Animal magnetism

From Academic Kids

Animal magnetism is both a synonym for mesmerism as well as the 18th century term for the supposed ethereal medium postulated by Franz Mesmer as a therapeutic agent. Its existence was examined by a French royal commission in 1784, and the commission concluded there was no evidence of its existence or efficacy of the animal magnetic fluid, and that its effects derived from either the imaginations of its subjects or charlatanry. The term is also occasionally employed in the context of Christian Science to describe unheeded mental influences, malicious or ignorant, resting on its subjects' belief in them.

The term's most common usage today is to refer (sometimes facetiously) to a person's sexual attractiveness.

See the entry on Franz Mesmer.

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