Articles. Research

This article presents results of the study, based on interviews with classical homoeopaths. We focus on the apparent tension between the statements of classical homeopathy and practices. On the one hand, classical homeopathy declares a gap with biomedicine, but on the other — the status of this break is not confirmed by their practice. This paradox problematize with the practice theory proved that the practice of classical homeopathy includes a biomedical preposition as tacit knowledge (M. Polany). On the way to this conclusion we considered conceptual question of relations of inconsistent practices and their transmission. Accessing G. Ryle’s critique of mentalism and ideas of practice theorists we justify vivid character of practices and tacit knowledge as visible, but does not noticed; thus we overcome S. Turner’s skepticism about the reality of practices as a collective phenomenon, capable of transmission. In contrast to the Turner’s causal interpretation of practice theory, the relationship between biomedical assumptions and homeopathic practice is proposed as the ratio of figure and ground. This conception is refined with the help of L. Wittgenstein’s idea of change aspect, in which homeopathy and biomedicine are not acting different practices but particular aspects of one indivisible medical practice. As a criterion of visibility biomedical prepositions called the fact of classical homeopathy emphasizing the differences and contradictions of homeopathy and biomedicine, as well as their ability to transfer (change of aspect) between concepts of the two systems. From this point of view, classical homeopathy statements should not comply with the specific targets of a particular medical practice in which they engage, rather then the purposes of identification and professionalization. Thus the tacit knowledge paradox is achieved by separating professionalized strategies from a purely medical ones.

Keywords: homeopathy, biomedicine, alternative medicine, theory of practices, tacit knowledge, professionalization