THE TOTALITY OF SYMPTOMS. Philosphical significance part 1.

Thinking-ManFrom Hahnemann onward, Homoeopaths speaks of the totality of symptoms as the guide for selecting a remedy.  Homoeopaths speaks of treating the patient and not the disease. Is this thinking now redundant?

The study  of diseases and drug actions consists of the sum total of symptoms in every scientific medical system. The term “symptoms” in its broadest sense including both physical signs and  subjective sensations.Each science though dealing with abstractions, does so deliberately after making suitable conceptions relevant to the purpose in hand in order to make the  knowledge of the subject more clear, precise and systematized  to give us a wider command over the subject.


The physicists ignore the secondary qualities of substances and deal with their primary qualities only, but in so limiting their data, they take us to a sphere which is unthinkable  at first sight and  we  remain in awe over the achievements  of modern science.

The truth from the standpoint of the physicist may not be the ultimate truth, but this also belongs to the truth of a particular order or degree of reality. From this, there is further consideration in the different medical  systems currently in existence.. Though each system  deals  with the scientific  study of diseases and drug action and the therapeutic applicability of drug to cure the diseases, their standpoints of study differ and correspondingly their conceptions relating to diseases and drug action vary. The subject  matter of all   the systems  are the  same, yet,  their  methods of study  differ; i.e.,  they use  different concepts to  explain the factual reality of the diseases and drug actions. Every system acknowledges that diseases and drug actions manifest themselves in and through symptoms; and even logic agrees with it.

That is why  Hahnemann  was  always talking of  the “totality  of symptoms.’ Evidently he wanted us to change our perceptive view to study diseases and drug actions. In order to bring out its latent implications we have to go to the root of  things, just as to understand  the nature of homoeopathic truth  we had to study the fundamental  nature of truth and science and the relativity of knowledge implied in the different branches of science .

Let us study the fundamentals of  Epistemology This has been  one of the cardinal  problems for  philosophers  of all  ages  and climes from time immemorial.  We will not go into the discussion of various theories which properly belong  to  the  domain of philosophy. Some of my  colleagues  will accuse me of digression regarding a subject of medical  interest.  My answer  is that  we should not  take philosophy in its more confined and technical  sense.  Philosophy in the full sense is only man thinking, thinking about generalities  rather than  particulars.

Whether it be Generalities or particulars, man always uses the same methodology.  We  observe,  discriminate,  generalize,   classify, look  for  causes, trace analogies and make hypotheses. Philosophy, taken  as something distinct from science or practical affairs, follows no method peculiar to itself.

The conclusion of modern  philosophy  about  knowledge is that it  is based on experience which in its turn is grounded in fact. By experience the ENTIRETY is meant, not the subjective half  of the  universe  as distinguished  from  the  objective thoughts  and  feelings   as  distinguished from things and relations, but the  undefined, seamless but varied continuum of experience, in which subjects may, by an analytic operation,  dissociate  themselves from objects, ideas from  things, but  which  is  not, in  its  wholeness, determined and defined by such  an operation, to become either subjective, either a complex  of ideas and their relations or a complex of physical objects and  their  relations.




One response to “THE TOTALITY OF SYMPTOMS. Philosphical significance part 1.

  1. Pingback: LA TOTALIDAD DE LOS SÍNTOMAS. Significado Filosófico Parte I | Jose Guillermo de la Paz. M.D. I.H.M.

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