When pains are mental objects

Philosophical Studies 115 (1):33-53 (2003)

In Why pains are not mental objects Guy Douglasrightly argues that pains are modes rather than objects ofperceptions or sensations. In this paper I try to go a stepfurther and argue that there are circumstances when pains canbecome objects even while they remain modes of experience.By analysing cases of extreme pain as presented by Scarry,Sartre, Wiesel, Grahek and Wall, I attempt to show thatintense physical pain may evolve into a force that, likeimagination, can make our most intense state of experiencebecome a mental object. I shall finally argue that, thoughextreme pains cannot serve as paradigm cases, they do showthe general importance of taking pain states to be objects
Keywords Experience  Mental Object  Metaphysics  Pain  Douglas, G
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1024919818322
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