A System of Logic

John Stuart Mill

Book 3, Chapter 10, Footnote #03
Experimentation and ascertaining general laws

What is said in the text on the inapplicability of the experimental methods to resolve particular questions of medical treatment does not detract from their efficacy in ascertaining the general laws of the animal or human system. The functions, for example, of the different classes of nerves have been discovered, and probably could only have been discovered, by experiments on living animals. Observation and experiment are the ultimate basis of all knowledge: from them we obtain the elementary laws of life, as we obtain all other elementary truths. It is in dealing with the complex combinations that the experimental methods are for the most part illusory, and the deductive mode of investigation must be invoked to disentangle the complexity.

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Sol, Book 3, Chapter 10 Of Plurality of Causes, and of the Intermixture of Effects