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October 25, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(17):1036-1039. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.52480430018001d

Nothing is more gratifying and satisfactory to the student than to group together certain phenomena of constant occurrence and, by the synthetic method, make a generalization that will be applicable to all cases that present these phenomena. A generalization is a very comfortable instrument of thought, and like mechanical devices it is a saver of time and of a multitude of pains. But the task that has been allotted to me deals with conditions so complex, and is fraught with so many difficulties, that to lay down any set of principles that will govern, without many exceptions in the multitude of varieties under which these interesting anomalies present themselves, is next to impossible. No generalization that I know of fits the condition. We are, therefore, constrained to apply such knowledge as we have gathered by personal observation and experience to the particular case under consideration. As corroborating testimony to this

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