Brierley-Jones, Lynda Karen (2007) How medicine could have developed differently: A Tory historiographical analysis of the conflict between allopathic and homoeopathic medicine in America and Britain from 1870 to 1920. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
After its formulation by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) at the end of the 18th century, homoeopathy spread to Britain and America in the 1820ร. Based upon the principle or law of "similia similibus curentur"- let like be cured by like-homoeopathy presented a serious challenge to allopathic medicine. By the 1870s homoeopaths were part of science, performing the first single blind clinical trial, establishing the action of drugs upon the body by experimentation and investigating the nature of matter. Institutionally established, especially in the U.S., they regularly published statistics demonstrating the superiority of homoeopathic treatment in both general practice and in hospitals. Allopaths responded by "nihilating" homoeopathic theory and practice on several levels. Through the language of bacteriology they absorbed key homoeopathic tenets into their own symbolic universe. During the Progressive Era allopaths' ideological resonance with the corporations enabled them to finally vanquish homoeopaths and define medical science along new lines. Homoeopathy's decline in the 1920s was precipitated by its inability to handle experimental error effectively. Yet homoeopaths had raised important epistemological questions about the nature of the relationship between drugs and the human organism. These were never resolved but became repressed along with homoeopathy's scientific history. Since Tory historiography claims that the past informs the future, my aim in recovering homeopathy’s history is to highlight the contemporary importance of these issues for medicine. Only by explicitly addressing these unresolved dilemmas will the Hegelian outworking of Reason be accomplished.
|Doctor of Philosophy
|Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
|09 Sep 2011 09:50