Why Principle Will Always Trump Empiricism

There are many interesting health products on the market, but the difficulty from a Heilkunst point of view is to properly situate what any given substance or formula is useful for in terms of principles, rather than empirical effects. There are many wonder drugs and wonder foods out on the market, and I’m sure many more yet to be discovered. There is no question that there is great value (to varying degrees) in each of them, but it takes a tremendous amount of work and research to determine exactly why and when a given product can or should be applied to a specific case. Without such research, we’re left with a world flooded with empirical studies, and competing marketing budgets.

The issue with Heilkunst isn’t to see if something has an effect or not, but rather to use the human capacity for deeper scientific reason to determine exactly why and when something does in a given case — this way, the same capacity for scientific reason can be applied the next time a case appears that fits the same principle, rather than riding on hope and trial and error.

A simple example would be plain old vit. C — I can open a new clinic based entirely on mega-doses of vit. C, for example, and if I would then treat every patient that came through the door with a mega-dose protocol of vit. C, I guarantee you that I would have a tremendously high success rate at getting rid of every type of symptom that you could imagine. The problem is, though, that the disappearance of symptoms would equate with an increase in health only in a fraction of the patients — but I wouldn’t know which ones!  The problem with empiricism and its focus on creating a visible effect (such as getting rid of symptoms, for example), is that it doesn’t account for the reason the symptoms disappeared — for some it will be an actual cure, for others it will be that the underlying disease is only suppressed or palliated.

Heilkunst takes things very ploddingly slow, in terms of a deliberate and conscious scientific method, and there are so many things that I have to approach with a “wait and see” attitude, until someone takes it upon themselves to apply Heilkunst principles and research to a new supplement or formula, and take things out of the concept of “good for you” or “bad for you” in a general sense, and instead into a rational principle that can be applied for what would be the right approach for a particular case. Shifting the patient’s outlook from an empirical approach to a principled understanding is always part of the educational process.

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