Our choice between actual and remembered pain and our flawed preferences

Philosophical Psychology 13 (1):111-119 (2000)
In Stephanie Beardman's discussion of the empirical results of Kahneman and Tversky and Kahneman, et al. on pain preference and rational utility decision she argues that an interpretation of these results does not require that false memory for pain episodes yields irrational preferences for future pain events. I concur with her conclusion and suggest that there are reasons from within the pain sciences for agreeing with Beardman's reinterpretation of the Kahneman, et al. data. I cite some of these theoretical and empirical reasons. I engage in some speculation as to why preferences for pain experiences, which harbor the Peak and Ending profile, make biological sense. Given the results from the pain sciences and the clinical practices based in them, I conclude that the medical ethical issue Kahneman raises and Beardman tries to solve is not a pressing moral demand on medical practitioners
Keywords Brain  Pain  Preference  Science  Beardman, S  Kahneman, D
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DOI 10.1080/09515080050002753
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