Aristotle’s influence over Hahnemann

Dr Kiran N Patil 

Introduction:
Homoeopathic science is based on sound philosophical basis of Dr Samuel Hahnemann, who got inspired from the various great personalities in the history who literally changed the world history by their invaluable contributions. Aristotle, a great Greek philosopher who influenced and ruled the world by their teachings in various fields is one such personality whose teachings where adopted by Dr.Hahnemann in Homoeopathy, hence knowing such personality is of great interest and understands his teachings.

Aim: In depth study of Aristotle and his contribution.

Objective:

  • Aristotle’s contribution medical field
  • Aristotle’s influence over Hahnemann.

Background:
Greek civilization is known for creativity and originality in inventions and discoveries. Aristotle was the end point of creative Greek period. History is divided into pre & post Aristotlian era.

Aristotle (384-322B.C.)shares with Plato and Socrates the distinction of being the most famous of ancient philosophers. A student of ancient Greek philosopher Plato. He shared his teacher’s reverence for human knowledge but revised many of Plato’s ideas by emphasizing methods rooted in observation and experience. Aristotle surveyed and systematized nearly all the extant branches of knowledge and provided the first ordered accounts of biology, psychology, physics, and literary theory; In addition, Aristotle invented the field known as formal logic, pioneered zoology, and addressed virtually every major philosophical problem known during his time. Known to medieval intellectuals as simply “the Philosopher” Aristotle is possibly the greatest thinker in Western history, and historically, perhaps the single greatest influence on Western intellectual development.

  • He was a professor, learned teacher ( Universal Genius)
  • First person to start the systematic studies in Zoology, Botany & Natural science.
  • First to classify animals & Plants
  • Wrote enormously on Zoology, Botany, Anatomy, Cosmology, Psychology, Sociology and Politics & Economics.

Important works:

  • Logic –Organon of acquiring knowledge
  • Psycology-On the soul
  • Metaphysics-Dealing with first principle
  • Politics- Rhetoric-art of using words impressing, needed for education.

Aristotle’s Contributions:

Aristotlean Discoveries:

  • Structural & functional adaptation to habit & habitat
  • Correlation of organs i.e. structure to function e.g.- webbed feet-swimming
  • Principle of parsimony-organism retains structure if it is useful
  • Concept that organisms are related in a “great chain of being”
  • Concept of heredity- Pangenesis-gemmules from all parts of the body migrate to the semen and account for paternal characteristics.

Aristotlean propositions:

  • Aristotle regarded world as made up of individuals(substances). Each individual has its built in specific pattern of development and grows towards proper self realization as a specimen of its type.
  • Food is changed by heat in body to blood to liver, kidney extract urine from blood
  • Growth purpose and direction are built into nature
  • Although science studies general kinds, according to Aristotle; these find their existence in particular individual.
  • Science & philosophy therefore balance each other, not simply choose between the claims of empiricism(observation and sense perception) and formalism (rational deduction)
  • Facts take precedence over theory (I few observation are not in accord with the theory the theory must be amended or discarded; not the facts!)

3 kinds of substances in world

  1. Sensible & perishable like plants & animals
  2. Sensible but not perishable eg: heavenly bodies
  3. Neither Sensible & nor perishable.

 Example; rational soul in man & God.

He said soul is bound within the body

He said irrational things separate & rational things unite.

Aristotlean Doctrines:

  1. Physics or natural philosophy: (physics means nature)

Proposed finite, spherical universe, Earth centre. Telluric explanations for movement of earth, fire, air, water and aither(ether) or heaven.

  1. Aristotle’s Logic:
  • Founder of true logic-both deductive & inductive.
  • Greatest among all logicians. (metaphysics was dominated by Plato upto 13th century)
  • Dominated logic & survived the renaissance.

Deduction syllogism-Major premise (usually an intuition)Or formal logic- Minor premise.

Conclusion.
In these three Prepositions there is question of validity and truism of major premise; Deficit in universal application, applicable only where the primary truth is unquestioned.

-Induction- (knew the importance of induction)

  • Induction & deduction are never separable.(without induction deduction is never possible & without deduction final conclusion is not possible).
  • Induction in a preparation for deduction.
  1. Psychology of Aristotle:

Proposed study of soul- insisted form and matter existed together.
Form- essence or unchanging characteristic element in an object
Matter-the common undifferentiated substratum of things.

Soul-

  • kind of function of the body organized so that it can support vital functions.
  • Through the functioning of the soul, the moral and intellectual aspects of humanity are developed.
  • Human insight in the highest form, is not reducible to a mechanical physical process.
  1. Biology:

Zoology – proposed a fixed set of natural kinds ( Species)

– said evolution is not possible

  1. Categories of Aristotle:

Categories is a process of entering into minute analysis of any objects

1. What is it? Substantial category

2. How is it constituted? Quality

3. How large? Quantity

4. How is it related? Relation

5. Where is it? Place

6. When is it? Time

7. What positive dose it have? Postasion

8. What condition is it in? State

9. What does it do? Activity/Passivity

  1. Metaphysical stand of Aristotle: (Pluralism)
  • Proposed the existence of divine being God- Prime mover unmoved mover- responsible for the unity and purposefulness of Nature.
  • He said matter and form make existence and reality.
  • He created,

Reality, existence Form and essence

Existenceform

  1. Organic theory: Organic whole- study in general first and then in particular in relation to the general (supported by Hegel’s philosophy & Hahnemann)
  2. Dynamism: Theory of change- constant motion
  1. Potentiality & Actuality:

He said potentiality is the essence. 

“Everything in the universe is changed with past and is preformed with future”. 

Actualization of potentiality is through matter.

  1. Theory of Causation:

He classed the causes as follows- 

Intrinsic cause- Material cause 

Formal cause

Extrinsic cause- Efficient cause 

Final cause

  1. Ethical cause:
  • Nichomachean ethics.
  • It is an analysis of character and intelligence as they relate to happiness.
  • Every moral virtue is the mean between two less desirable extremes.
  • Full excellence of ethics can be realized only by the mature male adult of the upper class, not by women or children or barbarian or salaried mechanics i.e. no voting rights.

Aristotle influenced hundreds of years and his concepts attained are religious status in philosophy; hence no one could question him as long as the renaissance period.

Influences Aristotle Hahnemann
Natural Sciences Studied nature & explored through observation. Whole homoeopathic science is based on nature.
Wrote & taught like a professor(earlier philosophers like mystics) Taught philosophy & experimented his principles like a scientist.
Classified animals for the first time in history. Classification of diseases in his own style.
Critically studied of past barbarian philosophers. Critically & enthusiastically reviewed past teachings and writings in medicine & philosophy.
Avoided mixing up Orphism in philosophy. Ruled out Theoretical medicine which was rampant in his days.
Triple existence of substances in world. Triple existence of life mental, vital & physical.
Rational things & irrational things (individualization) Common expression & uncommon expressions of disease(individualization).
Individuality is due to irrationality. Individuality is due to the uncommon features.
Application of deductive logic(syllogism) Derivation of Law of Similar
Categorization of objects (scientific analysis of objects) Categorisation of diseases (systematic understanding of disease phenomenon)
Proposed Organic theory Holistic approach in treatment
Concept of Dynamism. Theory of Dynamisation.
Potentiality & actuality. Potentials & actual-Remedies & concept of miasms.
Theory of causations-Intrinsic causes & extrinsic causes. Theory of causations- fundamental, exciting cause & maintaining cause.

Dr Kiran N.Patil M.D(Hom)
HOD,Professor & PG Guide
Dept of Organon,AM Shaikh Hom.Medical College.Belagavi-10

Dr Sangeeta C.Belagavimath M.D.(Hom)
Asst.Professor, Dept of Repertory,
AM Shaikh Hom.Medical College.Belagavi-10

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