Excerpt from The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 1881, Vol. 15
It is not answered by merely carrying over and applying one branch of natural science to another. Each is absolute in itself, no one is deducible from another, and all can be truly one only when in each for its... elf the particular is comprehended in the general and from an absolute conformity to law.
Firstly, in order that medicine must become a universal science of organic nature, of which the separate parts are all branches, and that it may gain this breadth and internal unity, as well as give it the rank of a science, the first principles upon which it rests must be not empirical or hypothetical, but in themselves certain and philosophic. It is true that for some time this has been felt and recognized, more generally than has been the case in regard to other departments of thescience of nature. Here also philosophy should have no other business than to bring an external, formal unity into the existing multiplicity, and to restore a reputation to the science of physicians, which has been made ambiguous by poets and philosophers for many a year. If Brown's theory were distinguished by nothing more than by the purity from empirical explanations and hypotheses, the recognition and development of the great principle of the merely quantitative difference in all phenomena, and the consistency with which they follow from one first principle without the addition of any other, and without deviating from the scientific method, its originator would still be eminent in the history of medicine and the creator of a new world in this realm of knowledge. It is true that he stops with the idea of excitability, and still has no scientific knowl edge oi it, but at the same time he refuses all empirical explana tion of it, and warns against the uncertain investigation of causes, which is the ruin of philosophy. Doubtless he did not deny that there was a higher sphere of knowing in which that idea could itself be derived and construed from a higher, as he derived that of forms of disease from it.
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