The first major explosion in the philosophy of chiropractic occurred after the Morikubo trial of 1907. Critics of philosophy in chiropractic have used this fact to suggest that philosophy in chiropractic is a legal ploy and no longer needed because of its origins linked to legal necessity. A simple glance at the early chiropractic philosophers and the roots to their theories proves the limitations of that argument. It is partly true. Not completely true. The rich legacy of the philosophy of chiropractic must include personal, behavioral, cultural as well as social elements.

The embrace of philosophy after the Morikubo trial was important because chiropractic was now viewed as a separate and distinct profession due to its unique philosophy, science, and art.

This led to the first PhC degree (doctor of chiropractic philosophy). The degree was given out until 1968. It has been reinvented in recent years as the LCP and also the ACP, and also the DPhC). Dr. Senzon’s lectures for the Academy of Chiropractic Philosophers (ACP) in 2007 and 2008, were developed into some of his most recent articles. An interesting article by Palmer College librarian, Robert Stout describes the history of the PhC degree.*

This focus on philosophy in early chiropractic also led to various distinctions in language such as the use of vertebral subluxation, adjustment rather than manipulation, as well as analysis rather than diagnosis. A detailed discussion of this important point is described in Dr. Senzon’s 8 hour lecture on the principles of chiropractic and partly in his 4 hour lecture on the Life of B.J. Palmer. The longer lecture was given as the keynote address on February 5, 2011 to the K.R. Jones Scholarship and Philosophy Forum. The second lecture was an invited talk to the Master’s Circle’s high achievers. Both lectures are available as online CE courses.


*Reprinted by permission of the Association for the History of Chiropractic.