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  1. The Function of Pain.Laurenz C. Casser - 2021 - 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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  • Imperative Transparency.Manolo Martínez - 2022 - Mind 131 (522):585-601.
    I respond to an objection recently formulated by Barlassina and Hayward against first-order imperativism about pain, according to which it cannot account for the self-directed motivational force of pain. I am going to agree with them: it cannot. This is because pain does not have self-directed motivational force. I will argue that the alternative view—that pain is about dealing with extramental, bodily threats, not about dealing with itself—makes better sense of introspection, and of empirical research on pain avoidance. Also, a (...)
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  • Is Pain Modular?Laurenz Casser & Sam Clarke - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    We suggest that pain processing has a modular architecture. We begin by motivating the (widely assumed but seldom defended) conjecture that pain processing comprises inferential mechanisms. We then note that pain exhibits a characteristic form of judgement independence. On the assumption that pain processing is inferential, we argue that its judgement independence is indicative of modular (encapsulated) mechanisms. Indeed, we go further, suggesting that it renders the modularity of pain mechanisms a default hypothesis to be embraced pending convincing counterevidence. Finally, (...)
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  • Perceptual Motivation for Action.Tom McClelland & Marta Jorba - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-20.
    In this paper we focus on a kind of perceptual states that we call perceptual motivations, that is, perceptual experiences that plausibly motivate us to act, such as itching, perceptual salience and pain. Itching seems to motivate you to scratch, perceiving a stimulus as salient seems to motivate you to attend to it and feeling a pain in your hand seems to motivate actions such as withdrawing from the painful stimulus. Five main accounts of perceptual motivation are available: Descriptive, Conative, (...)
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  • Directive Content.Patrick Butlin - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102:2-26.
    Representations may have descriptive content, directive content, or both, but little explicit attention has been given to the problem of distinguishing representations of these three kinds. We do not know, for instance, what determines whether a given representation is a directive instructing its consumer to perform some action or has descriptive content to the effect that the action in question has a certain value. This paper considers what it takes for a representation to have directive content. The first part of (...)
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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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  • Cartesian Imperativism.Joseph Gottlieb & Saja Parvizian - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):702-725.
    We propose a novel reading of Descartes' views on the nature of pain, thirst, and hunger: imperativism. According to imperativism, rather than (exclusively) having intentional contents individuated by a set of correctness conditions specifying the way the world is, pain thirst, and hunger have contents individuated by satisfaction conditions, which specify the way the world ought to be. Unlike representationalist treatments, the imperativist reading satisfies the unique health-preserving role Descartes sets out for pain, thirst, and hunger, without inflating his austere (...)
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  • Enactive Pain and its Sociocultural Embeddedness.Katsunori Miyahara - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20 (5):871-886.
    This paper disputes the theoretical assumptions of mainstream approaches in philosophy of pain, representationalism and imperativism, and advances an enactive approach as an alternative. It begins by identifying three shared assumptions in the mainstream approaches: the internalist assumption, the brain-body assumption, and the semantic assumption. It then articulates an alternative, enactive approach that considers pain as an embodied response to the situation. This approach entails the hypothesis of the sociocultural embeddedness of pain, which states against the brain-body assumption that the (...)
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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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  • Representation and the active consumer.Patrick Butlin - 2020 - Synthese 197 (10):4533-4550.
    One of the central tasks for naturalistic theories of representation is to say what it takes for something to be a representation, and some leading theories have been criticised for being too liberal. Prominent discussions of this problem have proposed a producer-oriented solution; it is argued that representations must be produced by systems employing perceptual constancy mechanisms. However, representations may be produced by simple transducers if they are consumed in the right way. It is characteristic of representations to be consumed (...)
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  • Shannon + Friston = Content: Intentionality in Predictive Signaling Systems.Carrie Figdor - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2793-2816.
    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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  • The Structure of Unpleasantness.Abraham Sapién - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (4):805-830.
    A fair amount of the philosophical discussion about pain and unpleasantness has focused on providing a constitutive account of unpleasantness. These theories provide a more fundamental description of what unpleasantness is by appealing to other well-established notions in the architecture of the mind. In contrast, I address the nature of unpleasantness from a structural account. I will argue for how unpleasantness is built, rather than what unpleasantness is made of, as it were. I focus on the heterogeneity of experience, which (...)
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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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  • Recent Work on Pain.Jennifer Corns - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):737-753.
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