Pain: An Attitude With Two Heads

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


What can be added to a mere representation of some bodily condition to make it painful? A recent provocative reply rules out anything that is not about the bodily condition. On this view, what is required might be some additional content of the same representation, or perhaps some additional attitude towards the same content. Either way, the view says, the result is a bad motivational attitude that constitutes a reason to change the bodily condition and a reason to seek its elimination. Such an attitude pushes us in opposing directions: It should motivate us outward to change the world, but also inward so as to eliminate the attitude itself. A bad motivational attitude is directed both outward and inward, as if (like Dr. Dolittle’s “pushmi-pullyu”) it had two heads at opposite ends of its body.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy of Suffering
Subtitle of host publicationMetaphysics, Value, and Normativity
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781351115452
ISBN (Print)9780815361787
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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