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Distinguishing the appearance from the reality of pain


Reuter, Kevin (2011). Distinguishing the appearance from the reality of pain. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 18(9-10):94-109.

Abstract

It is often held that it is conceptually impossible to distinguish between a pain and a pain experience. In this article I present an argument which concludes that people make this distinction. I have done a web-based statistical analysis which is at the core of this argument. It shows that the intensity of pain has a decisive effect on whether people say that they 'feel a pain'(lower intensities) or 'have a pain' (greater intensities). This 'intensity effect'can be best explained by people's varying confidence about their pain, and indicates that 'feeling pain' can be identified as introspective report and 'having pain' as an objective statement — analogous to the traditional sense modalities. However, if people have the ability to make both introspective and objective statements about pain, then it seems indeed the case that they distinguish the appearance from the reality of pain.

Abstract

It is often held that it is conceptually impossible to distinguish between a pain and a pain experience. In this article I present an argument which concludes that people make this distinction. I have done a web-based statistical analysis which is at the core of this argument. It shows that the intensity of pain has a decisive effect on whether people say that they 'feel a pain'(lower intensities) or 'have a pain' (greater intensities). This 'intensity effect'can be best explained by people's varying confidence about their pain, and indicates that 'feeling pain' can be identified as introspective report and 'having pain' as an objective statement — analogous to the traditional sense modalities. However, if people have the ability to make both introspective and objective statements about pain, then it seems indeed the case that they distinguish the appearance from the reality of pain.

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Citations

14 citations in Web of Science®
14 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:23 Oct 2019 13:25
Last Modified:23 Oct 2019 13:26
Publisher:Imprint Academic
ISSN:1355-8250
OA Status:Closed
Related URLs:https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/imp/jcs/2011/00000018/F0020009/art00005#

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