The main difficulty with pain
Graduate studies at Western
In Murat Aydede (ed.), Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. Cambridge Ma: Bradford Book/Mit Press (2005)
Consider the following two sentences:
(1) I see a dark discoloration in the back of my hand.They seem to have the same surface grammar, and thus prima facie invite the same kind of semantic treatment. Even though a reading of ‘see’ in (1) where the verb is not treated as a success verb is not out of the question, it is not the ordinary and natural reading. Note that if I am hallucinating a dark discoloration in the back of my hand, then (1) is simply false. For (1) to be true, therefore, I have to stand in the seeing relation to a dark discoloration in the back of my hand, i.e., to a certain surface region in the back of my hand marked by a darker shade of the usual color of my skin, a certain region that can be seen by others possibly in the same way in which I see it. Also note that although the truth of (1) doesn’t require the possession of any concept by me expressed by the words making up the sentence, my uttering of (1) to make a report typically does — if we take such utterances as expressions of one’s thoughts. So my seeing would typically induce me to identify something in the back of my hand as a dark discoloration. This is a typical case of categorization of something under a concept induced by perception. Of course, my uttering of (1) does more than attributing a physical property to a bodily region, it also reports that I am seeing it
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