Bad by nature

An axiological theory of pain

Authored by: Olivier Massin

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138823181
eBook ISBN: 9781315742205
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315742205.ch27

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Abstract

This chapter defends an axiological theory of pain according to which pains are bodily episodes that are bad in some way. Section 1 introduces two standard assumptions about pain that the axiological theory constitutively rejects: (i) that pains are essentially tied to consciousness and (ii) that pains are not essentially tied to badness. Section 2 presents the axiological theory by contrast to these and provides a preliminary defense of it. Section 3 introduces the paradox of pain and argues that since the axiological theory takes the location of pain at face value, it needs to grapple with the privacy, self-intimacy and incorrigibility of pain. Sections 4, 5 and 6 explain how the axiological theory may deal with each of these.

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