The Badness of Pain

The Badness of Pain
Prof. Gwen Bradford
PhD, Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
Rice University

Wednesday March 14, 2018, 3:00PM – 5:00PM
Room 333, Henry Angus Building, 2053 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z2

Abstract:”Why is Pain Bad?”
Why is pain bad? The literature abounds with discussion of well-being, but there is so little about what is bad for us that you would think we’re in denial about it. Ideally, an account of pain’s badness will fulfill these desiderata: (1) capture the badness of pain broadly construed, i.e., both physical and psychological, (2) give a univocal explanation for human and animal pain, and (3) entail that only pain that is indeed intrinsically bad is bad. There are two central puzzles, namely pain that is enjoyed and pain that is not painful (as experienced by people with asymbolia for pain). A new view is proposed, reverse conditionalism, and it is argued that this view does best in fulfilling the desiderata and capturing enjoyable pain and asymbolia cases.

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