Integrating belief systems and therapies in medicine: Application of the eight world hypotheses to classical homeopathy

Iris R. Bell, Carol M. Baldwin, Gary E Schwartz, Linda G S Russek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


The purpose of this paper is to apply the eight world hypotheses model of science to classical homeopathy. The model identifies an interactive hierarchy of levels of thinking about nature: (1) formistic/categorical; (2) mechanistic/cause-effect; (3) contextual/relativistic; (4) organismic; (5) implicit process; (6) circular causality; (7) creative unfolding; and (8) integrative diversity. These levels represent different scientific paradigms, i.e., classical science (levels 1-2), modern science (levels 3-4), postmodern science (levels 5-6), and integrative science (levels 7-8), which help explain the variability with which mainstream medicine has begun to integrate different forms of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Homeopathy is one of the most comprehensive systems of CAM therapies, but to date it has received little consideration for integration. After summarizing the theory and practice of homeopathy, we use these concepts within the eight world hypotheses to provide a framework for understanding homeopathy's past rejection by conventional medicine and for facilitating research toward the integration of homeopathy into the mainstream medicine of the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-105
Number of pages11
JournalIntegrative Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1998



  • Alternative medicine
  • Complementary medicine
  • Homeopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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