Abstract

ABSTRACT:

In the relatively nascent field of placebo studies, empirical studies have burgeoned. Yet debate about how to define the terms placebo and "placebo effect" has not abated. A number of prominent scholars (drawn from medical practice, as well as philosophy, psychology, and anthropology) continue to propose and defend different conceptual models for these terms, and the perception that conceptual debate persists is often given as one justification for new definitions. Paradoxically—in spite of this lively debate—this article finds considerable underlying agreement about definitional matters within placebo studies. Drawing on key insights from philosophy of science, and by exploring the nature of scientific consensus and normal scientific research, this paper argues that well-developed placebo concepts form the basis for a placebo paradigm and that conceptual disagreement is overstated.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 412-429
Launched on MUSE
2018-10-02
Open Access
No
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