chapter  8
31 Pages

Philosophic Obstacles Encountered by Experimental Medicine

ByClaude Bernard, Stewart Wolf, Henry Copley Greene

Experimental medicine differs in object from the medicine of observation, just as the sciences of observation in general differ from the experimental sciences. The scientific basis of experimental medicine is physiology; it must be proclaimed aloud, because without it no medical science is possible. Medicine is in transition; the day of personal doctrines and systems is past, and little by little they will be replaced by theories embodying the present state of the science and showing from that point of view the results of all efforts. Experimental medicine does not need to be attached to any philosophic system. Empirical physicians, acting more or less blindly, are experimenting on vital phenomena, and thus class themselves in the empirical period of experimental medicine. This chapter concludes that empirical medicine and experimental medicine are far from being incompatible, but on the contrary must be intimately united; for both are indispensable in building up experimental medicine.