We see now that the practice of the experimental method endows with a new vision both the experimenter himself and, through his influence, those who are associated with him in medical science, even if these be not themselves actually engaged in experiment; a new discipline is imposed upon old faculties, as is seen as well in other sciences as in those on which medicine more directly depends.
The degradation of medicine between Galen and Harvey, if in part it consisted in the blind following of the authority of the former physician, was primarily due to other causes; and its new development was not due to the discovery of the experimental method alone: social and political causes also are concerned in the advance even of the exact sciences.
These new conceptions of the multiplicity in unity of disease, and of the fluidity and continuity of morbid processes, might have led to vagueness and over-boldness in speculation and reconstruction, had not the experimental method been at hand with clues and tests for the several series.
Previous to determining the mechanical equivalent of heat by the most accurate experimental method at his command, Joule established a series of cases in which the production of one kind of energy was accompanied by a disappearance of some other form.
Hume had the greatest respect for the author of the Analogy, ranks him with Locke and Berkeley as an originator of the experimental method in moral science, and in his specially theological essays, such as that on Particular Providence and a Future State, has Butler's views specifically in mind.