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Pain deproblematized

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Abstract:

In this paper I demonstrate that the "pain problem" Dartnall claims to have discovered is in fact no problem at all. Dartnall's construction of the apparent problem, I argue, relies on an erroneous assumption of the unity of consciousness, an erroneous assumption of the simplicity of pain as a phenomenon ignoring crucial neurophysiological and neuroanatomical information, a mistaken account of introspective knowledge according to which introspection gives us inner episodes veridically and in their totality and a model of consciousness that depicts the mind as an attic of inner objects towards which attention might or might not be directed. Once these errors are dispelled, no problem remains. None the less, given the seductiveness of these errors, and the havoc they wreak in cognitive science, dispelling them is a worthwhile exercise.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09515080120033535

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Smith College, North Hampton, MASS and School of Philosophy, The University of Tasmania, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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