Tuesday, 10 April 2007
Ouch! The Paradox of Pain
Christopher Hill, Department of Philosophy, Brown University
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
I will argue that awareness of pain is perceptual, and that it therefore has a representational structure. If these views are correct, then it is possible to draw an appearance/reality distinction with respect to pain -- there is a difference between pain as it is represented, and pain as it is in iteself. This distinction can be exploited in replying to metaphysical arguments which maintain that pain qualia are irreducible to physical properties. I will also present a case for identifying pains with bodily disturbances involving actual or potential damage. This identification requires a certain amount of conceptual revision, but the revision is well motivated.