chapter  7
6 Pages

Investigation and Criticism as Applied to Experimental Medicine

ByClaude Bernard, Stewart Wolf, Henry Copley Greene

Methods of investigation and of scientific criticism cannot vary from one science to another nor, for that matter, in different parts of the same science. Thus methods of investigation of the phenomena of life should be the same in normal as in pathological conditions. Pathological investigation may also take for its starting point a theory, an hypothesis or a preconceived idea. As in physiology, the only scientific criticism possible in pathology and in therapeutics is experimental criticism; and whether applied to ourselves or to the work of others, this criticism should always be based on absolute determination of facts. Experimental criticism should reject statistics as a foundation for experimental therapeutic and pathological science. This chapter concludes that comparative observation and experiment are the only solid foundation for experimental medicine, and that physiology, pathology and therapeutics must be subject to the criticism in common.