here, I excerpt from and comment upon a recent article in Naturopathic Doctor News and Review [NDNR] regarding -- ISYN -- epistemology [the study of knowledge], science, and naturopathy by National College of Natural Medicine's President and CEO PhD Schleich [see 001., below]; then, I employ NCNM and the State of Oregon's own definitions of naturopathy as examples of the 'knowledge ambiguation' that truly is the hallmark of naturopathic epistemology [see 002., below]:
001. Schleich, D. (PhD UT) states in NDNR's "A Perfect Storm of Epistemology and Turf: The Debate About Unique Knowledge Within Naturopathic Medicine" (2012-08; p.29-30)[my notes are in unquoted bold black, the bold blue headings demarcate subject matter]:
Note: that page tells us "NCNM is the parent school of naturopathic medicine in North America." That is quite true. NCNM used to be called National College of Naturopathic Medicine, and it is the trunk of the naturopathy tree, so to speak. Over all, I see neither a debate / a storm and nor issues of turf here. Isn't unique knowledge just an excuse for 'crap we can't justify' that we falsely label "science" anyway?
on needed clarity:
"there is widespread misunderstanding of what naturopathic medicine actually is [...]";
yes, there is! People are led to believe it is a "science" when in fact its premises are science-ejected. Organized naturopathy creates this misunderstanding and thrives on it.
that false allopathic label:
"the dominant octopus of allopathic biomedicine [...]";
modern medicine is as allopathic as modern astronomy is astrologic: it's a nonsense label homeopath Hahnemann originated to speak of medical methods from two-hundred years ago that are quite abandoned.
on the term:
"the term naturopathy itself can be traced back to the teachings and concepts of Benedict Lust [...] in an editorial in the Naturopathic and Herald of Health, Benedict Lust in 1902 explained that naturopathy was 'purposely a hybrid word' [...but, also,] the actual term naturopathy came from a word coined by the German homeopath John Scheel [(my link)...who] formed the word from a combination of Latin and Greek to translate literally as 'nature disease.' The term, then, is an actual misnomer [...AND] the understanding of 'naturopathic medicine' and 'naturopathy' varies among many geographic locales and regulatory jurisdictions [...]";
I really find it hard to believe that someone CHOSE to mistakenly name the area. It is often said that homeopathy is inherent to naturopathy (e.g., Orac says it often). That the term natur-o-path-, truly, is quite illiterate in terms of classical linguistic form and came from a homeopath is quite appropriate for this arena that falsely labels the patently science-ejected science-based: truly, an ultimate reversal of values, aka the elevation of nonsense unto an oxymoronic 'professionally labeled stupid'. Notice too that we're told by NCNM's president that naturopathy "varies" yet NCNM simultaneously tells us it is distinct.
"naturopathic medicine has many roots and branches which stretch back into the healthcare landscapes of 12 decades yearning for space yearning for place [...] our challenge in the second decade of the second century of our medicine [...]";
how poetic! So, that's 120 years, TIMED. But, why therein why oh why, do naturopaths also claim that their essential concepts are "timeless" and on that there same ND Weeks's page "[who is a] naturopathic doctor and applied kinesiologist [...claiming to practice a branch of] medical science"? How rich, perhaps richer than his platelet rich plasma therapy.
the 'of the professions' claim and knowledge:
"[he speaks of] the naturopathic profession [...] the profession as it struggles [...] many of our own profession’s scholars have contributed to the long-emerging conversation about what the essential, codified knowledge of naturopathy or naturopathic medicine actually is [...] the energy of naturopathy emerged from its professional formation intentions [...] the U.S. naturopathic profession, at Rippling River, Ore., itself was zeroing in on a definition [...] the FNM Project is finally codifying the knowledge of a profession [...]";
profession, profession, profession.
"our medicine has continued to evolve for over 100 years [...] the nature of the medicine [...] the essential knowledge within naturopathic medicine itself [...] the essential epistemology of naturopathy [...] the barest beginnings of an epistemology of naturopathic medicine [...] the question arises 'what is the unique knowledge of naturopathic medicine anyway?' [...]";
interesting question. I'll deal with this in 002., below.
"it is valuable [...] to look again at the epistemological roots of naturopathic medicine [...] to take a look at the origin, nature, methods, and limits of the knowledge base of the system of medicine we cherish [...]";
yes, it is.
"these roots are examined briefly in chunks of naturopathic history and philosophy courses [...]";
yes, I sat through them! The first president of the AANP, an NCNM graduate, was my teacher. He tells us that homeopathy, craniosacral therapy, and inflating balloons within people's heads to realign their fused skull bones is "the use of science based natural medicine."
"[and speaks of] defining naturopathic medicine’s epistemological place [...] we simply must be confident about the nature and grounds of knowledge with reference to the limits and validity of that demarcated knowledge [...]";
blah blah blah. Demarcated my ass: indeed, naturopathy "blends". So, we have the 'blended demarcated' oxymorony.
on knowledge ambiguation:
"[he quotes] 'there is knowledge other than the scientific; we need a new form of science and medicine. Instinctive common sense and experience are good enough; and medicine is not scientific anyway' [...]";
I think this speaks volumes for what naturopathy does and wants: a lower standard of knowledge than what science produces, called science but not science, instead 'of anecdote and empirical whim', perhaps something like medicine by Ouija board. I personally think modern medicine is quite scientific roughly speaking, and anyway even if it wasn't, it is not acceptable for naturopathy to claim "science-based" commercially, professionally, and academically when patently not just because someone else does such.
002. NCNM's and the State of Oregon's knowledge ambiguation [and epistemic falsehood; which I've also in the past termed 'epistemic conflation while claiming epistemic delineation']:
002.a. NCNM writes in "About Naturopathic Medicine":
"the practice of naturopathic medicine emerges from six principles of healing. These principles are based on the objective observation of the nature of health and disease and are examined continually in light of scientific analysis. These principles stand as the distinguishing marks of the profession: [...#1] the healing power of nature — vis medicatrix naturae: the body has the inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health. The healing process is ordered and intelligent; nature heals through the response of the life force. The physician’s role is to facilitate and augment this process [...#3] first do no harm — primum no nocere: the process of healing includes the generation of symptoms, which are, in fact, expressions of the life force attempting to heal itself. Therapeutic actions should be complementary to and synergistic with this healing process";
Note: yet, true scientific analysis reveals that a life force in charge of physiology is objectively science-ejected FOR DECADES. And, though based on falsely stating such as able to survive scientific scrutiny and as being in fact, naturopathy still claims to be a profession. But, what profession is based on falsehood? What is distinguishing in all of this is naturopathy's knowledge kind muddle, ironically, wherein science is blended with nonscience and all called, quite fraudulently, science-vetted.
002.b. the State of Oregon writes in "Naturopathy":
all the same stuff [at least] as what the NCNM page above states.
Note: how did naturopathy so cleverly legislate falsehood?