It is true that there were in Germany, at that time, numbers of eminent physicians who differed greatly from Hahnemann on the question of the dose (for they administered the mother tinctures); whom he disowned, and designated “specifickers,” in terms of contempt and indignation.
Those who have been derisively termed specifickers by their opponents…usually arrogate to themselves the title of pures or Hahnemannians. Some difference there must be between the specifickers and the pures…[although it] does not, I believe, consist in any want of that spirit of individualization so necessary for the selection of the appropriate drug on the part of the so-called specifickers, but rather that they endeavour more than their rivals to bring the light of modern pathology to bear on the investigation of the morbid case, and seek to refer, when possible the array of symptoms to the derangement of some particular organ or system.
The so-called Specifickers…chiefly rely in the choice of the remedy on certain groups of symptoms, intimately related to the pathology and diagnosis of the disease, and to the so-called general character of the action of the medicine…and also allow great influence to the clinical experience in the final decision.
The more the specificker relies on the merely general action of the drug (often, indeed, partly ascertained ab usu in morbis), the more he approaches to the allopathists, who will, ere long, equal him or even surpass him.
They are…very similar to the practical observations of those of our school who draw the indications of the medicine mainly from clinical experience, guided by the more general physiological action of the medicines, i.e., those called specifickers by the more complete homœopathists, who keep in view the finer shades of the pathogenesis.
The habit once formed in respect to some medicines, soon extends to the better proved medicines, and the practitioner becomes a mere specificker.
Before Prof. M. and “we” were in our teens, even while in our squares (diaper, you know), a certain set styled themselves disciples of pure homœopathy and derided all who differed with them as “Specifickers.”
From this time up to 1836 contests were gradually developed between Hahnemann and his followers, which led to a division between the old Hahnemannians and the so-called specifickers, the latter favoring more progress.
The men who exclusively and permanently practise with strong tinctures and crude drugs are almost certainly non-symptomatic practitioners, men who are content to take general and pathological indications, and to treat according to the name of the disease — mere specifickers — and very likely to fall back altogether to mere routine and usus in morbis practice.
In acute and typical diseases, the fewer your remedies the better: but beyond this range, you can hardly have too many. It is here that the mere specificker, the mere organopathist fails; while the full method of Hahnemann wins victories which are a continual source of delight.
Other Word Forms
Origin of specificker
- First attested in 1847. Formed as specific (elliptical for specific remedy) + -k- + -er (forms agent nouns), originally translating a German word used by Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843).
- First attested in 1928. Formed as specific (“explicit”, “definite”, “particular”) + -k- + -er (forms comparative degrees of adjectives).