Article ID: CBB000740388

Imagination---Einbildungskraft---Suggestion: Zur Scharlatanerie in der neuzeitlichen Medizin (2004)


In Renaissance and early modern times, the concept of imagination (Latin imaginatio) was essential for the (natural) philosophical explanation of magic processes, especially in the anthropology of Paracelsus. He assumed that imaginatio was a natural vital power including cosmic, mental, psychical, and physical dimensions. The Paracelsians criticized traditional humor pathology ignoring their theory of natural magic. On the other hand, they were criticized by their adversaries as charlatans practicing black magic. About 1800, in between enlightenment and romanticism, the healing concept of animal magnetism (Mesmerism) evoked an analogous debate, whether magnetic phenomena originated from a real (physical) power (so-called fluidum) or were just due to fantasy or imagination (German Einbildungskraft). At the end of the 19th century, the French internist Hippolyte Bernheim created - against the background of medical hypnosis (hypnotism) as a consequence of Mesmerism - his theory of suggestion and autosuggestion: a new paradigm of psychological respectively psychosomatic medicine, which became the basis for the concept of placebo in modern biomedicine. From now on, all the effects of alternative medicine could easily be explained by the placebo-effect, more or less founded - at least unconsciously - on fraud.

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Article Eckart, Wolfgang U. (2004) Blender, Täuscher, Scharlatane: Betrug in den Wissenschaften, Einführung in das Symposium. Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte (p. 89). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Graus, Andrea
Maehle, Andreas-Holger
Schott, Heinz G.
Gentilcore, David
Monroe, John Warne
Andriopoloulos, Stefan
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
History of Psychology
Social History of Medicine
Micrologus: Natura, Scienze e Società Medievali
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Oxford University Press
Cornell University Press
University of Chicago Press
University of Texas at Austin
American University
Hypnosis and hypnotism
Deceptions; hoaxes; frauds
Bernheim, Hippolyte Marie
Caillois, Roger
Brueghel, Pieter
Mesmer, Franz Anton
Charcot, Jean Martin
Luys, Jules Bernard
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
18th century
16th century
20th century
17th century
Great Britain
United States

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