4 Pages

An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine

ByClaude Bernard, Stewart Wolf, Henry Copley Greene

In order to embrace the medical problem as a whole, experimental medicine must include three basic parts, namely: physiology, pathology and therapeutics. In the empirical period of medicine, which must doubtless still be greatly prolonged, physiology and therapeutics could advance separately; for as neither of them was well established, they were not called upon mutually to support each other in medical practice. But scientific medicine, like the other sciences, can be established only by experimental means, that is, by direct and rigorous application of reasoning to the facts furnished by observation and experiment. Reasoning is always the same, whether in the sciences that study living beings or in those concerned with inorganic bodies. Reasoning will always be correct when applied to accurate notions and precise facts; but it can lead only to error when the notions or facts on which it rests were originally tainted with error or inaccuracy.