Complementary Medicine – An Example of the application of the Basic Research Method of Innovative Agonology

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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Roman Maciej Kalina

Abstract: We owe the term ‘complementary medicine’ (1932) to Max Friedemann (according to WoS data). Determining who first applied the term ‘complementary approach’ to science would not be easy. Historians and philosophers of science, as well as specialists in the general methodology of sciences, would easily argue that science  as a whole  is based on the complementary approach. Unfortunately, those accustomed to the separation of individual disciplines (among whom there is no shortage of novices and luminaries of science) miss the important detail that ignoring such an approach leads directly to the dehumanization of science and harms the foundations of sustainable human development en bloc in almost every respect.An inspiring source for such reasoning can be found in the maxim “Let none but geometers enter here” at the entrance to the olive grove that is Plato’s Academy (387 BC to 529 AD), dedicated to the Athenian hero Akademos. Whoever already knew geometry and was given the honour of taking the first and subsequent steps in this symbolic university of antiquity became a living example of the complementary approach. Looking at science precisely from a historical and symbolic perspective entitles us to assign some questions (i.e. issues worthy of being recognized as scientific) to each new step; it also entitles us to assign methods, means and tools (figuratively the compass, ruler, etc.) to answers to these questions. Over time, the generalized sets of questions and answers from symbolic geometry evolved into the general methodology of the sciences, as part of logic.The author of this outline of the methodological foundations of the complementary approach in contemporary scientific research was inspired by four main premises: the achievements of the Lviv-Warsaw school of logic and the methodology of sciences; praxeology (i.e. Tadeusz Kotarbiński’s proper methodology); Albert N. Whitehead’s reflection on Science and the Modern Word; and the cognitive and social mission of innovative agonology. A simple model of the social mission of science is expressed by the triad ‘curiosity - understanding - applications’. The first two terms, on the one hand, show the origin of science ‘from curiosity to satisfying the need for understanding’. On the other hand, they are directly related to the postulate of freedom of scientific research and any idealization of the mission of science. The third part, applications, is admittedly meant to emphasize the positive aspects of science and the hope that, through scientific discoveries, the mission of dignified survival of homo sapiens can be realized with a clear emphasis on respect for all life, the natural environment and human dignity. Unfortunately, the third part of the triad also includes numerous pathologies. The most dangerous are the interferences of authorities and interest groups at various levels in the freedom of science. A sophisticated way to satisfy the selfish goals of these entities is the instrumental use of scientists and the most competent research teams in a given field, with varying degrees of success. Concern for the freedom of science and the fulfilment of its social mission is a sufficient reason not to ignore these threats or the methodological possibilities of innovative agonology while respecting the complementary approach as a method of modern scientific research.

Keywords: complementary medicine, praxeology, proper methodology

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003944

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