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Evaluativist Accounts of Pain's Unpleasantness

In Jennifer Corns (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Pain. London: Routledge. pp. 40-50 (2017)

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  1. The Irreducibility of Emotional Phenomenology.Jonathan Mitchell - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85.
    Emotion theory includes attempts to reduce or assimilate emotions to states such as bodily feelings, beliefs-desire combinations, and evaluative judgements. Resistance to such approaches is motivated by the claim that emotions possess a sui generis phenomenology. Uriah Kriegel defends a new form of emotion reductivism which avoids positing irreducible emotional phenomenology by specifying emotions’ phenomenal character in terms of a combination of other phenomenologies. This article argues Kriegel’s approach, and similar proposals, are unsuccessful, since typical emotional experiences are constituted by (...)
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  • An Honest Look at Hybrid Theories of Pleasure.Daniel Pallies - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):887-907.
    What makes it the case that a given experience is pleasurable? According to the felt-quality theory, each pleasurable experience is pleasurable because of the way that it feels—its “qualitative character” or “felt-quality”. According to the attitudinal theory, each pleasurable experience is pleasurable because the experiencer takes certain attitudes towards it. These two theories of pleasure are typically framed as rivals, but it could be that they are both partly right. It could be that pleasure is partly a matter of felt-quality, (...)
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  • How Do We Differ When We Differ in Tastes?Daniel Pallies - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    My partner loves the experiences she gets from eating olives. I, on the other hand, hate the experiences I get from eating olives. We differ in tastes. But how exactly do we differ? In particular: do our taste experiences differ phenomenologically—that is, do my olive-experiences feel different than my partner’s olive-experiences? Some philosophers have assumed that the answer is “no,” and have advanced important arguments which turn on this assumption. I argue that, contrary to what these philosophers assume, ordinary taste (...)
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  • Shannon + Friston = Content: Intentionality in Predictive Signaling Systems.Carrie Figdor - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    What is the content of a mental state? This question poses the problem of intentionality: to explain how mental states can be about other things, where being about them is understood as representing them. A framework that integrates predictive coding and signaling systems theories of cognitive processing offers a new perspective on intentionality. On this view, at least some mental states are evaluations, which differ in function, operation, and normativity from representations. A complete naturalistic theory of intentionality must account for (...)
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  • Awful noises: evaluativism and the affective phenomenology of unpleasant auditory experience.Tom Roberts - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2133-2150.
    According to the evaluativist theory of bodily pain, the overall phenomenology of a painful experience is explained by attributing to it two types of representational content—an indicative content that represents bodily damage or disturbance, and an evaluative content that represents that condition as bad for the subject. This paper considers whether evaluativism can offer a suitable explanation of aversive auditory phenomenology—the experience of awful noises—and argues that it can only do so by conceding that auditory evaluative content would be guilty (...)
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  • Why Take Painkillers?David Bain - 2019 - Noûs 53 (2):462-490.
    Accounts of the nature of unpleasant pain have proliferated over the past decade, but there has been little systematic investigation of which of them can accommodate its badness. This paper is such a study. In its sights are two targets: those who deny the non-instrumental disvalue of pain's unpleasantness; and those who allow it but deny that it can be accommodated by the view—advanced by me and others—that unpleasant pains are interoceptive experiences with evaluative content. Against the former, I argue (...)
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  • Meaning and Emotion.Constant Bonard - 2021 - Dissertation, Université de Genève
    This dissertation may be divided into two parts. The first part is about the Extended Gricean Model of information transmission. This model, introduced here, is meant to better explain how humans communicate and understand each other. It has been developed to apply to cases that were left unexplained by the two main models of communication found in contemporary philosophy and linguistics, i.e. the Gricean model and the code model. In particular, I show that these latter two models cannot apply to (...)
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  • Pain Experiences and Their Link to Action: Challenging Imperative Theories.Sabrina Coninx - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (9-10):104-126.
    According to pure imperativism, pain experiences are experiences of a specific phenomenal type that are entirely constituted by imperative content. As their primary argument, proponents of imperativism rely on the biological role that pain experiences fulfill, namely, the motivation of actions whose execution ensures the normal functioning of the body. In the paper, I investigate which specific types of action are of relevance for an imperative interpretation and how close their link to pain experiences actually is. I argue that, although (...)
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  • Pain, Amnesia, and Qualitative Memory: Conceptual and Empirical Challenges.Sabrina Coninx - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (11-12):126-133.
    Barbara Montero considers whether or not we are able to remember what pain feels like. In order to properly answer this question, she introduces a new type of memory called 'qualitative memory', which seems common to exteroceptive sensations. Having concluded that there is arguably no qualitative memory for pain and other bodily sensations, Montero considers possible philosophical implications for areas including rational choice-making and empathy. In addressing the relationship between pain and memory, the paper raises an issue that has not (...)
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  • Strong Representationalism and Bodily Sensations: Reliable Causal Covariance and Biological Function.Coninx Sabrina - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (2):210-232.
    Bodily sensations, such as pain, hunger, itches, or sexual feelings, are commonly characterized in terms of their phenomenal character. In order to account for this phenomenal character, many philosophers adopt strong representationalism. According to this view, bodily sensations are essentially and entirely determined by an intentional content related to particular conditions of the body. For example, pain would be nothing more than the representation of actual or potential tissue damage. In order to motivate and justify their view, strong representationalists often (...)
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  • Beyond Good and Bad: Reflexive Imperativism, Not Evaluativism, Explains Valence.Luca Barlassina - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):274-284.
    Evaluativism (Carruthers 2018) and reflexive imperativism (Barlassina and Hayward 2019) agree that valence—the (un)pleasantness of experiences—is a natural kind shared across all affective states. But they disagree about what valence is. For evaluativism, an experience is pleasant/unpleasant in virtue of representing its worldly object as good/bad; for reflexive imperativism, an experience is pleasant/unpleasant in virtue of commanding its subject to get more/less of itself. I argue that reflexive imperativism is superior to evaluativism according to Carruthers’s own standards. He maintains that (...)
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