The concept of placebo

Science and Engineering Ethics 10 (1):57-64 (2004)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper attempts to define the concept of placebo as it is used in the clinical context The author claims that X is a placebo if and only if X has such a property dp, that whenever in a therapeutic situation T a stimulus S appears, then in attending conditions A, it will cause a beneficial reaction R in the patient. Formally, the same structure may be used to define any pharmacologically active drug. The main difference between the drug and a placebo is in the range of possible substitutions for X and the property d. For the active drug there is only one possible substitution for X and property d and it can be scientifically explained why, and how the drug works. In the case of a placebo a set of possible substitutions for X and d is open, and so far it is impossible to offer any scientifically valid explanation of the action mechanism of placebo.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 76,442

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
83 (#149,207)

6 months
1 (#454,876)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Zbigniew Szawarski
University of Warsaw (PhD)

Citations of this work

Placebo Effects and Informed Consent.Mark Alfano - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (10):3-12.

Add more citations