By Arne Vetlesen
“Living consists of being uncovered to soreness each second—not unavoidably as an insistent fact, yet consistently as a possibility,” writes Arne Vetlesen in A Philosophy of soreness, a thought-provoking examine an inevitable and crucial element of the human situation. the following, Vetlesen addresses ache in lots of types, together with the ache inflicted in the course of torture; the discomfort suffered in ailment; the soreness accompanying nervousness, grief, and melancholy; and the discomfort introduced by means of violence. He examines the twin nature of ache: how we strive to prevent it up to attainable in our day-by-day lives, and but conversely, we receive a thrill from looking it.
Vetlesen’s research of soreness is revealing, plumbing the very middle of lots of our so much severe and complex feelings. He seems at ache inside of varied arenas of contemporary existence equivalent to family members and paintings, and he particularly probes at a really universal sleek phenomenon, the assumption of pushing oneself to the restrict. attractive all through with the information of thinkers corresponding to Søren Kierkegaard, Sigmund Freud, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Alice Miller, Susan Sontag, and Melanie Klein, A Philosophy of discomfort asks which got here first, considering or feeling, and explores the idea that and danger of empathy.
Vetlesen bargains an unique and insightful point of view on whatever that each one folks endure and endure—from a sprained ankle to a damaged middle. even though discomfort is in itself disagreeable, our skill to suppose it reminds us that we're alive.
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Additional info for A Philosophy of Pain
For the strange thing about feelings, unlike thoughts and judgements and other characteristics of our cognitive abilities, is that they contain an affective dimension: the dimension of our being affected by them. And here I am not referring to affectedness in Sartre’s one-sided sense of self-affectedness: that which a subject does to itself, including its own inner states, that which together populate and constitute his or her psychic reality. e. Sartre’s position). In the feeling of shame and the state of fear I am precisely in the feeling and in the state, not facing it, as I face various objects in the world, in a relationship of externality to them, with the accompanying cleft between me on the one hand and the objects outside me on the other.
Medical science prior to Freud distinguished between symptoms and causes: symptoms are ascribed to causes, and a treatment is prescribed that is directed towards the causes and not the symptoms. The point is that the symptom can be visible and recognized medically as an ‘indication’, or it can be reported as a subjective event, but in both cases a medical interpretation will ascribe a cause to it that is of the same type as the causes of physical illness. Freud’s great leap forward, inspired by Charcot and Breuer, consists in his not abandoning the doctrine of causality (that symptoms can be traced back to causes) but enlarging it to include a new area: the symptom does not need to be explained by a physical process, as do a tumour or an inflammation.
It defines my being-in-theworld by determining and demarcating the standing point from which I at any time sense, think, feel and move around in the world. Where I am, my body is; where my body is, there am I. 53 That pain is corporeal does not say much. It only says something about its localization: that it is mine, that it has me as its residence. When experiencing physical pain, my awareness of the pain will vary, depending on the nature of the pain; pain can come and go, be transient or lasting, even chronic.
A Philosophy of Pain by Arne Vetlesen