An eighteenth century view of the placebo effect (Rétif de la Bretonne).

Abstract

Placebo - the promise to please the Lord of medieval prayer became the "pious fraud" (Thomas Jefferson) of late 18th century medical practice. Quoted here is Rétif de la Bretonne (1734-1806), one of the most prolific novelists and popular encyclopedists ever, also highly regarded by some illustrious critics, as he is giving his cynical views about the… (More)

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