The Monist 100 (4):514-531 (2017)

Authors
Dave Stonor
Southern Cross University
Abstract
The English word ‘pain’ is commonly used by lay people in a ‘messy’ life-world of imprecise meanings. It has a complex etymology, including legal and political uses as ‘punishment’. Understandings of pain in the political theory of Hobbes and Bentham are summarized. This wider historical and philosophical account of the uses of ‘pain’ means the IASP definition can be seen in relation to medical history and to present-day clinical challenges. We can consider the misunderstandings that may occur between clinicians and pain sufferers, and the ways in which ‘pain’, although ‘subjective’, is inescapably a political concern. Using Wittgenstein’s approach to meaning, however, we can envisage a context-sensitive and flexible approach to communication about pain.
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DOI 10.1093/monist/onx026
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References found in this work BETA

Necropolitics.Achille Mbembe - 2008 - In Stephen Morton & Stephen Bygrave (eds.), Foucault in an Age of Terror: Essays on Biopolitics and the Defence of Society. Palgrave-Macmillan.

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