology, Sir Charls Lyall (1797 – 1875 A. D.) in geology and many more names whose reflection certainly had fallen over Hahnemann.
Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist and explorer who was the first to frame principles for defining genera and species of organisms and to create a uniform system for naming them.
Linnaeus was the son of a curate. His love of flowers developed at an early age; when only eight years old he was nicknamed “the little botanist.” He studied at the universities of Lund and Uppsala and received his degree in medicine from the latter.
Cuvier was the French zoologist and statesman, who established the sciences of comparative anatomy and paleontology.
In 1784–88 Cuvier attended the Académie Caroline (Karlsschule) in Stuttgart, Ger., where he studied comparative anatomy and learned to dissect. After graduation Cuvier served in 1788–95 as a tutor, during which time he wrote original studies of marine invertebrates, particularly the mollusks.
In 18th century phase of experimentation was in turn founded upon the pioneering work of earlier figures as Bacon, Galileo, Descartes and Newton (1642 – 1727 A. D.), who, the first set of tinkers, down the road towards experiments, and away from Church dogma, as a source of ideas and their confirmation. The task of great philosophers, who break through the orthodoxy, is to sweep away the pain staking edifices of their honorable but limited predecessors – who tend to impression through within their own idea but fatally, misconceived constructions. Great philosopher always transforms, upsets and destroys.
Hahnemann, as we know, a voracious reader and a master of at least fourteen languages, over which he achieved masterly while in translating work, which was the only source of his bread and butter during that time, upgraded his knowledge in every day at every field. From his school days he was quite worthy to take his place in literary period of his time, which was also a golden era of literature. Though not a word is mentioned on Goethe or Schiller but his philosophical attitude is expressed through his sentences. Hahnemann’s style as well as his whole personality was strongly influenced by his interest on philosophy. Brought up by his father in the ‘soundest notions’ of what is good and noble accustomed from early youth to think and judge for him. He had developed his mind, from the material offered by ancient language, which in them, lead to a philosophical process of thought, from his school days only. Jean Paul (Scattered Leaves) described Hahnemann as a double-headed prodigy in philosophy and learning characteristics. But it seems very difficult to say which system he definitely had followed. From his school days onwards he followed Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibnitz (whose way of thinking were dominating at the time) and then proceeded towards Vitalism and naturalism of Schelling and Hegel. Wanderlich, in his history of Homoeopathy said that the naturalistic philosophy of Schelling and Hegel actually afforded help to raise Homoeopathy. The name of Kant should be included here. In 1781 Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” was published which, rise him to the foremost position among the living philosophers. It placed him in the firmament of the German Idealists for all the time. At this time Hahnemann was just embarking upon his “systemic disenchantment” with Allopathy and wondering, no doubt, if there would ever be found any clear “guiding principle” in medicine. We see Hahnemann, in a letter to Von Villers, one of his friends, writes –
“I had known for some time that you had made our Kant available at France, but had not considered what an enormous effort it must have cost you to understand even his “Critique of Pure Reason”, as so many German-born scientists cannot fathom or understand Kant —- I admire Kant very much, particularly because he draws the line of philosophy and all of human knowledge, where experiment ends. If remaining part of what he has thought and written had only unfolded itself a little more clearly before inner vision. — If so called philosophers who followed Kant had not written even more mystically and allowed their imagination so much play, if, in one word, they had kept, as Kant wanted them to, within the boundaries of experiences, my fight to-day for the reform of medical science would have been an easier one”.
So, there is no doubt, Hahnemann deeply studied Kant and formulated his ideas regarding Similia in an aphoristic style.
So, at the mid eighteenth century, that is at the time of Hahnemann’s birth the whole medical school of thought ideologically divided in to two segments viz. Materialism and Vitalism.
Materialism can be defined as a belief that says nothing can exist in the world but the matters and its various expressions or manifestations. At the later days this school established a peculiar concept to look the human economy simulating with a machine.
His philosophy of matter and life is to be understood here. The basic essence lies in the natural reality. This can be studied from three aspects i.e. nature, soul and God. Materialism lays stress upon the concept of matter and regards life as a complex physical, chemical force and mind as an epi-phenomenon of brain. Matter is opposite to mind. Mind is un-extended and conscious. Matter is extended and unconscious; it has extension and impenetrability and other more qualities.
Thus matter has, for its primary qualities, the attribute of filing a certain space, i.e. extension, the attribute of excluding other bodies from the space it occupied, i.e. impenetrability or inertia, the attribute of shifting from one position to another, i.e. mobility. When it is composed of many atoms it manifests its secondary qualities as colour, sound, taste, smell and other things.
As per atomic theory of matter, material bodies are composed by atoms. They are essentially inert and devoid of secondary qualities as colour, sound, smell and etc. As per dynamic theory expounded by Farady and Dulton, these atoms are not absolutely hard and inert bits of matter, but as unexpended center of force or energy. They reduce both matter and motion to energy.
So the characteristics of Mechanical systems are –
- The movements are derived from motor forces applied to it from outside; its parts are so adapted to one another in shape, size or position, that they transmits the motion from one to another by external impact and yet by their interaction produces one joint results.
- The mechanical system is not real but only an artificial whole – it has in it no central power or self-preservation. Its parts are brought together and held together, not by a power of self-realization working from within any one of them in the whole, but by many different forces coming in form the outside and passing out from one part to another; a mechanism has no internal unifying and self regulating principal.
- The parts of a machine are all external to one another and having nothing common beyond their being material and capable of receiving and transmitting motion. They must have determined collocation and adaptation.
As per this mechanical concept, human body is a mere complex machine and life is a complex physico- chemical force. Life is nothing but a combination and interaction of physical and chemical forces, which being together the molecules constituting the protoplasmic cell and differentiate into many cells and coordinate these in to organs to make up an organism. It is a mechanical resultant of all the physico-chemical forces of the particular cells and organs in an organism. As per them the living organism differs from a machine only in degree of complexity and not in quality.
As per as the origin of life is concerned, mechanism or materialism says, “An organism is a complex system of physical mechanism” continently prevails in the world; life springs out of matter. This theory is called “Abiogenesis”·. Descartes, in modern philosophy was the exponent of this idea. This will be a wrong statement that this was due to Descartes only, the treatment of the diseases as a disease of the part came through, this concept is far old and found in the literature of Galen also. But Greek school opposed this theory and Hahnemann accepted Greek rather Hippocratic technique due to certain genuine reason.
This is a mechanical belief, which says life evolves out of lifeless matter. Life is not a new and higher power. The complex species have evolved out from the simpler species according to Darwin’s (1809 – 1882 A. D.) law of fortuitous variations and natural selection according to and Lamarch (1744 – 1829 A. D.)’s law of modification of the organism by environment.
In accordance to Greek school Democritus regarded mind as material in nature being composed of fine and nimble atoms. He conceived, the world as composed of material atoms. They are endowed with perpetual motion. Motion is their essence. They do not receive motion from external agent. God did not create the world. The phenomenons are produced by their causes. Nature is governed by necessity. Democritus was the staunchest advocate of atomistic materialism. Another form this school, Epicurus said the world is neither created nor destroyed; it is composed of atoms moving at empty space which have weight. He conceptualized matter as a substratum of soul, mind and thought, which are its mere accidents.
Lucretius, the Roman poet gone in the same way. Hobbes (1588 –1679 A. D.) reduced through to motion of brain. He defined soul or spirit as brain action or nervous substances. Jhon Toland (1670 – 1721 A. D.) regards thought as a function of brain. Holbach (1723 – 1789) regards mind as a nervous substance. Cabnis (1757 – 1808 A. D) said body thinks, feels and wills. Thought is a secretion of brain as bile of Gall bladder.
The support of materialism came in the following way –
- The mental state reflexes bodily response so mental processes are nothing but bodily process.
- Law of conversion of energy supports materialism. In fact, the movement of the molecules of brain cells is accompanied by physical states that are sensation and violations too are accompanied by the innervating of the motor nerve fibers. Now if we look physical process is different from psychological process the law of conversion of energy will be violated. Psychical state is nothing but modifications of physiological process. This psychic force is nothing but a distinct mode of vital force, which, again, is convertible in to psychochemical force.
- The same materialistic concept is confirmed by biological and cosmological considerations. The doctrine of evolution by natural selection seems to add additive evidence. There was one time what modern cosmology teaches, when no organic life exists on the earth. Life has gradually evolved out of matter and mind or consciousness of life is highly organized matter.
- Complex species have evolved out of simpler species according to this mechanical law.
- The comparative anatomy shows a close parallelism between the development of nervous system and mental processes. The greater are the size, weight and complexity of the brain, greater the intelligence.
But still this theory is full of fallacies. They are as follows –
- As per materialism, the world is evolved by the random play of mechanical forces, which attract and repel innumerable self-existing atoms, and combines and recombines in various ways in time and space without the guidance of any intelligent principle. But this cannot explain the unity, order and harmony of the world as well as its cosmic nature and the wonderful adaptation that abounds the world.
- The unity of the world cannot be explained with out an end or goal. But the present cannot be determined by old or from only a part. This is determined by future also. The idea of an end in future determines the present. The world is teleological and purposive.
- Mechanical laws do not apply to astrophysics and microphysics. Mercury moves in an opposite direction, contrary to he Newton’s law of motion. The infinitesimal particles of an atom do not move fixed and predetermined path.
- There are some organizing tendencies in the kingdom of living plants and animals. Autonomy of life and freedom and creativity of mind defy mechanical explanation.
- Mechanism seeks to drive life from lifeless matter. This is called as the theory of “Abiogenesis”. But the protoplasm yet could not been produced by matters in laboratory.
- Mind, its action, thought and perception cannot be explained by this theory.
- Matter and its qualities are known through the mind. Colour is a property of matter but cannot know matter. Involvement of mind is needed for that.
Vitalism, as per definition can be stated as a “theory or belief that the life process possess a unique character that is different from physio-chemical phenomenon and so cannot be defined or explained empirically”.
A living organism is an organic whole of interdependent parts or organs that are intimately related to each other. They are pervaded by the common life of the whole organism. It has the unique properties of growth by assimilation and adaptation to the environment. Self repair self-reproduction and self-protection. This is a teleologicalþ whole. Jhon Carid says,
“A living organism, is not a mere aggregation of parts but it is a systematic unity of member, each of which has its individual space and function. If any one member be served from such a system, both the whole and the lopped off member ceases to be unites and became fragments; they descend in to lower stages, where there is no unity but that of mechanical aggregation. This totality is some thing more than the parts.”
An organism is different from the machine. Machine is an artificial whole that is not intimately related to one another but externally adjusted to one another to realize and external end. The life is spontaneous and autonomous. It is self-active, self-adjusting and self-preserving. The basic characters of organism are –
- In an organism the parts are not externally fitted to one another as in machine, but are evolved by a central organizing power from within.
- An organism is not worked or regulated by an external agent, which puts motion into it from out side but has some inherent power, which is a self-evolving and self-sustaining unity. Organism is never made but grows.
- An organism, to realize its own end, can exercise certain powers, which are wanting in a machine.
As said previously, to explain life or the theory of organism Vitalism came forward. The basic dictums of vitalism are essentially different from materialism. Vitalists urges that organism are radically different in kind from lifeless mechanism, that there is a new life force or vital power which is not present in lifeless matter. Life is a non-material force or entity called “Vital Principle”.
Hahnemann in his vast literature repeated used this word. Some of these are like the following in his masterpiece, Organon § 10 Sixth Edition says: “The material organism, without the vital force, is capable of no sensation, no function, no self-preservation1, it derives all sensation and performs all the functions of life solely by means of the immaterial being (the vital principle) which animates the material organism in health and in disease’. The § 17 of Sixth Edition elaborates “ Now, as in the cure effected by the removal of the whole of the perceptible signs and symptoms of the disease the internal alteration of the vital principle to which the disease is due – consequently the whole of the disease—” -“The § 78 of Sixth Edition foot note 1says, “ — But in later years, after adverse events and conditions of life, they are sure to appear anew and develop the more rapidly and assume a more serious character in proportion as the vital principle has become disturbed by debilitating passions, worry and care, but especially when disordered by inappropriate medicinal treatment.”. The § 246 Sixth Edition declares, “ –degree of every dose deviate somewhat from the preceding and following in order that the vital principle which is to be altered to a similar medicinal disease be not aroused to untoward reactions and revolt as is always the case1 with unmodified and especially rapidly repeated doses”.
Thus Vitalists believe that mechanical laws cannot purely explain the phenomenon of life. The more thoroughly we seek to investigate the phenomenon of life, the more we are convinced that they are initially more complex then they are supposed to be, and that they defy all mechanical explanation in physio-chemical terms. For, the simplest cell, the formless, structure less microscopic matter already shows all essential feature of life, say irritability, motion, growth etc. Therefore an organism cannot be reduced to a machine and life to physio-chemical forces. There is a higher power that coordinates the mechanical and chemical forces, and directs them to realize a common end. They have no self-coordinate power. Without the unifying power of life they are dissipated and carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen that constitutes an organism fall asunder.
As per as the origin of life is concerned, Vitalist theory says there is vital force or life in an organism, which is different from physical and chemical forces, which is superior to them and which controls and guides them.
So, when mechanical theory of life against the vitalism says
1. Vitalism contradicts the doctrine of conversion of energy. If there is something like vital force, it must be on the same level with physical and chemical forces of the organism; therefore there must be a continues transference from physical to vital and vital to physical and consequently, there will be a constant increase and decrease of the physical energy in an organism. But according to the doctrine of conversion of energy, the quality of physical energy operating in a body is exactly proportionate to the amount of materials assimilated from without and o increase and decrease can be accounted for in same way. So there is no place for a special vital force in organism.
But this objection can be refused. First, the precise amount of physical energy, latent or operate in an organism can never determined precisely, nor can therefore its increase or decrease can be determined. Further, the vital power is not a force on the same level with the physical force, but its nature is to select, control and regulate their directions as means to its own end. Life is a higher power then physical force.
2. Many organic products (i.e. bile) once to be product of living organisms, and therefore of a special Vital power, can be externally produced in laboratory.
At a sum the basic difference of Materialism and Vitalism are
- The machine is constructed by an external power; and it is also made to serve a purpose, which is external to it.
- The organism develops not by association of parts but through gradual differential of organs in the attempt at increasing self-adjustment to the environment.
- It grows from within by assimilating materials selected from without and transforming into living tissue.
- It is the whole that precedes and creatively determines the specialized parts of the organism.
- The power or the vital energy that functions in the organism and coordinates its different parts in immanent in the organism and is not a principle of external manipulation.
- The purpose, which imparts meaning to the activities of the organism, is not external thereto, but is rather the immanent purpose of the organism which is self-developing and self-directing individuality.
The distinguishing features of organic existence may be summarized as follows:
- Indivisibility of being.
- Integrity of behavior.
- Self-maintaining individuality.
- Self-reparation and self-reproduction.
These all aspects, the fallacy of materialism and un-explainibility of life through materialism led to Hahnemann to turn more towards Vitalists. Basically the history of Vitalism is far. It begins from Aristotle who thought that the soul was the vital principle; that plant had a vegetative soul (anima sensitiva) and that man had a vegetative, sensitive and rational soul as the source of life. Aristotelian belief of Holism, what was there in Hippocratic teaching, came forward in next centuries. But from the time of Galen, it had started going back to the darkness of literacy.
If we try to consider the revival of Holism we have to take a school of Monterpiller in account. As we understood, the Greco-Roman school discarded the method of teaching of Hippocrates and Asclepides. Galen introduced the opposite cures opposite theory and for few thousands of years the vitalistic school had to take the opposition bench. The religious and church mediated state however afterwards provided some ground for the Vitalists and again they stared looking the human body as a dynamic microcosm of the universal agencies. This revolution reached to a crescendo when Paracelsus on the public brunt the book of Galen. The school of Monterpiller at this phase produces so many vitalists. Among them Stahl6, Hoffman, Berthez and Bechamp is important.
Among the post Glenian and pre- Hahnemanian Vitalist most prominent figure was Gorge Ernest Stahl (1660 – 1734 A.D).
Gorge Ernest Stahl(1660 – 1734). He reintroduced the ancient theory of Physic in the form of Anima Sensitiva (Gr.), means the sensitive soul. He proposed that Anima is the sole force behind every activities of organism. Spirit is the curative power that animates the human body. He is said to be the founder of mono dynamic theory as it describes the single immaterial force to be reason of all activities. He introduced the modern theory of ‘Force Vitalae’and placed its seat in brain and solar plexus. He thought that the vital force was transmitted through the nervous system to different corners of the body.
Dr. Frederic Hoffman (1660 – 1742) proposed that a vital substance (Later supported by Kent) is finer than any matter pervades the universe. But as per him this finest matter is not exactly the spirit; soul and mind and this finest matter constitutes the whole thing. He told that the inflow and outflow of Vital Substance is responsible for maintaining the bodies in a tonic state of balance in health and so the excess or deficiency of this Vital Tonus produces the disease.
Joseph Barthez (1734 – 1806) whose principle works was published in 1798. He said that the Vital Force is not the same as the conscious soul (Anima) because its functions are automatic, instinctive and subconscious. His theory is called duo dynamic because he separated the activity of conscious mind and free will from the subconscious, automatic, instinctive functioning of the Vital Force. He observed the human organism from the viewpoint of synergism and sympathy. In accordance to him it is the synergistic activity of all the bodies dynamic system that makes up a complete human body. This is derived from Stahl only.
Berzelius (1815) one of the founders of modern chemistry. He is especially noted for his determination of atomic weights, the development of modern chemical symbols, his electrochemical theory, the discovery and isolation of several elements, the development of classical analytical techniques, and his investigation of isomerism and catalysis, phenomena that owe their names to him. He was a strict empiricist and insisted that any new theory be consistent with the sum of chemical knowledge.
He told organic compounds are produced from their elements by laws different from those governing the formation of inorganic compounds. This led him to believe that the organic compounds were produced under the influence of Vital Force and that cannot be prepared artificially.
John Brown (1735 – 88) Brown studied under the distinguished professor of medicine William Cullen at the University of Edinburgh, but was forced to receive his M.D. from St. Andrews (1779) because of his unpopularity with his colleagues. In 1780 he published the celebrated exposition of his doctrine, Elementa Medicinae, which was appreciated as much for the purity of Brown’s Latin as for the practicality of its teachings. It was read with attention and was well received throughout the medical centres of Europe. He postulated life depends upon continues stimulation. These are warmth, food, muscular movement, internal energy and emotion. Cullen vs. Brown pen and paper war in this respect is another history.
Friedrich Anton Mesmer (1734 – 1815) was born May 23, 1734, Iznang, Swabia [Germany] and died March 5, 1815, Meersburg, Swabia This German physician whose system of therapeutics, known as mesmerism, was the forerunner of the modern practice of hypnotism.
Mesmer’s dissertation at the University of Vienna (M.D., 1766), which borrowed heavily from the work of the British physician Richard Mead, suggested that the gravitational attraction of the planets affected human health by affecting an invisible fluid found in the human body and throughout nature. In 1775 Mesmer revised his theory of “animal gravitation” to one of “animal magnetism,” wherein the invisible fluid in the body acted according to the laws of magnetism. According to Mesmer, “animal magnetism” could be activated by any magnetized object and manipulated by any trained person. Disease was the result of “obstacles” in the fluid’s flow through the body, and these obstacles could be broken by “crises” (trance states often ending in delirium or convulsions) in order to restore the harmony of personal fluid flow. Mesmer devised various therapeutic treatments to achieve harmonious fluid flow, and in many of these treatments he was a forceful and rather dramatic personal participant.
Accused by Viennese physicians of fraud, Mesmer left Austria and settled in Paris in 1778. There he continued to enjoy a highly lucrative practice but again attracted the antagonism of the medical profession, and in 1784 King Louis XVI appointed a commission of scientists and physicians to investigate Mesmer’s methods; among the commission’s members were the American inventor and statesman Benjamin Franklin and the French chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier. They reported that Mesmer was unable to support his scientific claims, and the mesmerist movement thereafter declined.
This founder of ‘Mesmerism’ also thought that the seat of sensible spirit is in the brain while the emotional disposition is felt in heart and Vital Force is centered in the abdomen.
Like Barthez, Mesmer also thought that the most powerful polls of Vital Energy were in the brain & in solar plexus. A Mesmer uses their linnet healing power to transfer Vital Force to the patient and harmonizes their circulation of energy. Hahnemann supported this.
Franciscus Sylvius (1614 – 1672) the physician, physiologist, anatomist, and chemist who is considered the founder of the 17th-century iatrochemical school of medicine, which held that all phenomena of life and disease are based on chemical action. His studies helped shift medical emphasis from mystical speculation to a rational application of universal laws of physics and chemistry.
Basing his medical system on the recent discovery of the circulation of the blood by the English anatomist William Harvey, while keeping it within the general framework of the classic Greek physician Galen’s humoral theories, Sylvius felt that the most important processes of normal and pathological life take place in the blood and that diseases should be explained and treated chemically.
Being the founder of chemical school, brought the idea of a dynamic, immaterial principle and called it Vital Spirit. Gaul elaborated the idea of separate and independent Vital Principle possesses energy and reactivity.
Rell, who was a contemporary to Barthez, founded the Vital Force is inherent in matter and separable from it. Borden also supported the idea of Vital Force.
Hahnemann, as we have seen, in temperament and development, both as a man and physician, was a strong opponent of materialism but yet he took for his own purpose the basic thoughts of the doubt from materialism. He took up a definite conclusive standpoint from facts of experiment and rejected every philosophical speculation that did not agree with the later‡. For this reason Kant was too impracticably abstract for him and not clear enough in his manner of presentation and Plato only valuable when he speaks intelligibly and expressingly. Roger says, “— for Kant, the truths of the intellect are subordinate to the truths of practical will – scientific reason (has) the right to induce belief”and referring that Laderman (1944) says, “Kant’s influence seems to central”.
Probably this was the reason why Hahnemann put more concentration on translating and less practicing at the earlier days. Yet his first medical observation was published in Kreb’s journal in 1781 captioned “Ein katharrhalische Faulfieber, beobachtet vom August 1780 bis Anfang Februar 1781” treats an epidemic probably explained as typhus. Here the comment comes down from Hahnemann is important. He says, “I have seen a very malignant dysentery and putrid fever which at their beginning through purification, good attendance, suitable diet and assisting drugs were removed without sequels. Indeed I have seen entire epidemics which were held back only through similar only more diversified endeavor as the swollen seas through dunes. — If I also accept persistently unhealthy weather and went and poverty then the remaining blame falls almost solely on hospitals, attendants and physicians who through united bad behaviors are alone in a position to transform average illness into malignant”.
His first practice over Hettsted (1780) was persisted not exceeding then nine months because it was “Impossible to expand himself, internally and externally”. In Dassau, Hahnemann found his practice and here we see him putting his concentration on studying mining technology and importantly chemistry, which has taken a great leap forward since Hahnemann’s birth. He report, “Here I found a better social environment and cultivation of knowledge. Chemistry occupied my free hours and short trips to the mines and huts filled out still evident defects in me”. This was the reason Hahnemann joined to the Haseler’s pharmacy at Dassau where he first time mat a girl of 17, Johana Kűchler whom he married in 1782. Before marriage Hahnemann accepted the post of medical officer “at a fairly substantial salary” at Gommeru. But this working period is also notably less.
During this phase, Hahnemann translated “Demarchy’s art of manufacturing chemical products” (with Struven’s additions, Leipgic, Crusius/ 2 vol.) In 1785 again “Demarchy’s art of distilling liquor”( Leipgic, Crusius / 2 vol.) was published. In 1787 “Demarchy’s art of manufacturing vinegar” was came into the light, which was translated, from French.
Hahnemann’s medical works, apart from the small essays in Kreb’s Journal, was published in 1784, titled as “Direction for curing old sores and ulcers etc”. (Leipsic / Crusius). This was of 192 pages and demonstrates the growing disregard of Hahnemann to the contemporary school of practice. During this time his father died and he shifted to Dresden (1784). Here he continued his study of science with special love for chemistry. Here, through Dr. Wagner, superintend of the ‘Electoral Library’, Hahnemann was introduced to forensic medicine. Hahnemann says, “The late city medical officer Wagner — gave me his closest friendship, reveled to me completely what belonged to the civil physician (because in this art he was a master) and for over a year on account of illness and with agreement of the magistrate he transferred to me all his hospitals”. During this stay (1785 – 1789 A. D.) the most important individual work acme out in 1786 titled, “On arsenical poisoning and judicial detection” (Leipsic / Crusius). The chapter on the types of Arsenic poisoning begins with the following sentences, “It would have been no use to practical medicine to have studied the characteristic type of action of the poison on the human body so I did not undertake to mention anything about the effect of Arsenic poisoning since it is difficult to judge correctly on the dark facts and erroneous theories tend to destroy practice itself. For this reason I shall have little to say and consider nothing as probable which is not founded on several concurring facts themselves”. Another was “Instruction for the surgeons respecting venereal diseases; together with a new mercurial preparation” (Leipsic / Crusius)* whose trail is found in the book “What are poisons? What are medicines?” published in 1806 in Hufeland’s Journal. This book is important for two reasons. One, it corrects the idea of Hunter that Gonorrhoea and syphilis are same disease and secondly, it introduces the soluble mercury (Mercurius Solubilis Hahnemanni) for the treatment of Syphilis.
John Hunter was born in February 13, 1728, Long Calderwood, Lanarkshire, Scotland and died Oct. 16, 1793, London, Eng.
He was surgeon, founder of pathological anatomy in England, and early advocate of investigation and experimentation. He also carried out many important studies and experiments in comparative aspects of biology, anatomy, physiology, and pathology.
Hunter not only made specific contributions of great importance in surgery but also attained for surgery the dignity of a scientific profession, basing its practice on a vast body of general biological principles. In an attempt to demonstrate that gonorrhea and syphilis are manifestations of a single disease, he inoculated himself and contracted syphilis, which may have caused much of the illness he suffered in his later years.
Kurt Sprengel wrote long afterwards on the book: “Hunter’s idea lie at the basis of the theoretic part of a good book by Samuel Hahnemann – Here he recommends his soluble mercury, a mild preparation whose excellent use subsequently proven well”.
Another book was published during this phase (1789) was “Unsuccessful experiments with some new discoveries” published in Crell’s Annals of Chemistry. In 1787 we found Hahnemann to translate “Medizinal Pflanzan” by Kholer. During 1790 he translated, “A treatise on the materia medica” (Leipsic / Schweikret / 2 volumes) by William Cullen and in 1791 he translated Donald Monro’s “Medicinal and pharmacentical chemistry” (Leipsic / 2 vols.)
The fore said book of Cullen, which was the second edition of the same contained 1170 pages, published in two volumes in the year before 1789 what Hahnemann translated. Dr. Cullen was a leading teacher, chemist and physician in Edinburgh and was considered to be authority on medical subscriptions. He was born in April 15, 1710, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland and died in Feb. 5, 1790 at Kirknewton, near Edinburgh. This Scottish was physician and professor of medicine, best known for his innovative teaching methods.
After attending the University of Glasgow and the new medical school at Edinburgh, Cullen returned to Hamilton. He spent eight years in private clinical practice, attending without fee those too poor to afford his services. In 1740 he received his M.D. from Glasgow and several years later obtained permission to deliver a series of independent lectures on chemistry and medicine, the first to be offered in Great Britain. He was elected to the chair of medicine at Glasgow in 1751. In 1755 Cullen returned to the University of Edinburgh, where he was later appointed to the chair of the institutes (theory) of medicine and eventually became sole professor of medicine, the position he held until shortly before his death.
Cullen taught that life was a function of nervous energy and that muscle was a continuation of nerve. He organized an influential classification of disease (nosology) consisting of four major divisions: pyrexiae, or febrile diseases; neuroses, or nervous diseases; cachexiae, diseases produced by bad bodily habits; and locales, or local diseases. He was most famous, however, for his innovative teaching methods and forceful, inspiring lectures, which drew medical students to Edinburgh from throughout the English-speaking world. He was one of the first to teach in English rather than in Latin, and he delivered his clinical lectures in the infirmary, lecturing not from a text but from his own notes.
Hahnemann translated this book with much labor and ultimately the Cinchona bark (Cortex Peruvians) came and the history began. Hahnemann denied Cullen’s statement that its action depends on its tonic effect on the stomach. He roved the drug upon own-self and seen the effect of the drug upon healthy human being for the first time. A footnote by Hahnemann in the translation on the question of the efficacy of Cinchona bark as a tonic for the stomach read:
“ By combination the strongest bitters an d the strongest astringents we can obtain a compound, which, in small does, possesses much more of both of the principles then china bark, and yet no fever specific can be made from such a compound. The undiscovered principal is not easy to find”. In another note he added, “Peruvian bark, which is used s a remedy for intermittent fever, acts because it can produce similar symptoms to these intermittent fever in healthy people”.
On a different tack, in another annotation by Hahnemann in Cullen’s work renewed his attack on the diabolical practice of blood letting and purging. In 1792 put a new attack in Der Anzeiger and ultimately “Essay on a new principle for ascertaining the curative power of the drugs” published in the Hufeland’s journal for the practicing physician Vol. 2, pts. 3, 4.This was for the first time, public announcement of the new principals guiding Homoeopathy. As per Haehl, “the fact remains that 1796 is the year of birth of Homoeopathy”. Interestingly, Edward Jenner became successful in the same year.
The word Homeopathy was derived by Hahnemann by some years later from the Greek words, “homoeos” – similar and “pathos” – diseases thus “similar diseases” or the treatment of like with a like. Though the name homoeopathy was not supported by number of homoeopaths on later days, as it cannot bring the basic essence in light. The names like homoeosympathy, homoeodynamics (Dr. Wiss), idiopathic mode of treatment, dynamo-therepy, homoeo-therapeia, Hahnemannianism, homoeo-pharma-copathy and etc are proposed. But Hahnemann himself used this term. This word appeared for the first time in the essay entitled “Indications of the homoeopathic employment of medicines in ordinary people” published in Hufeland’s journal in 1807.
The definition of Homoeopathy can be like the following – This is defined as the therapeutic art, which tries to stimulate the rational mode of the patient by administering a remedy analogous in potentize micro dose, which has been determined by cortico – viseral – pharmadynamic research in sub toxic dose having provoked same morbid phenomenon in a normo-physical individual.
In this way the first and the basic doctrine of Homoeopathy was formed; what one can produce that it can cure. His literary works were continued and the basics of Homoeopathic therapy came out in various articles. Among these “Aesculapius in the balance” (Arnold/ Dresden) published in 1805. “Medicine of experience” (Berlin/ Wittig, Hufeland’s journal, Vol. 22 pt. 3) was published in 1806 (at the year of 1805). “Essay on New Principles” and “Medicine of Experience” may be regarded as the precursor of Organon. Another book must be maintained tilled; “Indications of the homoeopathic employment of medicines in ordinary practice” published in 1807in Hufeland’s journal, which is refrained as the preface of Organon in second and third edition. In 1805 another masterpiece named “Fragmenta de viribus medicamentorum positivis, sive in sano corpore humano observatis”(Leipsic / Berlin). This book contains two parts. The first part contains proven symptoms of 27 drugs* and the second part contains a list; index or repertory. The treatise, “On the value of speculative system of medicine, especially in connection with the various system of practice ” published in 1808, Hahnemann shown his accurate knowledge of the history of healing art in the different systems. Ultimately the Organon of rational art of healing (Dresden was published in 1810) containing the basic essence of Homoeopathy.
The basic essence, as understood those days, was summarized by Hufeland, Hahnemann’s most distinguished contemporary. These are –
- I.It will attract attention to all the important question of individualization.
- II.It will help to bring dietetics back to its own.
- III.It will prohibit large doses of medicine.
- IV.It will lead to simplification of prescription.
- V.It will lead to more accurate testing and determination of the effect of remedies on the living subject as it has to a certain extent has already done.
- VI.The homoeopathic process will direct attention more to the preparation and bring about a stricter supervision of the apothecaries.
- VII.It will never do positive injuries.
- VIII.It will give the sick organism more time for quite and undisturbed self-help.
- IX.It will lessen the cost of suffering to an extraordinary result.
Literal meaning of the word Organon is Literal work, Instrument of Thought, System of logic, A Method of Scientific Investigation.
The first edition of the Organon (1810) began a revolution in the healing arts. The innovative philosophy of the new medicine was vehemently rejected by the orthodox medical community of the day. The Founder’s son, Dr. Frederick Hahnemann (1786-?), was chosen by his father to defend the Organon against the bitter criticism of a notable named Hecker. Father Hahnemann and his son stood side by side in introducing and defending the early homoeopathic healing art.
Hecker attack his opponents on a broad basis. He proceeds from Fregmenta, setting out all sorts of details in it, without even endeavoring to acknowledge Hahnemann. He finds fault that Hahnemann has proven only twenty seven drugs entirely overlooking or much more not wishing to see what a great work was contained there in. He criticized Hahnemann saying, “The body and spirit of a man who arranges such tests on himself must be very soon shattered to such degree that he can by no means be regarded as a healthy person”.
The reply titled “Widerlegung der Anfalle Hecker” came out in 1811 under the name of Friedrich, the 27 years old son of Hahnemann. The article says, “The most sever symptoms he (Samuel Hahnemann) observed in persons who from lack of knowledge or accidentally had swallowed an excessive amount of the individual drug – never has my father exposed himself or others to such dangerous results of great doses of drugs”.
Organon can be defined as a book or a very long article written in Aphorisms that contains a thorough study of the medical history up to the time of Hahnemann and describes the rules and regulations that governs the System Called Homoeopathy.
So Organon describes two things:
1. The conditions with evolution of the Medical practice from eternal time that led him to write Organon.
2. The basic /Fundamental principles that governs the system of Homoeopathy.
From the nine points of Hufeland and also various literatures including Organon the doctrines can be divided in two essential parts. The first part is basic which directly joined with the nature of treatment, application as well as the philosophical thought behind such application and the second part came out from working, observing the action of the drugs in sick person. The doctrines are as follows:
- Law of Similia.
- Holistic Concept.
- Doctrine of Individualization.
- Doctrine of Causation.
- Theory of Vital Force.
- Law of Simplex.
- Law of Minimum.
- Doctrine of Drug Proving.
- Doctrine of Drug Dynamization.
Dr. Partha P. Ray M.D. (Hom.) M.Sc. (Applied Psychology) P.G.D.G.C. Dept. of Organon of medicine & Hom. Philosophy Panchasheel Homoeopathic Medical College, Hospital & P. G. Institute, Khamgaon, M. S. India
- § a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe
- ·The hypothetical process by which living organisms develop from nonliving matter; also, the archaic theory that utilizes this process to explain the origin of life. Pieces of cheese and bread wrapped in rags and left in a dark corner, for example, were thus thought to produce mice, according to this theory, because after several weeks, there were mice in the rags. Many believed in spontaneous generation because it explained such occurrences as the appearance of maggots on decaying meat. By the 18th century it had become obvious that higher organisms could not be produced by nonliving material. The origin of microorganisms such as bacteria, however, was not fully determined until Pasteur proved in the 19th century that microorganisms reproduce. / Britannica