Pain and Evil

  • R. M. Hare
Part of the New Studies in Practical Philosophy book series


1. It has been held by some philosophers in the past that pain is not an evil, or not necessarily so.1 In contrast with these ancient opinions, we find some modern philosophers maintaining, not merely that pain is an evil — an opinion with which most of us would agree — but that this, or something like this, is true in virtue of the very meaning of the word ‘pain’, and that it is therefore logically absurd to deny it. In this paper I shall be concerned less with the question of whether pain is, analytically, an evil, than with the preliminary questions of whether it is logically possible to experience pain but not dislike it, whether pain logically entails suffering, and the like. I shall leave undiscussed the precise relations between disliking something and thinking of it as an evil, and between being caused to suffer and undergoing an evil.


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Copyright information

© R. M. Hare 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Hare
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OxfordUK

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