Homeopathy between Vital Force and Self-Organization
Journal/Book: Forschende Komplementärmedizin und Klassische Naturheilkunde Research in Complementary and Classical Natural Medicine. 2001; 8/3: 162-167.
Abstract: The idea of the vital force served European 18th-century scientists as theoretical background and as an integration model for many popular theories. The vital force was used to explain why physiological processes occur in a practical, useful and functional way and to answer the questions about the nature of biotic organization. At the end of 18th century, Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, used the theory of the vital force as a theoretical basis to explain the effects of homeopathic treatment and to justify his medical system.Vitalists represented a holistic tradition, they were not willing to accept purely mechanical interpretations of biological phenomena. The discussion between holistic and mechanistic scientists resulted in the development of modern self-organization theories, such as system, network, and chaos theory. The article gives an overview about the historical development from vital force to modern self-organization theories and discusses the relevance of the modern theories for homeopathic research.