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Date posted: January 19, 2013

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.

Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.

The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.

The term philosophy is taken from the Greek word phileo meaning “to love” and sophia meaning wisdom. Thus, philosophy means “the love of wisdom”. Socrates, a Greek philosopher, used the term philosophy as an equivalent to the search for wisdom.

BRANCHES OF PHILOSOPHY

  1. Metaphysics
  2. Epistemology
  3. Logic
  4. Ethics
  5. Aesthetics
  6. Social and political

METAPHYSICS  :  The word metaphysics means beyond physics. Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world.it attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms

  1. What is there?
  2. What is it like?

The metaphysician attempts to clarify the fundamental notions by which people understand the world, e.g., existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility.

       BRANCHES OF METAPHYSICS

  • ontology, the investigation into the basic categories of being and how they relate to each other.
  • cosmology, the study of the totality of all phenomena within the universe.

The study is based upon acquiring knowledge by
1. Materialism:
everything is explained in terms of matter. Monistic concept of matter is followed in materialism.
2. Idealism: every thing exists because of some supreme idea. The defect of this concept is that, we cannot formulate an idea without previous experience. To meet with this problem, the idealists believed in the concept of ‘God’ as a supreme power (Plato)
3. Mechanism: ’State of being’ is explained on the basis of purely mechanical forces. Things were explained on the basis of physico-chemical laws, mass, particle and atomic theory.
4. Teleology: every thing in the universe is created for some purpose.

HISTORY

Pre-Socratic metaphysics in Greece
Thales aimed to explain natural phenomena via a rational explanation that referenced natural processes themselves rather than assuming that they were the result of supernatural processes. He assumed that theWater is a first principle.Thales also taught that the world is harmonious, has a harmonious structure, and thus is intelligible to rational understanding.

Socrates and Plato
Socrates is known for his dialectic or questioning approach to philosophy.Socrates favoured truth as the highest value, proposing that it could be discovered through reason and logic in discussion:The purpose of the dialectic method of reasoning is resolution of disagreement through rational discussion, and, ultimately, the search for truth.

 His pupil, Plato is famous for his theory of forms. Platonic realism is a philosophical term usually used to refer to the idea of realism regarding the existence of universals or abstract objects

Aristotle : Plato’s pupil Aristotle wrote widely on almost every subject, including metaphysics.

Aristotle’s branching
Aristotle’s Metaphysics was divided into three parts, which are now regarded as the proper branches of traditional Western metaphysics:

  • ONTOLOGY :   The study of being and existence; includes the definition and classification of entities, physical or mental, the nature of their properties, and the nature of change.
  • NATURAL THEOLOGY    : The study of a God or Gods; involves many topics, including among others the nature of religion and the world, existence of the divine, questions about Creation, and the numerous religious or spiritual issues that concern humankind in general.
  • UNIVERSAL SCIENCE   :  The study of first principles, such as the law of noncontradiction, which Aristotle believed were the foundation of all other inquiries. It states that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e.g. the two propositions “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive.

EPISTEMOLOGY
It is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. It questions what knowledge is, how it is acquired, and to what extent it is possible for a given subject or entity to be known.Much of the debate in this field has focused on analyzing the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions such as truth, belief, and justification.

Belief faith (trust) that something will prove to be useful or successful. To believe that the sky is blue is to accept the proposition “The sky is blue” as true, even if one cannot see the sky. To believe is to accept as true.

Truth it is a fact or reality. Epistemologists argue over whether belief is the proper truth-bearer

Justification knowledge is justified true belief, in order to know that a given proposition is true, one must not only believe the relevant truth, but one must also give good reasoning for doing so.

BRANCHES OF EPISTEMOLOGY

  • Empiricism it is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily from experience. It gives importance to evidence, experimentation and observation.
  • Skepticism it is the complete justification of the truth. In order to completely prove any statement, its justification itself needs to be supported by another justification. This chain can do three possible options
    •  infinitism, where this chain of justification can go on forever.
    • foundationalism, where the chain of justifications eventually relies on basic beliefs or axioms that are left unproven.
    • coherentism, is making the chain circular so that a statement is included in its own chain of justification
  • Idealism the theories are mentally constructed or immaterial.
  • Rationalism states that reason is a source of knowledge or justification”. In more technical terms, it is a method or a theory “in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive”
  • Constructivism it is a view in philosophy according to which all knowledge is a compilation of human-made constructions not the neutral discovery of an objective truth.

LOGIC
Logic is the study of the principles of correct reasoning. It is the  study of principles and methods of reasoning or arguments and conclusions. Conclusions are formed from these arguments.

Aristotle was the first person to use use  “ logic “ as the subject of reasoning. The Organon is the standard collection of Aristotle’s six works on logic. The Novum Organumis a philosophical work by Francis Bacon. In this he mentioned about different types of logic.

Important  properties the logical systems

  • Consistency  :  which means that no theorem of the system contradicts another.it must not be subjected to changes
  • Validity  :  the logic must be valid and true so that the inference acquired after the application of that logic will never go wrong.
  • Completeness  :  the logic must be complete in all aspects andnothing needs to be added to it.
  • Soundness  :  having the property of preserving truth.it also describes the completeness and validity of the statement.

Logic is often divided into three parts, inductive logic, abductive logic, and deductive logic

Inductive logic
It is also called”bottom-up” logic. It derives a general conclusion from a particular examples. inductive reasoning allows  the possibility that the conclusion is false, even if all of the premises are true.

EX  :  All of the swans we have seen are white.Therefore, all swans are white.

Deductive logic
It is also called”top-down” logic.in this particular conclusions are made from universal general statement. The conclusion derived at the end is necessarily true.

EX  :  All oranges are fruits
All fruits grow on trees
Therefore, all oranges grow on trees

Abductive logic
It accounts for data description of a statement to a hypothesis that accounts for the reliable data and seeks to explain relevant evidence.

EX  :    data statement—-the soil is wet

          Hypothesis——it rained yesterday.

          Inference—–it rained yesterday that’s the reason why the soil is wet.

ETHICS :
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy  that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. It is concerned with human conduct, character and values. Ethics helps to differentiate between good and bad or right and wrong.

AESTHETICS :
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty, and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is a “critical reflection on art, culture and nature                  It includes sculptures,art,literature,painting,music, of different cultures and regions.

SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY  :
It  is the study of government and the relationship of individuals to communities including the state. It includes questions about justice, law, property, and the rights and obligations of the citizen. Politics and ethics are traditionally inter-linked subjects, as both discuss the question of what is good and how people should live.

HOMOEOPATHIC PHILOSOPHY
The olden day medicine was dominated by materialistic concepts.people used to believe that the removal of the material cause removes the disease.according to the  “germ theory of disease”  micro organisms were considered as the cause of infectious diseases. The old school of medicine dealt with only ultimates of disease. They only treat the changes in tissues or organ,they can only perceive what they see with their eyes. Their treatment is entirely based on the removal of the material cause. Old fashioned system is completely based on medicine of experience. They used to conduct a series of experimients on animals and came through different theories and doctrines. Their experimentation is not based on definite laws or principles,their theories are ever changing or kaleidoscopic changing every year. Their treatment also included painful procedures like blood letting,leeching,venesection,surgical removal of the affected part etc.

Dissatisfied with the mode of medication of his time Dr.Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann created a system of alternative medicine called homeopathy.

Hahnemann who was born in Meissen, Germany  on 10th april 1755 completed his MD from Erlangen university in 1779 began to practice the olden medical system. He then observed that the medicine he had been taught to practice did the patient more harm than good. He then gave up his practice and made his living chiefly on translating books. In 1970 while translating William Cullen’s  “a treatise on material medica” he came through a line that cinchona bark is effective in treating malaria due to its bitterness. Hahnemann  was not satisfied with this statement. He experimented the drug on himself and observed that it produced similar symptoms like malaria. He concluded that it would do so in any healthy individual. This led him to postulate a healing principle: “that which can produce a set of symptoms in a healthy individual, can treat a sick individual who is manifesting a similar set of symptoms. After experimenting with other drugs in the same manner, and then clinically practicing their results he proposed the law of homeopathy: “Like Cures Like,” or in Latin, “Similia Similibus Curantur.”

In the history Hippocrates (460 – 350B.C.), regarded as the “father of medicine,” who authored the Hippocratic oath, wrote, “By similar things a disease is produced and through the application of the like is cured.” Aristotle (384 – 322B.C.) knew the principle as well, and wrote, “Often the simile acts upon the simile.” It was Samuel Hahnemann who developed this natural law into a profound and unprecedented healing science called Homeopathy.

Homoeopathy is based on inductive method of reasoning. This inductive logic requires

  1. Exact observation : Hahnemann’s honest disappointment with practice of medicine made him to quit practice and he turned to translations. His  observation on the effect of cinchona bark and experimentation with medicinal substances made him understand the ability of the drug to produce symptoms on one hand and the symptoms of the patient on the other.
  2. Correct interpretation  : Thorough study of the phenomenon produced by the experiments or provings on different groups,age,sex reduced the probability of error in observation.
  3. Rational explanation  :  Explaining the observed facts by referring  them with known natural laws.
  4. Scientific construction  :  Putting the facts in such coordination that system reached shall agree with reality. He applied the principles evolved from inductive reasoning and correlated them with experiments he conducted. 

Hahnemann discussed about principles of homoeopathy,analysis of other modes of treatment,qualities  and duties of a physician,proving of drugs on healthy humanbeings,classification of diseases,selection of remedy,dosage,causes of disease,and auxillary methods of treatment in his book ORGANON OF MEDICINE in the form of aphorisms.

The word ORGANON was derived from greek word  ‘organum’ which means a literary work,system of logic.this word was first used by greek philosopher ARISTOTLE. Later LORD FRANCIS BACON wrote a book on logic “novum organum’.

Hahnemann also preached the fundamental principles on which homoeopathy is based

LAW OF SIMILIA  :  Homoeopathy is based onSIMILIA SIMILIBUS CURANTUR which means likes cure like.It is derived from greek word  ‘homoeos’ means similar and ‘pathos’ means suffering.he mentioned about this in $ 26

A weaker dynamic affection is permanently extinguished in the living organism by a stronger one, if the latter (whilst differing in kind) is very similar to the former in its manifestations.

And in $ 29 how a homoeopathic cure takes place as MODUS OPERANDI.

LAW OF SIMPLEX   : in $272 hahnemann states that only one single,simple,medicinal substance should be administered in a given case at a time.

  • Remedies were proved singly
  • Only one remedy similar at a time
  • If more than one remedy given pure effect of the remedy cannot be observed
  • Vital force which is governing the material body is single and dynamic.

LAW OF MINIMUM   : under this principle the given medicine should in a very minute dose.this can be achieved by a process of potentisation or drug dynamisation. In this the quantity of the medicine is decreased and the quality of the given medicine is increased. The advantages of minimal dose are

  • To avoid unwanted aggravation
  • To increase the dynamic action of the given remedy
  • This concept of minimal dose can also be verified by ARNDT-SCHULTZ LAW that small doses stimulate,medium doses paralyse,ang large doses kill.
  • Accoding to Fincke ‘the quality of the action of homoeopathic remedy is determined by its quantity in inverse ratio’.

DOCTRINE OF DRUG PROVING  :  Hahnemann explained about drug proving from $ 105-145. It is a systematic investigation of pathogenetic powers of medicine on healthy human beings of different ages,both sexes,and various constitutions.Ideal prover must be healthy, intelligent, delicate, sensitive,lover of truth,unprejudiced.

benefits of proving on humans

  •  Subjective and mental symptoms can be understood
  • We can get the pure symptoms of the drug
  • Action of drug on sick person is different from healthy person.

THEORY OF CHRONIC DISEASES   : Hahnemann added the theory of chronic disease in 4th edition of organon. Inspite of the best homoeopathic treatment Hahnemann observed that there was recurrence of chronic diseases.this led him to investigate into number of chronic diseases and after 12 years of observation he came to a conclusion that chronic diseases were due to chronic miasms. The word ‘MIASM’ was originated from greek word miasma which means  ‘a polluting agent’. The chronic miasms are

  • PSORA  :  it is the fundamental cause and producer of innumerable number of diseases. It is manifested externally as cutaneous itching eruptions.
  • SYPHILIS  : characterized by granulation, degeneration, and ulceration.
  • SYCOSIS   : characterized by warty,cauliflower like growths on genital region. Induration,infiltration.

            In all these cases cure is possible only by proper miasmatic treatment.

THEORY OF VITAL FORCE  : In $ 9 of organon Hahnemann said that ‘ In the healthy condition of man, the spiritual vital force (autocracy), the dynamis that animates the material body (organism), rules with unbounded sway, and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence.’

Hahnemann described about vital force first in 5th edition of organon. Later in the 6th edition it was changed to ‘VITAL PRINCIPLE’.

Life is composed of body,mind, and spirit.this is the trinity of life. Body and tissues are not life they are only the channels through which life functions. The material body derives its life from an immaterial,autocratic,spiritual,dynamic thing called ‘VITAL FORCE’. It maintains the harmony of life producing normal sensations and functions.

In $ 10 hahnemann said that  The material organism, without the vital force, is capable of no sensation, no function, no self preservation ;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.

Vis Medicatrix Nature” (Healing power of nature) a phrase attributed to Hippocrates Hippocrates believed that an organism is not passive to injuries or disease, but rebalances itself to counteract them. The state of illness, therefore, is not a malady but an effort of the body to overcome a disturbed equilibrium. It is this capacity of organisms to correct imbalances that distinguishes them from non-living matter.This healting power is a function of the life force itself. Hahnemann called it the vital force. Disease is a disturbance of this force.

Kent described this vital force as ‘SIMPLE SUBSTANCE’.

DOCTRINE OF DRUG DYNAMIZATION    :  By this process of dynamization medicinal properties which are latent in natural crude substances become awakened. It was introduced in organon in 5th edition.

Purpose of dynamisation

  • Deadly poisons rendered harmless
  • Medicinally inert substances in crude state become active
  • Action of potentised medicines are deeper and longer.
  • Unnecessary aggravations are avoided.

TOTALITY OF SYMPTOMS :
Health is a condition of life where there is harmonious play of vital force. Disease is a condition of discomfort where the harmony of vital force get disturbed and and it is manifested through the material body as different signs and symptoms. These perceptible signs and symptoms form the conceivable portrait of the disease.

It is the outwardly reflected picture of the internal essence of the disease. The totality of individual symptom includes location,sensation,modalities and concomitant.The totality of the symptoms constitutes subjective,objective symptoms,those enquired from bystanders. To ensure CURE totality of symptoms must be removed.

INDIVIDUALISATION   : It is a process of differentiating one from the other.according to Hahnemann no two individuals are same. Each of them manifest different symptoms for a similar problem.The symptoms are divided into two main  types

  • COMMON  :  symptoms common to every one who is suffering from similar problem
  • UNCOMMON  : symptoms which are perculiar,characteristic, of a individual which help to individualise the patient.

These uncommon symptoms play a vital role in homoeopathic prescription and guide for the differentiation of similar cases and remedies.

STUART CLOSE VIEW:
Stuart close in his book “the genius of homoeopathy”  said that homoeopathy rests on following general interpretations or fundamental laws of nature

  • The laws and ways of Nature are uniform and harmonious.
  • Effects follow causes in unbroken succession
  • To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
  • Action and reaction are ceaseless, equivalent and reciprocal
  • Motion is, ceaseless and transformation continuous.
  • Matter is indestructible and infinitely divisible
  • Force is persistent and indestructible
  • The quantity of action necessary to effect any change in nature is the least possible

He described about relation of homoeopathy with science and art

He said that EVERY ART HAS ITS FOUNDATION IN SCIENCE AND EVERY SCIENCE FINDS ITS EXPRESSION IN ART.

An artist by his inner instinct by natural force applies principles unknowingly and develops his own method of technique through his experience .Homoeopathy as an art is unknowingly a part with all necessary rational non medical agents like hygiene,dietics,sanitary sciences,psycho therapy etc.these were unknowingly a part of homoeopathy.

A scientist on the other hand exactly knows what he must do.based on principles with reason and logic he applies the principles on his technique.homoeopathy as a science applies the general laws of nature like inductive logic by bacon.it also applies newtons 3rd law action and reaction are equal and opposite.

SCHOOLS OF PHILOSOPHY :

MATERIALISM  :   facts of experience must be confirmed by reality as a material substance.this believes only in things which are seen, tangible ,physical matter.

The studies like psychology—believes reality as soul and cosmology—believes god as absolute power denies the materialistic theories.

IDEALISM   :explains the whole universe,things and there relations.only deal with what the idea is and how they became aware of it?

SUBSTANTIALISM   :  it believes in existence of real beings.it says that sources or underlying causes which forms ground to other phenomenon can be material or immaterial in origin.

EX  : magnets,gravity,sound etc.

It believes that the real matter which causes an action mght be invisible to the eye but it produces a motion of molecules which further produces force by which the work is done.

From nothing nothing comes. Every effect proceeds from a cause. Effects follow cause in unbroken succession.

KENTS VIEW :
According to kent the man is the will and understanding and the house in which he lives is the body.organs are not man ,man is prior to organs. It is the man that is sick not the tissues.

He also says that government acts as supreme power and controls.the will and understanding being the centre controls other functions in harmony. If the will and understanding are disturbed it produces functional manifestations.these when suppressed effects the internal organs. The symptoms appear from centre to periphery.

He used the term ‘SIMPLE SUBSTANCE’ for vital force.

ROBERTS VIEW   :  H.A.Robert explained about the fundemental laws on which homoeopathy is based

OF CURE:
Similia similibus curentur.
Cure takes place from above downward, form within outward, form the more important to the less important organ, and in the reverse order of the onset of the symptoms.

OF ACTION:
Action and reaction are equal and opposite.

OF QUANTITY AND DOSE:
The quantity of the drug required is in inverse ratio to the similarity.

OF QUANTITY:
The quantity of action necessary to effect any change in Nature is the least possible. The decisive amount is always a minimum, and infinitesimal.

OF QUALITY:
The quality of the action of a homœopathic remedy is determined by its quantity, in inverse ratio.

OF USE:
The dose and quantity that will thoroughly permeate the organism and make its essential impress upon the vital force is that which will affect the functional sphere of the individual.

OF BIOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT:
Function creates and develops the organ.

OF DISEASE DEVELOPMENT:
Functional symptoms are produced by the vital force in exact proportion to the profundity of the disturbance. Functional symptoms precede structural changes.

OF PROVING:

  1. Any drug which in its natural state affects the vital energy but little will develop a proving only in a high potency.
  2. Any drug which in its natural state disturbs the vital energy to functional manifestations only may be proven only in a potentiated form.
  3. Any drug which in its natural state disturbs the vital energy to destructive manifestations should be proven only in a potentiated form.

OF REPETITION (for Provings):
Never repeat the dose while symptoms are manifest from the dose already taken.

OF REPETITION (for Cure):
Never repeat your remedy so long as it continues to act.

CONCLUSION : By this we can conclude that homoeopathy has a strong philosophical background and is based on fixed principles or laws of nature.

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