The third wave of philosophy centers on the core faculty of the Palmer school, all authors of the chiropractic Green Books. This wave begins with the collaboration between B.J. Palmer and John Craven on the 1916 edition of Philosophy of Chiropractic. The wave ends with the publication of Stephenson\’s Chiropractic Textbook in 1927, an attempt to sum up the principles and philosophy of chiropractic to that point.
In the interim was the 1921 republication of both of D.D. Palmer’s books as The Chiropractic Adjustor: A Compilation of the Writings of D.D. Palmer, volume 4. The other books at this time were mainly applications of the philosophy to many fields of science. Authors such as Mabel Heath Palmer, Henry Vedder, James Firth, and S.L. Burich, were the most philosophically notable. Also included in this wave are the books by James Leroy Nixon, Arthur Holmes, and Arthur Forster.
- Thom Gelardi\’s Foreword (founder of Sherman College) to Simon Senzon\’s book, Success, Health, and Happiness is a tribute to the power and wisdom of Palmer\’s use of the epigram.
- Online CE Courses are also available specifically on B.J. Palmer.
- Simon Senzon\’s wrote a short Biography of B.J. Palmer in 2004.
- B.J. Palmer\’s 1917 essay, Death–Our Attitude Towards It.
- Excerpts from Palmer\’s 1920 book typify the 3rd wave:
“The Spirit of the P. S. C. is, then, the outgrowth of facts gleaned and impressions formed during a regular student course, during which its author was brought into close personal and fraternal association with Dr. and Mrs. Palmer, with members of the faculty and with hundreds of students as well. It was written without suggestion from any member of the faculty or other person, knowledge of the author’s purpose being unknown except to two student friends, until the prepared manuscript was submitted to Dr. Palmer for his approval. If the book shall serve to enlighten the public as to what the big school “on the hill” in Davenport really is and what it stands for; what a blessing it has become to millions of sufferers; that it is bound to prove, more than any other yet discovered system of handling disease, a priceless boon to humanity, then its primary purpose will have been accomplished and the author will be happy in the realization that his labor has not been in vain.
JAMES LEROY NIXON. Davenport, Ia., March 13,1920.”(p. 6)
- The years that Nixon was at P.S.C. have been called the Golden Age of chiropractic.
They are described in the online course on B.J. Palmer.
- Excerpts from Nixon\’s book provide a unique glimpse into the philosophic culture at the P.S.C.:
Craven may not be well known in the philosophical discussions in chiropractic today because of a misprint on the cover of the 2nd edition of Philosophy of Chiropractic. The cover and spine read, The Science of Chiropractic, but the title page clearly states, The Philosophy of Chiropractic.
Craven was an ordained Methodist minister, prior to earning his D.C. degree in 1912 and joining the faculty in 1913. Keating wrote of Craven in his book, B.J. of Davenport, “Dr.Craven officiated at many of the marriages held on the Palmer campus during his tenure at the school, 1913 through 1935. Among the best remembered of these ceremonies was the 1917 nuptials at the Palmer mansion for Carl S. Cleveland and Rose Ruth Ashworth, future founders of the Cleveland Chiropractic College of Kansas City.” (1997, p. 155) (Keating and Carl Cleveland III, coauthored a biography of Rose Ruth\’s mother.) Craven also performed the Sunday services on WOC radio in the 1920s, including the first outdoor Easter service on the school\’s rooftop in 1924.
In addition to his contributions to Volume 5, which was reprinted almost every year between 1916-1920, Craven also wrote, Chiropractic Orthopedy (volume 15, 1922) and Chiropractic Hygiene and Pediatrics (volume 3, 1924). Both books containing references to Innate Intelligence, in keeping with the tradition of creating physiology textbooks that are expressions of a philosophical worldview.
- A brief discussion of Craven\’s contribution is included in the 8 hour online lecture series on Constructing a Philosophy of Chiropractic.
- For a deeply Integral context for Craven\’s arguments, we recommend Wilber\’s Integral approach:
Integral Postmetaphysics and also Dr. Senzon\’s postmetaphysical approach to the philosophy.
- Craven\’s definition of Universal Intelligence from Volume 5 is a precursor to future UI arguments:
“Steven J. Burich was a graduate of Beloit College in Wisconsin and had been a grade school teacher of chemistry before enrolling at the PSC in June 1912. His instructional duties at Palmer commenced even before his May 1913, graduation from the Fountain Head, and he continued on staff for the next 13 years. BJ. considered him “the final authority on matters pertaining to the nervous system,” While teaching at the PSC he wrote a Textbook of Chiropractic Chemistry and co-authored a manual on adjustive techniques with his faculty peers, James Firth and Harry E. Vedder.” (1997, p.155)
- Burich was a co-founder of Lincoln College with Vedder & Firth.
- In his book on chemistry, Burich includes Innate Intelligence:
Henry Vedder was one of the founders of Lincoln Chiropractic College in 1926, along with S.L. Burich and James Firth. Their break from B.J. Palmer and the Palmer school had a significant impact on the profession and the development of the philosophy.
Palmer viewed the Innate Intelligence as the controller of metabolism and the director of the body’s functions. The brain is the seat of both Educated and Innate Intelligence. It is the source of the mental currents, which flow to the body, and the receptor of impulses from the periphery; creating the cycle of life. The reception of impulses by the innate mind, form mental impressions, which are then acted upon by will. Interpretation is thus a function or action of Innate because the act of interpretation includes the response, the efferent impulse. This is an embodied and enactive approach to the life process. A subluxation disrupts this cycle by limiting the current and/or changing the function.
- Joe Keating created a brief chronology of Mabel Heath Palmer.
- There are also many mentions of Mabel in the B.J. Palmer chronology.
- Excerpts from her two chapters from the book, Around the World with B.J. (1926) show her forward thinking, sharp intellect, and expansive embrace of the world:
The Religions of the Orient and The Women of the Orient.
- A compilation of Mabel Heath Palmer\’s quotes relating anatomy to Innate can be found here:
- To learn more about Firth\’s role in the founding of Lincoln College, please consult Keating\’s extended chronology of Lincoln College.
- In his book on symptomatology, Firth includes Innate Intelligence:
- Keating compiled several chronologies on the early chiropractic associations:
– United Chiropractors Association (UCA)
– American Chiropractic Association (ACA) (1922-1930)
– Chiropractic Health Bureau/ICA
– National Chiropractic Association (NCA)
- In his book on Malpractice, Holmes has an entire chapter on the liability of mixing other sciences with chiropractic.
Forster also did the autopsies “into the relationship of spinal nerves to various pathologies.” (Beideman, 1995)
- The main topics from Forster\’s The White Mark are economics, jurisprudence, and philosophy: Forster – Philosophy of Chiropractic
- Forster\’s entire book, The White Mark – An Editorial History of Chiropractic is available thanks to the NUHS archives:
It is well known how B.J. Palmer endorsed Stephenson\’s 1927 Chiropractic Philosophy text. Palmer displayed just as much praise, if not more, for Stephenson\’s 1927 Chiropractic Art text. B.J. wrote,
“I regard this work as the finest and best work that has ever appeared on vertebral adjusting, giving us essentials alone, every fact strictly proven, minus goat-feathers, confining itself to demonstrated mechanistic principles which any scientist can read, try and find to be true. When our ranks can get a few more men like Dr. Stephenson who will devote themselves as laboriously as he has done, and will then place his genius and ability into print as accurately as he has done, Chiropractic will come into its own as another one of the exact arts which will stand the exacting scrutiny of time. If I could desire one wish, it would be that every chiropractor secure a copy of this work, study it intimately, sincerely and conscientiously, apply its teachings and, if he would, Chiropractic results would become more manifest and take another step forward increasing its percentage of successes.” (Foreword to The Art of Chiropractic, 1927)
- Stephenson\’s Thirty-Three Principles are a cornerstone of the 3rd wave philosophy.
- Stephenson\’s other 1927 book, The Art of Chiropractic is available here: