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October 2021

Rev Hist Pharm (Paris). 1998 ; 45(317): 67-80.

[The homeopathy or the myth of pure experience]

Pinet P.

Hahnemann and homeopaths have always hold that the origine of homeopathy was essentially experimental. The Hippocrate's method of observation, the experience with quinquina carried out by Hahnemann in 1790, and furthermore a similar experimental thought than the C. Bernard's one, are constantly put forward. The alchemist origins of homeopathy, in particular Paracelse, that old authors had found, have been scathingly denied. It stands yet to reason that the rôle of the paracelsian philosophy, through the german philosophy at the Hahnemann's time and the medical vitalism at its acme at that time, was crucial. Nevertheless, the direct part of contemporary physicians, specially english ones, as Nugent, J. Hunter and Cullen has been disregarded. Hahnemann, proudly, said nothing about his most important springs. The history of his ideas, the theorical and conceptual problems involved by the principle of similitude and not only the infinitesimality, show that homeopathy arises, not so much from experience as from theoretical ideas, and mind of system so current before C. Bernard. It can be easily showed that C. Bernard's epistemology, which is prevailing in biology today, is a logical obstacle to homeopathy.

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