Michael Tye on pain and representational content

In Murat Aydede (ed.), Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. Cambridge Ma: Bradford Book/Mit Press (2005)

Michael Tye argues for two crucial theses: (1) that experiences of pain have representational content (essentially); (2) that the representational content can be specified in terms of something like damage in parts of the body. (Different types of pain are connected with different types of damage.) I reject both of these theses. In my view experiences of pain carry nonconceptual content, but do not represent essentially. Rather they are apt to represent when the subject attends to them. The experiences carry nonconceptual content not only about tissue damage, but about many other qualities as well, including dispositional qualities
Keywords Pain  Representationalism  Tye, Michael
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