This book employs contemporary philosophy, scientific research, and clinical reports to argue that pain, though real, is not an appropriate object of scientific generalisations or an appropriate target for medical intervention. Each pain experience is instead complex and idiosyncratic in a way which undermines scientific utility. In addition to contributing novel arguments and developing a novel position on the nature of pain, the book provides an interdisciplinary overview of dominant models of pain. The author lays the needed groundwork for improved (...) models and targeted treatments at a time when pain science, pain medicine, and philosophy are explicitly searching for both and failing to find them. The Complex Reality of Pain will be of interest to a broad range of researchers and students, including those working in philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, cognitive science, neuroscience, medicine, health, cognitive and behavioural psychology, and pain science. (shrink)
Painful pains are, paradigmatically, unpleasant and motivating. The dominant view amongst philosophers and pain scientists is that these two features are essentially related and sufficient for painfulness. In this article, I first offer scientifically informed characterizations of both unpleasantness and motivational oomph and argue against other extant accounts. I then draw on folk-characterized cases and current neurobiological and neurobehavioral evidence to argue that both dominant positions are mistaken. Unpleasantness and motivational oomph doubly dissociate and, even taken together, are insufficient for (...) painfulness. (shrink)
Though pain scientists now understand pain to be a complex experience typically composed of sensation, emotion, cognition, and motivational responses, many philosophers maintain that pain is adequately characterized by one privileged aspect of this complexity. Philosophically dominant unitary accounts of pain as a sensation or perception are here evaluated by their ability to explain actual cases—and found wanting. Further, it is argued that no forthcoming unitary characterization of pain is likely to succeed. Instead, I contend that both the motivating intuitions (...) behind unitary accounts and the wide range of pain phenomena are best accommodated by a componential view of pain that does not privilege any single component as necessary or sufficient. (shrink)
The phenomenon of pain presents problems and puzzles for philosophers who want to understand its nature. Though pain might seem simple, there has been disagreement since Aristotle about whether pain is an emotion, sensation, perception, or disturbed state of the body. Despite advances in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine, pain is still poorly understood and multiple theories of pain abound. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems and debates in this exciting (...) and interdisciplinary subject and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising over thirty chapters by a team of international contributors the Handbook is divided into nine clear parts: Modelling pain in philosophy Modelling pain in neuroscience Modelling pain in psychology Pain in philosophy of mind Pain in epistemology Pain in philosophy of religion Pain in ethics Pain in medicine Pain in law. As well as fundamental topics in the philosophy of pain such as the nature, role, and value of pain, many other important topics are covered including the neurological pathways involved in pain processing, biopsychosocial and cognitive behavioural models of pain; chronic pain; pain and non-human animals; pain and knowledge; controlled substances for pain; pain and placebo effects; and pain and physician assisted suicide. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology and ethics. It will also be very useful to researchers of pain from any field, especially those in psychology, medicine, and health studies. (shrink)
Traditional eliminativism is the view that a term should be eliminated from everyday speech due to failures of reference. Following Edouard Machery, we may distinguish this traditional eliminativism about a kind and its term from a scientific eliminativism according to which a term should be eliminated from scientific discourse due to a lack of referential utility. The distinction matters if any terms are rightly retained for daily life despite being rightly eliminated from scientific inquiry. In this article, I argue that (...) while scientific eliminativism for pain may be plausible, traditional eliminativism for pain is not. I discuss the pain eliminativisms offered by Daniel Dennett and Valerie Hardcastle and argue that both theorists, at best, provide support for scientific eliminativism for pain, but leave the folk-psychological notion of pain unscathed. One might, however, think that scientific eliminativism itself entails traditional eliminativism—for pain and any other kind and corresponding term. I argue that this is not the case. Scientific eliminativism for pain does not entail traditional eliminativism about anything. (shrink)
Proponents of “the affective appeal” :787–812, 2014; Zagzebski in Philos Phenomenol Res 66:104–124, 2003) argue that we can make progress in the longstanding debate about the nature of moral motivation by appealing to the affective dimension of affective episodes such as emotions, which allegedly play either a causal or constitutive role in moral judgements. Specifically, they claim that appealing to affect vindicates a version of Motivational Internalism—roughly, the view that there is a necessary connection between moral judgment and motivation—that is (...) both more empirically respectable and less theoretically controversial than non-affective versions. We here argue that the affective appeal fails: versions of Internalism which appeal to affect are neither more empirically supported, nor clearly less controversial, than versions of Internalism which make no such appeal. Although affect doubtless has an important role to play in explaining moral motivation, we are sceptical that establishing any such role advances the debate. (shrink)
This article offers a new theory of suffering as significantly disrupted agency. In presenting it, I here make three significant contributions. First, I subject the leading account of suffering as undesired unpleasant experience (Brady, 2018) to its first dose of sustained scrutiny. Second and drawing on this discussion, I identify and liberate eight desiderata for any account of suffering. Third, I present the novel account of suffering as significantly disrupted agency and argue that it satisfies these desiderata. Moreover, I argue (...) that elaborating this proposal with a minimal model of agency allows us to capture both the suffering of a wide range of organisms and the complex dynamics of suffering as it is endured. I conclude by briefly highlighting some of the potential implications of the theory for further theoretical and practical inquiries. (shrink)
Although discussion of social pain has become popular among researchers in psychology and behavioural neuroscience, the philosophical community has yet to pay it any direct attention. Social pain is characterized as the emotional reaction to the perception of the loss or devaluation of desired relationships. These are argued to comprise a pain type and are explicitly intended to include the everyday sub-types grief, jealousy, heartbreak, rejection, and hurt feelings. Social pain is accordingly posited as a nested type of pain encompassing (...) multiple emotional sub-types. Call this the social pain posit. This article focuses on whether we should endorse the social pain posit and, in particular, whether social pain is pain. I present the four lines of evidence for the social pain posit that are currently offered in the literature and I argue that each provides only inadequate support, taken either individually or together. I close by considering the significance of the presented argument for philosophical theo.. (shrink)
The negativity bias is a broad psychological principle according to which the negative is more causally efficacious than the positive. Bad, as it is often put, is stronger than good. The principle is widely accepted and often serves as a constraint in affective science. If true, it has significant implications for everyday life and philosophical inquiry. In this article, I submit the negativity bias to its first dose of philosophical scrutiny and argue that it should be rejected. I conclude by (...) offering some alternative hedonic hypotheses that survive the offered arguments and may prove fruitful. (shrink)
Promiscuous realism is the thesis that there are many equally legitimate ways of classifying the world’s entities. Advocates of promiscuous realism are typically taken to hold the further the- sis, often undistinguished, that kind terms usefully deployed in scientific generalisations are no more natural than those deployed for any other purposes. Call this further thesis promiscuous nat- uralism. I here defend a version of promiscuous realism which denies promiscuous naturalism. To do so, I introduce the notion of a promiscuous kind: (...) a kind that is maximally usefully referenced in predictive and explanatory generalisations, none of which are scientific generalisations. I first defend the claim that pain is a promiscuous kind before extending these considerations to everyday mental kinds more generally. I draw on further reflections from both everyday life and contem- porary psychology to make credible the novel suggestion that our everyday theory of our minds is for the explanation and prediction of individuals. Combined with the complex idiosyncrasy of individual minds, this suggested aim of everyday theory gives us reason to think that promiscuity is prevalent among everyday mental kinds. (shrink)
Over recent decades, pain has received increasing attention as – with ever greater sophistication and rigour – theorists have tried to answer the deep and difficult questions it poses. What is pain’s nature? What is its point? In what sense is it bad? The papers collected in this volume are a contribution to that effort ...
This is an excerpt from a report on the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, on September 21st and 22nd, 2013, written by Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Corns, Nilanjan Das, Zachary Irving, and Lu Teng, and available at http://networksensoryresearch.utoronto.ca/Events_%26_Discussion.html This portion of the report explores the question: What can Indian philosophy tell us about how we perceive the world?
This report highlights and explores five questions that arose from the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, September 21st to 22nd, 2013: 1. How does the understanding of attention in Indian philosophy bear on contemporary western debates? 2. How can we train our attention, and what are the benefits of doing so? 3. Can meditation give us moral knowledge? 4. What can Indian philosophy tell us about how we perceive the world? 5. Are there cross-cultural (...) philosophical themes? (shrink)
This is an excerpt from a report on the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, on September 21st and 22nd, 2013, written by Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Corns, Nilanjan Das, Zachary Irving, and Lu Teng, and available at http://networksensoryresearch.utoronto.ca/Events_%26_Discussion.html This portion of the report explores the question: Can meditation give us moral knowledge?
This is an excerpt from a report on the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, on September 21st and 22nd, 2013, written by Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Corns, Nilanjan Das, Zachary Irving, and Lu Teng, and available at http://networksensoryresearch.utoronto.ca/Events_%26_Discussion.html This portion of the report explores the question: How can we train our attention, and what are the benefits of doing so?
This is an excerpt from a report on the workshop on mind and attention in Indian philosophy at Harvard University, on September 21st and 22nd, 2013, written by Kevin Connolly, Jennifer Corns, Nilanjan Das, Zachary Irving, and Lu Teng, and available at http://networksensoryresearch.utoronto.ca/Events_%26_Discussion.html This part of the report explores the question: How does the understanding of attention in Indian philosophy bear on contemporary western debates?
Pain is ubiquitous. It is also surprisingly complex. In this chapter, we first provide a truncated overview of the neuroscience of pain. This overview reveals four surprising empirical discoveries about the nature of pain with relevance for ethics. In particular, we discuss the ways in which these discoveries both inform putative normative ethical principles concerning pain and illuminate metaethical debates concerning a realist, naturalist moral metaphysics, moral epistemology, and moral motivation. Taken as a whole, the chapter supports the surprising conclusion (...) that the sciences have revealed that pain is less significant than one might have thought, while other neurological kinds may be more significance than has hitherto been recognised. (shrink)
A collection, edited by David Bain, Michael Brady, and Jennifer Corns, originating in our Pain Project. Table of Contents: Colin Klein and Manolo Martínez – ‘Imperativism and Pain Intensity’; Murat Aydede and Matthew Fulkerson – ‘Pain and Theories of Sensory Affect’; Dan-Mikael Ellingson, Morten Kringlebach, and Siri Leknes – ‘A Neuroscience Perspective on Pleasure and Pain’; Michael Brady – ‘The Rationality of Emotional and Physical Suffering’; Jennifer Corns – ‘The Placebo Effect’; Jesse Prinz – ‘What is the Affective Component of (...) Pain?’; Adam Shriver – ‘The Unpleasantness of Pain for Humans and Other Animals’; Valerie Gary Hardcastle – ‘When is a Pain Not a Pain? The Challenge of Disorders of Consciousness’; Frédérique de Vignemont – ‘The First-Person in Pain’. (shrink)
A collection, edited by David Bain, Michael Brady, and Jennifer Corns, originating in our Value of Suffering Project. Table of Contents: Michael Wheeler - ‘How should affective phenomena be studied?’; Julien Deonna & Fabrice Teroni – ‘Pleasures, unpleasures, and emotions’; Hilla Jacobson – ‘The attitudinal representational theory of painfulness fleshed out’; Tim Schroeder – ‘What we represent when we represent the badness of getting hurt’; Hagit Benbaji – ‘A defence of the inner view of pain’; Olivier Massin – ‘Suffering pain’; (...) Frederique de Vignemont – ‘The value of threat’; Colin Leach – ‘Bad feelings can be good and good feelings can be bad’; Tasia Scrutton – ‘Mental suffering and the experience of beauty’; Brock Bastian – ‘From suffering to satisfaction: why we need pain to feel pleasure’; Marilyn McCord Adams – ‘Pain and moral agency’; Jennifer Corns – ‘Hedonic rationality’; Jonathan Cohen & Matthew Fulkerson – ‘Suffering and rationality’; Tom McClelland – ‘Suffering invites understanding’; Michael Brady – ‘Suffering as a virtue’; Glen Pettigrove TBA. Further authors TBA. (shrink)
Despite the conceptual problems in identifying the placebo effect, an increasing number of multidisciplinary inquiries rest on the assumption that there is a distinct class of effects, placebo effects. In this chapter, I argue against this assumption. I present cases and characterizations of the placebo effect as offered in the literature, and argue that the latter are subject to insurmountable problems. Moreover, I argue that identification of placebo effects as such is not useful for the three main purposes offered in (...) the literature. I then offer suggestions for why it may remain intuitive that some effects are placebo effects and close by noting the potential benefits of ultimately explaining away these intuitions. (shrink)