The Royal Commission on Animal Magnetism involved two entirely separate and independent French Royal Commissions, each appointed by Louis XVI
in 1784, that were conducted simultaneously by a committee composed of five scientists from the Royal Academy of Sciences (''Académie des sciences'')
and four physicians from the Paris Faculty of Medicine (''Faculté de médecine de Paris'')
(i.e., the "Franklin Commission"), and a second committee composed of five physicians from the Royal Society of Medicine (''Société Royale de Médecine'')
(i.e., the "Society Commission").
The "Franklin Commission's" investigations are notable as a very early "classic
" example of a systematic controlled trial
, which not only applied "sham" and "genuine" procedures to patients with "sham" and "genuine" disorders, but, significantly, was the first to use the "blindfolding
" of both the investigators and their subjects.
::"The report of the Franklin"
Royal Commission of 1784 … is a masterpiece of its genre, and enduring testimony to the power and beauty of reason. … Never in history has such an extraordinary and luminous group s the "Franklin Commission"
been gathered together in the service of rational inquiry by the methods of experimental science. For this reason alone the eport of the "Franklin Commission"
… is a key document in the history of human reason. It should be rescued from obscurity, translated into all languages, and reprinted by organizations dedicated to the unmasking of quackery and the defense of rational thought." -- Stephen Jay Gould
Both sets of Commissioners were specifically charged with investigating the claims made by Charles d’Eslon for the existence of a substantial (rather than metaphorical) "animal magnetism
", le magnétisme animal, and of a similarly physical "magnetic fluid
", le fluide magnétique. Further, having completed their investigations into the claims of d'Eslon -- that is, they did not examine Mesmer, Mesmer's theories, Mesmer's principles, Mesmer's practices, Mesmer's techniques, Mesmer's apparatus, Mesmer's claims, Mesmer's "cures', or "mesmerism" itself -- they were each required to make "a separate and distinct report".
Each Commission took five months to complete its investigations. The "Franklin" Report was presented to the King on 11 August 1784 -- and was immediately published and very widely circulated throughout France and neighbouring countries -- and the "Society" Report was presented five days later on 16 August 1784.
From their investigations both Commissions concluded that there was no evidence of any kind to support d'Eslon's claim for the substantial physical existence
of either his supposed "animal magnetism" or his supposed "magnetic fluid"; and, in the process, they determined that all of the effects they had observed could be attributed to a physiological (rather than metaphysical) agency. Moreover, each Commission -- implicitly accepting that there was no collusion, pretence, or extensive subject training involved on the part of d'Eslon -- independently reported that, in their view, all of the experimentally observed phenomena could be directly attributed to "contact", "imagination", and/or "imitation".
150px|upFranz Mesmer c.1800.
Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1815)
, born in Swabia
, having first studied law at Dillingen
universities, transferred to the University of Vienna
and began a study of medicine, graduating Medicinae Doctor (M.D.)
-- his doctoral dissertation (Mesmer, 1766) had the official title "''A Physico-Medical Dissertation on the Influence of the Planets''" -- at the age of 32, in 1766. Although he was made a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities
in 1775, and despite his M.D. qualification, there is no record of Mesmer ever having been accepted as a member of any medical "learned society
" anywhere in Europe at any time.
Mesmer left Austria in 1777, in controversial circumstances, following his treatment of the young Austrian Pianist Maria Theresia von Paradis for her blindness
, and established himself, in Paris, in February 1778. He spent several years in Paris itself, interspersed with time spent in various parts of France, a complete absence from France (1792-1798), a return to France in 1798, and his final departure from France in 1802.
While in France it was his habit to travel to the town of Spa, in Belgium
to "take the waters"; and he was enjoying an extended stay at Spa when the reports of the two Royal Commissions were released. Mesmer lived for another 31 years after the Royal Commissions. He died at the age of 80, in Meersburg
, in the Grand Duchy of Baden
, on 5 March 1815.
Positioner of a concept
Rather than being the "inventor" of "a technique", as some (mis)represent the circumstances, it is clear that Mesmer's significance was in his "positioning
" of an overarching "concept
" (or "''construct
''") through his creation and development -- using analogies with gravity
, terrestrial magnetism
, and hydraulics
(as they were understood at the time) -- of "an explanatory model to represent the way that healers had been healing people for thousands of years" (Yeates, 2018, p.48).
According to Tatar (1990, p.49), rather than Mesmer's proposal being some sort of "occult theory", "he actually remained well within the bounds of eighteenth-century thought when he formulated his theories" and, moreover, "the theories hat Mesmer
invoked to explain he agency of "animal magnetism"
fit squarely into the frame of eighteenth-century cosmology".
In other words, as a product of its time, Mesmer's enterprise was one of ''protoscience
'', rather than being one of ''pseudoscience
'' or, even, one of ''fringe science
A concept that must not be reified
Mesmer was well aware of the human propensity -- in the normal, conventional use of language (la langue de convention) -- to speak of "properties" or "qualities" (i.e., these "metaphysical abstractions", illusions de la méthaphysique), as if they were "substances": in Mesmer's words, "substantivise the properties", substantisia les propriétiés (in other words, "''reification''", in the manner of Whitehead's
""''fallacy of misplaced concreteness''"
He was also well aware of the extent to which, through the "distortion" caused by the use of these "substantive words" (mot substantif) -- which, through their application, "personified" (personnifia) these metaphysical abstractions -- one is induced to believe in the actual physical existence of the "substance" itself. Given these observations, Mesmer was most emphatic in his continuous warnings that his abstract "principles" should not be "substantivised".
It is significant that Mesmer (1799) describes how, once he had had formulated the abstract, overarching (metaphorical) construct/concept of "animal magnetism" as the therapeutic agent (a quarter of a century earlier) -- and with his hope that this newly-described "principle of action" (principe de action), when considered as an agent, "could become a means of healing and, even, one of preserving/defending oneself against disease" (p.7, Mesmer's emphasis) -- the primary focus of his enterprise had become the threefold quest for the acquisition of an understanding of:
* (a) how to rouse (and maintain) this agent, by every possible means -- and the knowledge of how, so-roused, it might be therapeutically harnessed in the most efficacious fashion (Mesmer, 1799, p.48);
* (b) (given that the agent's therapeutic effects were observed to be ''gradual'', rather than ''instantaneous'') the "obstacles" that typically divert, disturb, or impede the agent's capacity to attain the optimal treatment outcomes -- and, once these "obstacles" had been identified, determine appropriate ways to "clear them away" ("de connoître et lever les obstacles qui peuvent troubler ou empêcher son action", p.48); and
* (c) the natural pathway along which the agent's therapeutic effects are realized, so that, in its application, these outcomes can be systematically anticipated -- meaning that, with this knowledge, the (otherwise random) clinical applications can be controlled, regulated, and incrementally applied in a systematic way, until the target goal of a "cure" is attained (p.49).
Based on natural principles
Mesmer held the materialist
position -- that his therapies, which involved easily understood, systematic ''natural'' principles, were "physiological", rather than "psychological" interventions -- in contrast to the ''supernatural'' positions of, say, the exorcist Johann Joseph Gassner (1727-1779)
::By contrast with many "faith healers", assner
had a quasi-scientific method of diagnosis, according to which he separated diseases that should be treated by a physician from those that he should treat. He first admonished the patient that faith in the name of Jesus was essential. He then obtained consent to use the method of "trial" exorcism. He entreated the Devil to defy Jesus by producing the patient's symptoms. If the convulsions or other symptoms appeared, Gassner believed they were the work of the Devil; he proceeded to exorcise the responsible demon. If symptoms failed to appear, he could not attribute them to a demon and sent the patient to a physician. – Ernest Hilgard
the mystic José Custódio de Faria, a.k.a. "Abbé Faria" (1756-1819)
, and the magnetists, such as d'Eslon, and, later, Charles Lafontaine (1803-1892)
, whose demonstrations of "animal magnetism" were attended by James Braid in November 1841
::"Mesmer's approach to healing and his healing theory were physically oriented. His explanation of the phenomena of animal magnetism was consistently formulated in terms of matter and motion, and he believed that every aspect of animal magnetism could sooner or later be verified through physical experimentation and research." (Crabtree, 1993, p.51)
::"When Mesmer took a patient, his first concern was to determine whether the ailment was organic or functional. If it was organic, the result of physical damage to the tissue, he considered it, following is
Proposition 23, beyond the aid of animal magnetism. If it was functional, a physiological disorder affected by the nerves, it fell within the class of diseases he felt uniquely qualified to handle with his therapeutic technique." (Buranelli, 1975, pp.107-108).
Early experiments with magnets
It is also significant that Mesmer, impressed by the therapeutic enterprises of the Jesuit astronomer, explorer, and healer Maximilian Hell (1720-1792)
-- which involved the application of steel magnets specifically shaped either to fit particular body contours, or to match the actual dimensions of a specific organ (e.g., the liver) -- and, recognizing the "''prima facie plausiblity''" of Hell's approach, purchased a number of steel magnets from Hell in 1774 and began applying them to his patients; however, as Pattie reports (1994, p.2), Mesmer "had ntirely
abandoned the use of magnets" by 1776, because his own clinical experimentation had proved them to be utterly useless.
By 1779, Mesmer (1779, pp.34-35) was expressing his concern that many -- including, for instance, the "Berlin Academy
", in 1775 -- had and were continuing to "confuse" the "properties" of his (abstract/theoretical) "''Magnétisime animal''" with those of an actual physical magnet (l'aimant): objects of which, he stressed, he had only ever spoken of as possible "conductors" of "animal magnetism". And, he argued, from this "confusion" of his "animal magnetism" with "''mineral magnetism
", his use of magnets -- which, although "useful", were always "imperfect', unless they had been applied according to "''la théorie du Magnétisime animal''" -- was being consistently misrepresented and misunderstood.
The glass armonica and the "baquet"
Mesmer developed particular theatrical therapeutic rituals, often accompanied by the sounds of the Glass Armonica
-- an instrument which was, in fact, the invention of Benjamin Franklin himself -- that were associated with a wide range of (figurative) magnetic connotations, such as the use of "magnetic wands", and the treatment tub known as "the baquet", which, in the view of Yeates (2018, p.48), were "obviously, designed to amplify each subject’s "response expectancy
" (Kirsch, 1997, etc.) via impressive "''metonymical acts''" (Topley, 1976, p.254)".
The "baquet" (lit. 'a tub') was a device of Mesmer's design, that he had constructed by analogy with the newly invented "''Leyden Bottle''"
-- i.e., "the first electric condenser iz.,_[[capacitor
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In its initial conception, Mesmer's "baquet" was "a vat containing bottles of magnetized water from which steel bars escaped through which the 'magnetization’ took place in the [subjects or patients], who were arranged around the tub holding their hands" (Morabito, loc.cit.). According to Mesmer's own description, in the (undated) "Catechism" that he had delivered exclusively to his followers,
is a vat about six to seven feet, more or less, in diameter by eighteen inches in height. There is a double bottom in the interior of this vat, in which fragments of broken bottles, gravel, stones, and sticks of pounded sulfur and iron filings are placed. All of this is filled with water and covered up with a floor nailed into the vat. On the surface of the lid, six inches in from the rim, one makes various holes in order to allow the passage of iron rods which are arranged so that one end penetrates the bottom of the vat and the other is directed, by means of a curve, over the pit of the stomach of the patient or other affected parts of the body."
Mesmer specifically stressed the primary importance of the patients' hand-holding as a factor in the "augmentation" of the force/quality of the power of the "animal magnetism".
Moreover, and significantly, Mesmer (separately) acknowledged that, if it was ever to come to pass that he had a suitable "establishment" -- i.e., one with sufficient space available for all the assembled patients to hold hands -- he would "abolish the use of baquets" (je supprimerois les baquets) and, as well, also significantly remarking (loc. cit.) that, "In general, I only use these little devices c. "baquets"
when I am forced to do so" (En general, je n'use des petits moyes que lorsque j'y suis forcé).
, "a disciple of the minent French
surgeon J.L. Petit
", a ''docteur-régent'' of the Paris Faculty of Medicine, and the one-time personal physician to the King's brother, Charles Philippe, Comte d’Artoir -- who, later (following the Bourbon Restoration in France
) became King Charles X
Association with Mesmer
d’Eslon was also a former patient, a former pupil, and a former associate of Mesmer; and, while associated with Mesmer, d'Eslon published a work on Mesmer's version of animal magnetism, ''Observations sur le Magnétisme Animal'' (1780). The work contains details of 18 cases treated by Mesmer.
In stressing the efficacy of Mesmer's "animal magnetism" interventions, d'Eslon defended (at p.124) the absence of clear explanations of the mechanism through which "animal magnetism" effects its "cures" with an observation that, although the purgative
actions of ''rhubarb
'' and ''Shir-Khesht manna'' (a.k.a. ''purgative manna'') are well known to the medical profession, the mechanisms involved are not; and, so, in these cases, "facts" and "experience" are "our only guides" -- and, in a similar fashion, asserts d'Eslon, "in relation to Animal Magnetism, it is the same, I don't know how it works, but I do know that it does work".
d'Eslon also directly addressed the charge that Mesmer had "discovered" nothing, and that the "extraordinary things" (des choses extraordinaires) that Mesmer had demonstrably effected were due to his "captivation of the imagination" (en séduisant l’imagination), with the comment that,
::"If t were to be true that
Mesmer had no other secret than that he has been able to make the imagination exert an influence upon health, would he not still be a wonderful doctor? If treatment by the use of the imagination is the best treatment, why do we not make use of it?" (1780, pp.46-47).
On 7 October 1780 -- still associated with Mesmer and still a member of the Paris Faculty of Medicine -- d'Eslon made an official request "that an investigation of the authenticity and efficacy of Mesmer's claims and cures be made. The ''Faculté'' rejected his plea, and in refusing accused 'Eslon
personally of misdemeanour".
On 15 May 1782, d'Eslon presented the Faculty with his arguments in the form of a 144-page pamphlet; and then, "on 26 October 1782, 'Eslon
was finally struck from the aculty's
roster and forbidden to attend any meeting for a period of two years".
In late 1782, eighteen months before the Commission, d'Eslon had (acrimoniously) parted ways with Mesmer; and, despite a brief reconciliation, the relationship was terminated in late 1783. On 28 December 1783, d'Eslon wrote a letter to the ''Journal de Paris'', which not only described the difficulties he had experienced with Mesmer, but also announced that he was opening his own (entirely independent) clinic.
Following his break with Mesmer, d’Eslon not only launched his own clinical operation -- on his break with Mesmer d'Eslon had also taken all the patients he had earlier brought to Mesmer -- but also began teaching his own theories and practices (i.e., rather than those of Mesmer). According to d'Eslon's own account (1784b, pp.25-26), Mesmer had taught 300 students, 160 of whom were medical men (Médecins), and d'Eslon himself had taught 160 medical men (this group included 21 members of the Paris Faculty of Medicine).
Given that many of those who had privately paid Mesmer for details of "the secret" were greatly dissatisfied, and "ustifiably
of having enunciated a theory which was merely a collection of obscure principles" (Binet & Féré, 1888, p.13), it seems that d'Eslon's version was little better -- greatly confused by d'Eslon's version of "the secret", his student and associate François Amédée Doppet
is said to have remarked that those to whom d'Eslon had revealed "the secret" doubted it even more than those to whom it had not.
It was under these circumstances that a decision was made to investigate the work of d'Eslon -- although he was already ostracized
from the Paris Faculty of Medicine -- when "d’Eslon, through influential friends, and tact, and other favourable circumstances, procured he commissions'
to investigate animal magnetism ''as practised in his own clinic''" (Gauld, 1992, p.7, emphasis added).
d'Eslon's membership of the Faculty of Medicine was never reinstated; and unlike Mesmer, he remained in Paris following the publication of the reports of the two Commissions. Although apparently in good health in the preceding months, he died somewhat suddenly in Paris, on 21 August 1786, at the age of 47, from a complex of disorders including pneumonia, a malignant fever ('une fièvre maligne'), and renal colic.
"Mesmerism" vs. "Animal Magnetism"
In order to understand the significance of the two Commissions' concentration on their examination of d'Eslons' claims for the existence of "animal magnetism" -- that is, rather than conducting an examination of the clinical efficacy of Mesmer's actual therapeutic practices -- and, in order to clarify certain ambiguities, and correct particular errors that persist in the literature, a number of basic facts need to be addressed (see, for example, Yeates, 2018, pp.48-52).
Similarities and differences
The materialist "mesmerists" and the metaphysical "animal magnetists" each held that all ''animate'' beings (i.e., "living" beings: humans, animals, plants, etc.), in virtue of being alive, possessed an invisible, natural "magnetic" or "gravitational force" -- thus ''magnetismus animalis'', "animal magnetism", or ''gravitas animalis'', "animal gravity" -- and the therapeutic interventions of each were directed at manipulating the ebb and flow of their subject's "energy field
::That constant flux and reflux of the vital principles and corporeal humours in man (without which both motion and life are stopped) produce those effects of sympathy and antipathy which become more natural and less miraculous; the atmospherical particle to each individual receives from the general fluid the proper attraction and repulsion. In the divers crossings of those individual atmospheres, some emanations are more attractive between two beings, and others more repulsive; so again, when one body possesses more fluid than another, it will repel; and that body which is less will make an effort to restore itself into equilibrium or sympathy with the other body. — Ebenezer Sibly (1820).
Despite these fundamental similarities, there were many (even more fundamental) differences between the two.
In order to foster and promote orthopraxia
, the materialist "mesmerists" used qualitative
(rather than quantitative
-- centred on Mesmer's abstract and metaphorical overarching analogies with gravity
, terrestrial magnetism
, and hydraulics
-- to explain the application of their techniques and to describe their therapeutic rationale.
::“When we call this principle magnetic fluid, vital fluid, we are using a figurative expression. We know that something emanates from the magnetizer: this something is not a solid, and we call it a fluid.” -- Deleuze (1814), p.233.
The "animal magnetists"
In contrast to the mesmerists, the metaphysical "magnetists" who (mistakenly) ''reified
'' (i.e., "substantivised") the magnetic/fluidic metaphors of Mesmer, firmly believed that they were channeling a substantial "fluidium" and were manipulating a particular, substantial "force".
::What Thomas Brown(e)
, writing in the seventeenth century, deemed a vulgar error was the belief in sympathy as a unifying force working outside the human state, in this instance between two magnetically charged needles that of themselves are clearly incapable of having feelings, sensibilities, and affections. This alternative use of sympathy experienced a resurgence in the early 1780s, particularly in the field of animal magnetism, a practice that drew on the study of magnetism and electricity and fused these with the language of magic and the occult, blurring the boundaries between superstition and rational experimental philosophy.
The "higher" and "lower" phenomena of the magnetists
By the time of James Braid's
(1841) Manchester encounter with the "magnetist" Charles Lafontaine, those who were still committed to the existence of a substantial 'magnetic fluid", etc., maintained that the phenomena produced by their acts of "magnetization" were of two general classes -- ''lower phenomena'', and ''higher phenomena'' -- the distinction being "that, while there might be natural explanations for 'lower' phenomena, 'higher' phenomena could only be explained in terms of a ''paranormal'' or ''metaphysical agency''" (Yeates, 2018, p.52).
Mesmer's "cures" were never investigated
In relation to the question of the agency/cause of Mesmer's apparently-confirmed "cures" -- and in the process of constructing the protocols for their investigations into d'Eslon's "animal magnetism" -- both Commissions were well aware that "an effect's ''objective reality'' does not substantiate ny of the
proffered explanations or its existence
(Yeates, 2018, p.61).
Mesmer's earlier refusal to have his "magnetic" interventions scrutinized
Already, in his earlier (18 September 1780) interaction with the ''Paris Faculty of Medicine'', Mesmer had refused to have his therapeutic interventions on a set of entirely "new" patients directly scrutinized, claiming that his already-achieved "cures" were an objective matter of record. Mesmer justified his refusal as follows:
:"Here is what I said to M. de Lassonne; however bizarre t may seem
at first sight it is nevertheless entirely serious and very much applicable to the question. When a thief is convicted of theft he is hanged: when a murderer is convicted of murder he is executed on the wheel. But to exact these terrible penalties the thief is not required to thieve again to prove that he is a thief, and the murderer is not required to murder a second time to prove that he is a murderer. One is content to establish by testimony and by material evidence that the theft or the murder was committed and then one hangs or executes on the wheel in good conscience.
Very well! It is the same with me. I ask, kindly, to be treated like a man to be executed on the wheel or hanged and that an effort should be made to establish that I have cured atients
without asking me to perform new cures to prove that I am to be regarded as someone who cures."
Reasons for not examining the outcomes of Mesmer's "magnetic" interventions
Notwithstanding Mesmer's earlier refusal to co-operate, and aside from the fact that the two Commissions were specifically charged with investigating d’Eslon’s claims for the existence of "animal magnetism", there were two additional, significant reasons for not investigating the veracity of the "cures" attributed to Mesmer.
* (1) They had no persuasive evidence to suggest that the reports of Mesmer’s "cures" were false.
* (2) The Commissioner's took the entirely reasonable and non-controversial step of accepting Mesmer's "cures" as ''a given
In support of this decision, and noting that "observations over the centuries prove & Physicians themselves recognize, that Nature alone & without the help of medical treatment cures a great number of patients", the Commissioners agreed with the previously-expressed observations of Mesmer -- namely, that, even when verified, the "cures", in themselves, could not provide evidence of (metaphorical) "animal magnetism" — and, in support of their decision, the Commissioners cited Mesmer's own statements: that “nothing conclusively proves that the Physician or Medicine heals the sick”, and because of that, it was (in Mesmer's own words), "a mistake to believe that this kind of proof is irrefutable".
Further, as Kihlstrom (2002) observed, even though the "Franklin Commission" had accepted that "Mesmer's cures were genuine", and that "he was able to succeed where conventional approaches had failed",
::"evidence of efficacy was not sufficient for academic approval. The scientific revolution
had made physicians increasingly dissatisfied with purely ''empirical'' treatments, which were known to be effective but whose underlying mechanisms were unknown. In the emerging profession of scientific medicine, theories of treatment, like theories of disease, had to conform to what was known about anatomy and physiology. Then, as now, this scientific basis distinguished medicine from quackery and so was an important source of the physician's professional authority. While Mesmer wanted approval for his technique, the academy wanted verification of his theory." (p.414)
Common misrepresentation of fact
These facts expose the error in the commonly expressed (in modern literature) and extremely misleading misrepresentation of affairs; namely, the assertion that the Commissions had agreed that, in each case, Mesmer had "cured" his patients:
:"Although it is entirely correct to assert that both sets of Commissioners accepted that Mesmer’s "cures" were, indeed, "cures", it is completely wrong to suggest that any of the Commissioners accepted that any of those "cured" individuals had been "cured" ''by Mesmer''.
The "magnetic ''crisis''"
::"One feature of Mesmer's methods … was the "mesmeric crisis". Some patients, especially those suffering from more serious symptoms, experienced nervous trembling
, occasionally delirium
. Mesmer regarded these as an inevitable accompaniment of the process of normalization of the flow of animal magnetism, and had special padded "crisis rooms" ''salle de crises
in which patients could throw themselves about without hurting themselves, while Mesmer or his assistants gave them individual attention. The depth of the crisis naturally varied from case to case, but Mesmer insisted that ''some'' degree of crisis, no matter how slight or transient, would always be found if it was looked for carefully enough." — (Anthony Campbell, 1988, p.36)
Mesmeric Crisis-(Franklin Commission)-(1).tif| (first part).
Mesmeric Crisis-(Franklin Commission)-(2).tif| (second part).
Mesmeric Crisis-(Franklin Commission)-(3).tif| (third part).
[Anon (1911/1912), p.80; translation of Bailly (1784a), pp.7-8.]
Noting that some of those who were "magnetized" over an extended time, by d'Eslon, "fell into the convulsive movements that have been called Crises" -- and noting that these "convulsive movements" , Paris: Gastelier.]
* Meyer, Vera & Allen, Kathleen J., "Benjamin Franklin and the Glass Armonica", ''Endeavour'', Vol.12, No.4, (January 1988), pp.185-188.
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* William Newnham (physician)|Newnham, W. (1845)"Of Phreno-Magnetism", pp.374-411 in W. Newnham, ''Human Magnetism; Its Claims to Dispassionate Inquiry: Being an Attempt to Show the Utility of Its Application for the Relief of Human Suffering'', London: John Churchill.
* Ogden, Emily (2012), "Mesmer's Demon: Fiction, Falsehood, and the Mechanical Imagination", ''Early American Literature'', Vol.47, No.1, (2012), pp.143-170.
* Pattie, F.A. (1994). ''Mesmer and Animal Magnetism: A Chapter in the History of Medicine'', Hamilton, NY: Edmonston Publishing.
* Paulet, Jean-Jacques
(1784)''L'antimagnétisme, ou origine, progrès, décadence, renouvellement et réfutation du magnétisme animal'' ('Antimagnetism, or the origin, progress, decadence, renewal and refutation of animal magnetism'), London: n.p.Pitres, A., Leçons Cliniques sur l'Hystérie et l'Hypnotisme: Faites à l'Hôpital Saint-André de Bordeaux: Tome 2 (Ouvrage précédé D'une Lettre-Préface de M. le Professeur J.-M. Charcot), Octave Doin (Paris), 1891.Poissonnier, P.-I., Caille, C.-A., Mauduyt de La Varenne, P.-J.-C., & Andry, C.-L.-F. (1784), ''Rapport des commissaires de la Société royale de médecine nommés par le Roi pour fair l’examen du magnétisme animal, Imprimé par ordre du Roi'', Paris: Imprimerie royale.
* Pollitt, Ben, (2019), "Sympathy, Magnetism, and Immoderate Laughter: The Feather in Cook’s Last Voyage", ''The Art Bulletin'', Vol.101, No.4, (October 2019), pp.70-94,
* Rosen, G.M., Lilienfeld, S.O. & Glasgow, R.E. (2019), "Psychiatry's stance towards scientifically implausible therapies: Are we losing ground?", ''The Lancet Psychiatry'', Vol.6, No.10 (October 2019), pp.802–803.
* Salas D & Salas, D. (trans.), "The First Scientific Investigation if the Paranormal Ever Conducted, Commissioned by King Louis XVI. Designed, Conducted, & Written by Benjamin Franklin, Antoine Lavoisier, & Others", ''Skeptic'', (Fall 1996), pp.68-83: a translation of Bailly (1784a).
Schwartz, S.A. (2004), "Franklin’s Forgotten Triumph: Scientific Testing", ''American heritage'', Vol.55, No.5, (October 2004), pp.65-69.
* Servan, J.M.A.
(1784)''Doutes d'un provincial, Proposés à MM. les Médecins-Commissaires chargés par le Roi de l'examen du Magnétisme animal'' ('Doubts of a Man from the Provinces, Proposed to MM. the Medical Commissioners Charged by the King with the Examination of Animal Magnetism'), Lyon: Prault.
* Shermer, M., "Testing the Claims of Mesmerism", ''Skeptic'', (Fall 1996), pp.66-67.
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* Sibly, E.
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Category:1784 in science
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Category:Obsolete scientific theories
Category:Obsolete medical theories
Category:History of science
Category:History of medicine
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