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October 8, 1887

BACTERIOLOGY AND ITS RELATION TO SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS IN MEDICINE.

JAMA. 1887;IX(15):467. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02400140019003

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Abstract

The admirable address of Professor Semmola, of Naples, to the Ninth International Congress, September 7, 1887, aims first to remind us of the true method of advancing scientific medicine; second, to show the fallacies and unproved assumptions of the prevailing bacteriological doctrines; and third, to more clearly develop the fact, that a study of the conditions of the living system favorable for the reception and propagation of microörganisms is of equal, if not greater importance than the study of the individual microbes. In regard to the first he says: "We affirm, then, that the experimental method in medicine has for its purpose, the determination of the phenomena of nature and their causes. The experimental method admits no individual dogmatic authority, nor has it anything in common with the theories of hypothetical methods The individual loses his personal authority in comparison with the teachings of demonstrated science." Again he says: "The

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