Conceiving of Pain

Dialogue 47 (02):351- (2008)
ABSTRACT: In this article we aim to see how far one can get in defending the identity thesis without challenging the inference from conceivability to possibility. Our defence consists of a dilemma for the modal argument. Either "pain" is rigid or it is not. If it is not rigid, then a key premise of the modal argument can be rejected. If it is rigid, the most plausible semantic account treats "pain" as a natural-kind term that refers to its causaI or historical origin, namely, C-fibre stimulation. It follows that any phenomenon that is not C-fibre stimulation is not pain, even if it is qualitatively similar to pain. This means there could be phenomena that feel like pain butare not pain since they are not C-fibre stimulation. These possible phenomena can be used to explain away the apparent conceivability of pain without C-fibre stimulation. On either horn of the dilemma, the identity theorist has ample resources to respond to Kripke's argument, even without wandering into the contentious territory of conceivability and possibility.RÉSUMÉ: Nous souhaitons explorer ici dans quelle mesure il est possible de défendre la thèse de l'identité sans contester l'inférence de la concevabilité à la possibilité. Nous proposons un dilemme pour l'argument modal: soit «da souffrance» est sévère ou elle ne l'est pas. Dans le second cas, une des prémisses fondamentales de l'argument modal se voit rejetée. Dans le cas contraire, le traitement sémantique le plus plausible présente «la souffrance» comme un type naturel qui se réfère à son origine causale ou historique, c'est-à-dire à une stimulation de la fibre C. Il s'ensuit que tout phénomène qui ne résulte pas de la stimulation de la fibre C n'est pas souffrance, même s'il est qualitativement similaire. Il existerait donc des phénomènes qui créent une impression de souffrance mais qui ne le sont pas. Face à ce dilemme, le théoricien de l'identité a anlplenlent de quoi répondre à l'argument de Kripke, sans même toucher au domaine controversé de la concevabilité et de la possibilité
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0012217300002651
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
John Perry (2009). Reference and Reflexivity. Center for the Study of Language and Information.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Su-Young Hwang (2008). Mémoire et Identité de l'homme chez Descartes, Hume et Bergson. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 54:43-49.
Víctor Gómez Pin (2008). Anthropological Weight and Physical Irreality of Euclidian Geometry. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 18:129-139.
Maria Helena Lisboa da Cunha (2007). Nietzsche. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 12:3-6.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

21 ( #137,372 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.