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Phenomenology of Chronic Pain: De-Personalization and Re-Personalization

  • Saulius GeniusasEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

This paper has four tasks. First, based on a phenomenology of personhood, it argues that the subject of chronic pain is not the body, conceived neurophysiologically, but the person, conceived phenomenologically. Secondly, it demonstrates that the processes of de-personalization and re-personalization make up the essential temporal structures of chronic pain experience. Thirdly, it offers an answer to one of the central objections raised against phenomenology of illness and pain, which suggests that phenomenology offers a solipsistic account of pain experience, which does not facilitate but impedes empathy and understanding. Fourthly, the paper maintains that the recognition of the de-personalizing and re-personalizing dimensions of chronic pain experience compel one to rethink some of the central distinctions entrenched in phenomenology of medicine, such as the distinction between organic and psychogenic pain, illness and disease or healing and curing. The paper concludes by addressing the therapeutic significance of dialogue.

Keywords

Chronic Pain Pain Experience Physical Body Cognitive Response Fundamental Relation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyChinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong, SAR

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