Synthese

pp 1–25 | Cite as

Unfelt pain

Article
  • 4 Downloads

Abstract

The standard view in philosophy treats pains as phenomenally conscious mental states. This view has a number of corollaries, including that it is generally taken to rule out the existence of unfelt pains. The primary argument in support of the standard view is that it supposedly corresponds with the commonsense conception of pain. In this paper, we challenge this doctrine about the commonsense conception of pain, and with it the support offered for the standard view, by presenting the results of a series of new empirical studies that indicate that lay people not only tend to believe that unfelt pains are possible, but actually, quite common.

Keywords

Pain Unfelt pain Experimental philosophy Conscious mental states Commonsense conception of pain 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported in part by a FHSS JRC Small Grant from Victoria University of Wellington. We would like to thank the audiences at Ruhr University Bochum, University of Glasgow, University of Bern, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Auckland, Nanzan University, as well as the Philosophy of Science Association, the International Congress of Psychology, and the Society for Philosophy and Psychology for their helpful comments.

Supplementary material

11229_2018_1770_MOESM1_ESM.docx (26 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 25 kb)

References

  1. Armstrong, D. (1963). Is introspective knowledge incorrigible? The Philosophical Review, 72(4), 417–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aydede, M. (2006). Introduction: A critical and quasi-historical essay on theories of pain. In M. Aydede (Ed.), Pain: New papers on its nature and the methodology of its study (pp. 1–58). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Aydede, M. (2009). Pain. In E. Zalta (Ed.), The stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition). http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2013/entries/pain/.
  4. Carruthers, P. (2004). Suffering without subjectivity. Philosophical Studies, 121(2), 99–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dennett, D. (1986). Content and consciousness (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Dretske, F. (2006). The epistemology of pain. In M. Aydede (Ed.), Pain: New papers on its nature and the methodology of its study (pp. 59–74). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  7. Hill, C. (2009). Consciousness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kim, H., Poth, N., Reuter, K., & Sytsma, J. (2016). Where is your pain? A cross-cultural comparison of the concept of pain in Americans and South Koreans. Studia Philosophica Estonica, 9(1), 136–169.Google Scholar
  9. Kripke, S. (1980). Naming and necessity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Levine, J. (2008). Secondary qualities: Where consciousness and intentionality meet. The Monist, 91(2), 215–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lycan, W. (1995). Consciousness as internal monitoring, I: The third philosophical perspectives lecture. Philosophical Perspectives, 95(9), 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lycan, W. (2004). The superiority of HOP to HOT. Advances of Consciousness Research, 56, 93–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Machery, E., & Sytsma, J. (2011). Robot pains and corporate feelings. The Philosophers’ Magazine, 52, 78–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Orwell, G. (1938/1952). Homage to Catalonia. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.Google Scholar
  15. Papineau, D. (2007). Phenomenal concepts are not demonstrative. In M. McCabe & M. Textor (Eds.), Perspectives on Perception (Vol. 6). Walter de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  16. Reid, T. (1785). Essays on the intellectual powers of man. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Reuter, K. (2011). Distinguishing the appearance from the reality of pain. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 18(9-10), 94–109.Google Scholar
  18. Reuter, K. (2017). The developmental challenge to the paradox of pain. Erkenntnis, 82(2), 265–283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Reuter, K., Phillips, D., & Sytsma, J. (2014). Hallucinating pain. In J. Sytsma (Ed.), Advances in experimental philosophy of mind. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  20. Sytsma, J. (2009). Phenomenological obviousness and the new science of consciousness. Philosophy of Science, 76(5), 958–969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sytsma, J. (2010). Dennett’s theory of the folk theory of consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 17(3–4), 107–130.Google Scholar
  22. Sytsma, J. (2012). Revisiting the valence account. Philosophical Topics, 40(2), 179–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sytsma, J. (2014a). Advances in experimental philosophy of mind. London: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  24. Sytsma, J. (2014b). The robots of the dawn of experimental philosophy of mind. In E. Machery & E. O’Neill (Eds.), Current controversies in experimental philosophy. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Sytsma, J. (2016). Attributions of consciousness. In J. Sytsma & W. Buckwalter (Eds.), A companion to experimental philosophy. West Sussex: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sytsma, J., & Buckwalter, W. (2016). A companion to experimental philosophy. West Sussex: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sytsma, J., & Livengood, J. (2015). The theory and practice of experimental philosophy. Peterborough: Broadview Press.Google Scholar
  28. Sytsma, J., & Machery, E. (2009). How to study folk intuitions about phenomenal consciousness. Philosophical Psychology, 22(1), 21–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sytsma, J., & Machery, E. (2010). Two conceptions of subjective experience. Philosophical Studies, 151(2), 299–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sytsma, J., & Machery, E. (2012). On the relevance of folk intuitions: A reply to Talbot. Consciousness and Cognition, 21(2), 654–660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sytsma, J., & Reuter, K. (2017). Experimental philosophy of pain. Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, 34(3), 611–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tye, M. (2006). Another look at representationalism about pain. In M. Aydede (Ed.), Pain: New papers on its nature and the methodology of its study. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Humanities, Institute of PhilosophyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Philosophy ProgrammeVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations