The Imperative View of Pain

Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (9-10):164-85 (2011)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Pain, crucially, is unpleasant and motivational. It can be awful; and it drives us to action, e.g. to take our weight off a sprained ankle. But what is the relationship between pain and those two features? And in virtue of what does pain have them? Addressing these questions, Colin Klein and Richard J. Hall have recently developed the idea that pains are, at least partly, experiential commands—to stop placing your weight on your ankle, for example. In this paper, I reject their accounts. Against Klein, I use dissociation cases to argue that possession of ‘imperative content’ cannot wholly constitute pain. Against them both, I further claim that possession of such content cannot even constitute pain’s unpleasant, motivational aspect. For, even if it were possible to specify the relevant imperative content—which is far from clear—the idea of a command cannot bear the explanatory weight Klein and Hall place on it.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BAITIV
Revision history
Archival date: 2017-10-28
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
If It Itches, Scratch!Hall, Richard J.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Pains as Reasons.Martínez, Manolo
Pain Signals Are Predominantly Imperative.Martínez, Manolo & Klein, Colin

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2011-04-03

Total views
294 ( #11,728 of 43,016 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
39 ( #17,526 of 43,016 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.