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Schmidt, Josef M. (June 2009): Is homeopathy a science? – Continuity and clash of concepts of science within holistic medicine. In: Journal of Medical Humanities, Vol. 30, No. 2: pp. 83-97




The question of whether homeopathy is a science is currently discussed almost exclusively against the background of the modern concept of natural science. This approach, however, fails to notice that homeopathy—in terms of history of science—rests on different roots that can essentially be traced back to two most influential traditions of science: on the one hand, principles and notions of Aristotelism which determined 2,000 years of Western history of science and, on the other hand, the modern concept of natural science that has been dominating the history of medicine for less than 200 years. While Aristotle’s “science of the living” still included ontologic and teleologic dimensions for the sake of comprehending nature in a uniform way, the interest of modern natural science was reduced to functional and causal explanations of all phenomena for the purpose of commanding nature. In order to prevent further ecological catastrophes as well as to regain lost dimensions of our lives, the one-sidedness and theory-loadedness of our modern natural–scientific view of life should henceforth be counterbalanced by lifeworld–practical Aristotelic categories. In this way, the ground would be ready to conceive the scientific character of homeopathy—in a broader, Aristotelian sense.