Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Humanities and Social Inquiry


Two healthcare models, biomedicine and homeopathy, have offered contrasting perspectives and competed for patients for more than two hundred years. Biomedicine is considered the dominant modality in the Western world. Nevertheless, it is criticised, both from within and outside, for using unscientific methods and life-threatening procedures. To maintain its position, proponents of this approach have developed and put into action a variety of tactics. In contrast, homeopathy is struggling to maintain a mainstream position in health care (throughout this thesis, I have used the words 'health care' when referring to a noun and 'healthcare' when referring to an adjective). Defenders of homeopathy have sought to find recognition or acceptance from proponents of biomedicine. Even after accommodating the requests of advocates of biomedicine, homeopathy has remained marginalised.

If the relationship between these two approaches to healthcare is thought of as a conflict, then it is plausible that insights can be gained from using conflict models. Gandhi, Machiavelli and Voss offer three dramatically different perspectives on resolving conflicts. This thesis examines the historical and contemporary conflict between homeopathy and biomedicine through these three lenses. It analyses what has happened and makes suggestions for how homeopathy and biomedicine might resolve their conflict.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.