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April 14, 1900


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1900;XXXIV(15):896-898. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.24610150002001a

I conceive it to be my function in this discussion to lay before you some of the theories advanced in explanation of the facts on which the practice of serumtherapy is based. It seems, at the present time, quite impossible to assign to any of these theories the value of well-established fundamental principles, but they are of use as working hypotheses which correlate numerous facts and enable the mind to include many details in a single general conception. It is through the employment of such general conceptions, suggestive in character, that experimental investigation is most easily furthered. They are a necessary part of the inductive method of exploring the unknown, but it is needless to say that the utmost caution must be exercised not to regard them as expressions of invariable natural relations until the most extended observation and experimentation have demonstrated that they possess this character. Only then can

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