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Study confirms scientific status of anthroposophic medicine

29 May 2018

A new study uses criteria from contemporary philosophy of science to evaluate the scientific status of anthroposophic medicine. It finds that anthroposophic medicine meets all identified criteria for what is science, confirming its status as a scientific discipline.

This is the first philosophical analysis of a whole medical system. The authors identified demarcation criteria for what is science, retrieved from eight publications in the philosophy of science, focusing either on science in medicine or on the demarcation between science and pseudoscience or non-science. Criteria were combined, redundancies were excluded, and the final set of criteria was ordered in a logical sequence. The analysis yielded 11 demarcation criteria: community, domain, problems, goals, axiomatic basis, conceptual basis, quality of concepts, methodology, deontic basis, research products, tradition.

Anthroposophic medicine was then assessed in relation to these 11 criteria. The study found that it fulfilled all the criteria for what is science.

Baars, Kiene, Kienle, Heusser, Hamre, An assessment of the scientific status of anthroposophic medicine, applying criteria from the philosophy of science, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, April 2018