Pain, placebo, and cognitive penetration

Mind and Language 36 (5):771-791 (2021)
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Abstract

There is compelling evidence that pain experience is influenced by cognitive states. We explore one specific form of such influence, namely placebo analgesia, and examine its relevance for the cognitive penetration debate in philosophy of mind. We single out as important a form of influence on experience that we term radical cognitive penetration, and argue that some cases of placebo analgesia constitute compelling instances of this phenomenon. Still, we urge caution in extrapolating from this to broader conclusions about cognitive penetration in perceptual experience. Instead, we suggest that the cognitive penetration of pain raises distinctive psychological, epistemological, and ethical issues.

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Author Profiles

Phoebe Friesen
McGill University
Henry Shevlin
Cambridge University

References found in this work

Intentionality: An Essay in the Philosophy of Mind.John R. Searle - 1983 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Conditioned Reflexes.I. P. Pavlov - 1927 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (4):560-560.

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