Mind and Language 35 (1):29-47 (2020)

Authors
Emma Borg
University of Reading
James Stazicker
King's College London
Abstract
Philosophers often assume that folk hold pain to be a mental state – to be in pain is to have a certain kind of feeling – and they think this state exhibits the classic Cartesian characteristics of privacy, subjectivity, and incorrigibility. However folk also assign pains bodily locations: unlike most other mental states, pains are held to exist in arms, feet, etc. This has led some to talk of the ‘paradox of pain’, whereby the folk notion of pain is inherently conflicted. Recently, several authors have rejected the paradox view, arguing instead that folk hold a univocal, bodily view. This paper presents six objections to the bodily view of the folk concept of pain. We then outline a direction for future research – the ‘polyeidic approach’ – whereby the folk notion of pain is held to encompass various divergent strands and we suggest that certain problems surrounding the treatment and communication of pain might be usefully be viewed through the lens of the polyeidic approach.
Keywords Bodily view of pain  Cartesian mental state  Mental State view of pain  chronic pain  paradox of pain  polyeidic concept
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Reprint years 2020
DOI 10.1111/mila.12227
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References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
What Makes Pains Unpleasant?David Bain - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):69-89.
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Why Take Painkillers?David Bain - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):462-490.

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Citations of this work BETA

Pain.Murat Aydede - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Pain, Paradox and Polysemy.Michelle Liu - 2021 - Analysis 81 (3):461-470.
The Paradox of Pain.Adam Bradley - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (4):pqaa084.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

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