Authors
Kevin Reuter
University of Zürich
Abstract
Philosophical orthodoxy holds that pains are mental states, taking this to reflect the ordinary conception of pain. Despite this, evidence is mounting that English speakers do not tend to conceptualize pains in this way; rather, they tend to treat pains as being bodily states. We hypothesize that this is driven by two primary factors—the phenomenology of feeling pains and the surface grammar of pain reports. There is reason to expect that neither of these factors is culturally specific, however, and thus reason to expect that the empirical findings for English speakers will generalize to other cultures and other languages. In this article we begin to test this hypothesis, reporting the results of two cross-cultural studies comparing judgments about the location of referred pains between two groups—Americans and South Koreans—that we might otherwise expect to differ in how they understand pains. In line with our predictions, we find that both groups tend to conceive of pains as bodily states.
Keywords pain, concept of pain, semantics of pain, experimental philosophy, cross-cultural study, sound
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.12697/spe.2016.9.1.06
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References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Pain.Murat Aydede - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
What Makes Pains Unpleasant.David Bain - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):69-89.

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Citations of this work BETA

Unfelt pain.Kevin Reuter & Justin Sytsma - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1777-1801.
Experimental Philosophy of Pain.Justin Sytsma & Kevin Reuter - 2017 - Journal of Indian Council of Philosophical Research 34 (3):611-628.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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