Is Pain Modular?

Mind and Language 38 (3):828-46 (2023)
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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, we consider what a modular pain architecture might look like, and question alleged counterevidence to our proposal.

Author Profiles

Laurenz Casser
University of Texas at Austin
Sam Clarke
University of Southern California


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