Not Only a Messenger: Towards an Attitudinal-Representational Theory of Pain

Hilla Jacobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The main goal of this paper is to present a theory of the most salient aspect of the phenomenal character of pain – namely, the painfulness of pain or its negative affective quality. This task involves developing an account of the evaluative structure of pain, according to which painfulness is constituted by a (subjectively) frustrated (first-order) conative attitude that is directed towards the bodily condition the obtaining of which the pain represents. The argument for the proposed Attitudinal-Representational Theory of Pain proceeds by presenting an explanatory challenge that concerns crucial aspects of the reason-giving force of pain, and showing that, unlike extant theories of pain, it successfully accounts for them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-408
Number of pages27
JournalPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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