By Arne Vetlesen, John Irons

ISBN-10: 1861895410

ISBN-13: 9781861895417

“Living includes being uncovered to ache each second—not inevitably as an insistent truth, yet continually as a possibility,” writes Arne Vetlesen in A Philosophy of Pain, a thought-provoking examine an inevitable and crucial point of the human situation. the following, Vetlesen addresses discomfort in lots of varieties, together with the discomfort inflicted in the course of torture; the soreness suffered in affliction; the ache accompanying nervousness, grief, and melancholy; and the ache introduced by way of violence. He examines the twin nature of soreness: how we try to prevent it up to attainable in our day-by-day lives, and but conversely, we receive a thrill from looking it.

Vetlesen’s research of soreness is revealing, plumbing the very heart of lots of our such a lot excessive and intricate feelings. He seems at soreness inside of diverse arenas of recent lifestyles equivalent to family members and paintings, and he particularly probes at a truly universal sleek phenomenon, the belief of pushing oneself to the restrict. enticing all through with the tips of thinkers akin to Søren Kierkegaard, Sigmund Freud, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Alice Miller, Susan Sontag, and Melanie Klein, A Philosophy of Pain asks which got here first, pondering or feeling, and explores the concept that and threat of empathy.

Vetlesen deals an unique and insightful point of view on anything that every one people endure and endure—from a sprained ankle to a damaged middle. even if ache is in itself disagreeable, our skill to suppose it reminds us that we're alive.

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Sample text

The general point is that pain moves in both directions: psychic pain can be caused by bodilyphysical factors, just as physical pain can be provoked by mental causes. Psychic pain can bring about as well as intensify physical pain, and vice versa. This assertion entails a particular view of the body’s role in relation to pain. Because I am my body, because my body is me, the pain in my leg as a result of the axe-blow is not a product of my thought, my interpretation or my will. Simply as hit by the blow and hence as addressed by the pain immediately and inadvertently accompanying the blow, I cannot not relate to it.

But it would be contrary to the experienced nature of pain – and it is pain as something experienced that interests us, for how else are we to approach it, to be able to say anything about it? e. what it means to have pain. Common to all types of pain, no matter their actual causes (etiology), is that pain has to do with hurting, that hurting is what the feeling is quintessentially about. As we touched on in the discussion of Freud and psychoanalysis, bodily pains (symptoms of a somatic nature) can originate in mental or psychological (emotional) factors.

Body is one, in the sense that it is the same for all individuals – although with certain variations based on gender and age, though not so great that any woman cannot get to know her body by reading the book Woman, Know Your Body – a book for all is precisely what the topic ‘body’ allows. Only by assuming that the body is identical in all individuals (of the same gender) can the professions that specialize in the needs of the body – its illness, its ageing process, etc. – use their knowledge of the average human body on all the individual examples of it that they actually have to subject to treatment.

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A Philosophy of Pain by Arne Vetlesen, John Irons


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