What Pain Asymbolia Really Shows

Mind 124 (494):493-516 (2015)
<span class='Hi'>Pain</span> asymbolics feel <span class='Hi'>pain</span>, but act as if they are indifferent to it. Nikola Grahek argues that such patients present a clear counterexample to motivationalism about <span class='Hi'>pain</span>. I argue that Grahek has mischaracterized <span class='Hi'>pain</span> <span class='Hi'>asymbolia</span>. Properly understood, asymbolics have lost a general capacity to care about their bodily integrity. Asymbolics’ indifference to <span class='Hi'>pain</span> thus does not show something about the intrinsic nature of <span class='Hi'>pain</span>; it shows something about the relationship between pains and subjects, and how that relationship might break down. I explore the consequences of such a view for both motivationalism and the categorization of <span class='Hi'>pain</span> <span class='Hi'>asymbolia</span> as a syndrome, arguing for a close link between <span class='Hi'>asymbolia</span> and various forms of depersonalization.
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzu185
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David Bain (2013). Pains That Don't Hurt. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):1-16.

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