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Why Take Painkillers?

Noûs 53 (2):462-490 (2019)

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  1. Illusions of Affection: A Hyper-Illusory Account of Normative Valence.Mihailis Diamantis - 2021 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 28 (5-6):6-29.
    This article challenges the orthodox position that some smells are pleasantly fragrant and some tactile sensations are painful. It proposes that the affective components of our experiences are a kind of illusion. Under this alternative picture, experiences that seem to have positive or negative affect never actually do. Rather, the affective component is hyper-illusory, a second-order misrepresentation of the way things actually seem to us. While perceptual hyperillusions have elicited scepticism in other contexts, affective hyperillusions can withstand common critiques. Focusing (...)
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  • Affective Representation and Affective Attitudes.Jonathan Mitchell - 2019 - Synthese (4):1-28.
    Many philosophers have understood the representational dimension of affective states along the model of sense-perceptual experiences, even claiming the relevant affective experiences are perceptual experiences. This paper argues affective experiences involve a kind of personal level affective representation disanalogous from the representational character of perceptual experiences. The positive thesis is that affective representation is a non-transparent, non-sensory form of evaluative representation, whereby a felt valenced attitude represents the object of the experience as minimally good or bad, and one experiences that (...)
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  • Mental Painkillers and Reasons for Pain.Hagit Benbaji - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (4):1-32.
    What does bodily pain have in common with mental pain? According to “evaluativism,” both are representations of something bad. This paper puts forward three claims. First, that evaluativism vis-à-vis bodily pain is false for it renders it irrational to take painkillers. Second, that evaluativism vis-à-vis mental pain is true. Third, that this difference between bodily and mental pain stems from the fact that only the latter is normative, that is, based on reasons. The normative difference between bodily and mental pain (...)
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  • Can Evaluativism About Unpleasant Pains Meet the Normative Condition?Jonathan Mitchell - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (7):779-802.
    ABSTRACTThis paper assesses whether Evaluativism, as a view about the nature of unpleasant pains, can meet a specific normative condition. The normative condition says whatever candidate state is offered as an analysis of unpleasant pain should be intrinsically phenomenally bad for its subject to be in. I first articulate a method reflecting this condition, called the normative contrast method, and then frame Evaluativism in detail. The view is then tested through this method. I show that Evaluativism can explain why cases (...)
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  • Loopy Regulations: The Motivational Profile of Affective Phenomenology.Luca Barlassina & Max Khan Hayward - 2019 - Philosophical Topics 47 (2):233-261.
    Affective experiences such as pains, pleasures, and emotions have affective phenomenology: they feel pleasant. This type of phenomenology has a loopy regulatory profile: it often motivates us to act a certain way, and these actions typically end up regulating our affective experiences back. For example, the pleasure you get by tasting your morning coffee motivates you to drink more of it, and this in turn results in you obtaining another pleasant gustatory experience. In this article, we argue that reflexive imperativism (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Is the Folk Concept of Pain Polyeidic?Emma Borg, Richard Harrison, James Stazicker & Tim Salomons - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (1):29-47.
    Philosophers often assume that folk hold pain to be a mental state – to be in pain is to have a certain kind of feeling – and they think this state exhibits the classic Cartesian characteristics of privacy, subjectivity, and incorrigibility. However folk also assign pains bodily locations: unlike most other mental states, pains are held to exist in arms, feet, etc. This has led some to talk of the ‘paradox of pain’, whereby the folk notion of pain is inherently (...)
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  • On The Content and Character of Pain Experience.Richard Gray - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (1):47-68.
    Tracking representationalism explains the negative affective character of pain, and its capacity to motivate action, by reference to the representation of the badness for us of bodily damage. I argue that there is a more fitting instantiation of the tracking relation – the badness for us of extremely intense stimuli – and use this to motivate a non-reductive approach to the negative affective character of pain. The view of pain proposed here is supported by consideration of three related topics: the (...)
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  • Relational Imperativism About Affective Valence.Antti Kauppinen - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind 1:341-371.
    Affective experiences motivate and rationalize behavior in virtue of feeling good or bad, or their valence. It has become popular to explain such phenomenal character with intentional content. Rejecting evaluativism and extending earlier imperativist accounts of pain, I argue that when experiences feel bad, they both represent things as being in a certain way and tell us to see to it that they will no longer be that way. Such commands have subjective authority by virtue of linking up with a (...)
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  • Do Affective Desires Provide Reasons for Action?Ashley Shaw - 2021 - Ratio 34 (2):1-11.
    This paper evaluates the claim that some desires provide reasons in virtue of their connection with conscious affective experiences like feelings of attraction or aversion. I clarify the nature of affective desires and several distinct ways in which affective desires might provide reasons. Against accounts proposed by Ruth Chang, Declan Smithies and Jeremy Weiss, I motivate doubts that it is the phenomenology of affective experiences that explains their normative or rational significance. I outline an alternative approach that centralises the function (...)
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  • The Function of Pain.Laurenz C. Casser - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):364-378.
    Various prominent theories of pain assume that it is pain’s biological function to inform organisms about damage to their bodies. I argue that this is a mistake. First, there is no biological evidence to support the notion that pain was originally selected for its informative capacities, nor that it currently contributes to the fitness of organisms in this specific capacity. Second, neurological evidence indicates that modulating mechanisms in the nociceptive system systematically prevent pain from serving a primarily informative role. These (...)
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  • Pain.Murat Aydede - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Pain is the most prominent member of a class of sensations known as bodily sensations, which includes itches, tickles, tingles, orgasms, and so on. Bodily sensations are typically attributed to bodily locations and appear to have features such as volume, intensity, duration, and so on, that are ordinarily attributed to physical objects or quantities. Yet these sensations are often thought to be logically private, subjective, self-intimating, and the source of incorrigible knowledge for those who have them. Hence there appear to (...)
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  • Moral Motivation and the Affective Appeal.Jennifer Corns & Robert Cowan - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):71-94.
    Proponents of “the affective appeal” :787–812, 2014; Zagzebski in Philos Phenomenol Res 66:104–124, 2003) argue that we can make progress in the longstanding debate about the nature of moral motivation by appealing to the affective dimension of affective episodes such as emotions, which allegedly play either a causal or constitutive role in moral judgements. Specifically, they claim that appealing to affect vindicates a version of Motivational Internalism—roughly, the view that there is a necessary connection between moral judgment and motivation—that is (...)
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  • More of Me! Less of Me!: Reflexive Imperativism About Affective Phenomenal Character.Luca Barlassina & Max Khan Hayward - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1013-1044.
    Experiences like pains, pleasures, and emotions have affective phenomenal character: they feel pleasant or unpleasant. Imperativism proposes to explain affective phenomenal character by appeal to imperative content, a kind of intentional content that directs rather than describes. We argue that imperativism is on the right track, but has been developed in the wrong way. There are two varieties of imperativism on the market: first-order and higher-order. We show that neither is successful, and offer in their place a new theory: reflexive (...)
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  • The Unpleasantness of Pain.Abraham Sapién-Córdoba - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    Pain is unpleasant. Given that pain is the paradigmatic example of an unpleasant experience, I aim to shed light on what pain and unpleasantness are by trying to understand what it means for a pain to be unpleasant, what the structure of unpleasantness is, and by tackling several problematic aspects of the relation between pain and unpleasantness. By doing this, I will also provide a general account of what it means for an experience that might not be a pain to (...)
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  • Recent Work on Pain.Jennifer Corns - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):737-753.
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  • Can Evaluativism About Unpleasant Pains Meet the Normative Condition?Jonathan Mitchell - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (7).
    This paper assesses whether Evaluativism, as a view about the nature of unpleasant pains, can meet a specific normative condition. The normative condition says whatever candidate state is offered as an analysis of unpleasant pain should be intrinsically phenomenally bad for its subject to be in. I first articulate a method reflecting this condition, called the normative contrast method, and then frame Evaluativism in detail. The view is then tested through this method. I show that Evaluativism can explain why cases (...)
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  • Not Only a Messenger: Towards an Attitudinal‐Representational Theory of Pain.Hilla Jacobson - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (2):382-408.
    The main goal of this paper is to present a theory of the most salient aspect of the phenomenal character of pain – namely, the painfulness of pain or its negative affective quality. This task involves developing an account of the evaluative structure of pain, according to which painfulness is constituted by a frustrated conative attitude that is directed towards the bodily condition the obtaining of which the pain represents. The argument for the proposed Attitudinal-Representational Theory of Pain proceeds by (...)
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