Why most sugar pills are not placebos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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 a trial of antidepressants, I show how more sophisticated statistical analyses can parse out the source of such effects and serve as an alternative to placebo control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1330-1343
Number of pages14
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume82
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Why most sugar pills are not placebos'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this