The Function of Pain

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):364-378 (2020)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
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 considerations threaten to undermine standard perceptual and representational accounts of pain.
Reprint years
2020, 2021
ISBN(s)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
CASTFO-12
Upload history
Archival date: 2021-05-03
View other versions
Added to PP index
2020-02-21

Total views
76 ( #45,494 of 2,427,619 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
39 ( #20,231 of 2,427,619 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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