Why Most Sugar Pills Are Not Placebos

  title={Why Most Sugar Pills Are Not Placebos},
  author={Bennett Holman},
  journal={Philosophy of Science},
  pages={1330 - 1343}
  • B. Holman
  • Published 2015
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy of Science
The standard philosophical definition of placebos offered by Grünbaum is incompatible with Cartwright’s conception of randomized clinical trials. I offer a modified account of placebos that respects this role and clarifies why many current medical trials fail to warrant the conclusions they are typically seen as yielding. I then consider recent changes to guidelines for reporting medical trials and show that pessimism over parsing out the cause of “unblinding” is premature. Specifically, using… Expand
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Abstract Throughout the medical, psychological, and psychiatric literature, the terminology used to characterize placebos is misleading, imprecise, and conducive to conceptual confusion in researchExpand
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