By Arne Vetlesen
“Living contains being uncovered to discomfort each second—not unavoidably as an insistent truth, yet constantly 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 soreness in lots of varieties, together with the soreness inflicted in the course of torture; the ache suffered in disorder; the ache accompanying nervousness, grief, and melancholy; and the discomfort introduced via violence. He examines the twin nature of ache: how we try 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 discomfort is revealing, plumbing the very heart of lots of our so much severe and intricate feelings. He seems at discomfort inside of various arenas of recent lifestyles comparable to kin and paintings, and he particularly probes at a truly universal smooth phenomenon, the belief of pushing oneself to the restrict. attractive all through with the tips of thinkers reminiscent of 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 concept that and probability of empathy.
Vetlesen deals an unique and insightful standpoint on whatever that every one people 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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Extra resources for A Philosophy of Pain
Are we unable now, gazing with the eye of a sufferer at the world, to see that if the body takes up all of existence, nothing would seem to be more threatened, more unattainable, than precisely such a self-evident, all-inclusive solidarity and intelligibility? Is it not so that the person whose existence is essentially nothing but suffering experiences himself as different, as not being understood by others (those fit and healthy), as one who is almost ostracized? The insight that crowds in is that the body – the body’s exposure to pain – can just as well be claimed to be something that divides people as something that unites us all.
As I have pointed out, the medical-scientific view and the common-sense view of physical pain have opposite messages: that since such pain is something everyone as bodily beings are exposed to and what is more, exposed to in a similar way, such pain is one of the phenomena that connect and unite all human beings, by virtue of the exposure to pain as something we all have. The overriding difference – one that creates so many others – is between exposure to pain as a universally human potential and as an experienced reality: the latter is always bound to the individual and therefore dependent on the person.
What is the connection between them? To begin with a simple answer: psychic pain is a feeling. Or put more generally: when I sense pain, I sense it as a feeling and when the pain is great, or its intensity violent and/or long-lasting, I experience pain as a state. That is the connection, at a basic level, between pain and feeling. Because there exists such an intimate connection between them, the points from the critical discussion of Sartre’s theory about emotions can help us take the next step.
A Philosophy of Pain by Arne Vetlesen