Dismantling the rhetoric of alternative medicine: Smokescreens, errors, conspiracies, and follies

Edzard Ernst, Angelo Fasce


Alternative medicine has a high social prevalence, being promoted by well organized groups that have developed an intricate rhetoric in order to self-justify in the absence of evidence. This article will analyse some of these arguments, some of their fallacies – ad populum, ad ignorantiam –, other styles of reasoning – conspiracy theories – and other misconceptions of scientific concepts – placebo effect, scientific authority. The objective will be to highlight the poverty of the rhetoric of proponents of alternative medicine, with special emphasis on the dangers for the consumer.


alternative medicine; fallacies; pseudoscience; argumentation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7203/metode.8.10004


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