Talk: Justin Systma, 14th November

Title:  The Bodily Conception of Pain

Time: 11.00 – 13.00

Date: Monday 14th November

Location: Humss 301

ABSTRACT:  The standard view in philosophy treats pains as mental states with a particular type of phenomenal character. This view has a number of corollaries, including that it locates pains in the mind, rules out the possibility of pain hallucinations, and denies that there can be unfelt pains. The main argument put forward in support of the standard view is that it supposedly corresponds with the ordinary or commonsense conception of pain. Despite this, empirical evidence is mounting that non-philosophers do not tend to conceptualize pains in this way; rather, they tend to treat pains as being bodily states. In this talk I will survey the current evidence, including cross-cultural research suggesting that the bodily conception of pains is not specific to English speakers.

SPEAKER:  Justin Systma is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.  He is a leading experimental philosopher with particular focuses on pain, consciousness, and language.  To read more about him and his publications visit his website.

All welcome!