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What is the absolute nature of pain? Is there such thing as a pain independent of physical happenings in the body?

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    How do you define "pain"? – Niel de Beaudrap Feb 6 '14 at 11:12
  • @Niel: As this questions evolved from this other q:philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/9739/…, I take your comment to be just a restatement of the question. Can pain be defined as just physical stuffs, or are there other things involved, and according to whom? – Lukas Feb 6 '14 at 12:04
  • @Lukas: maybe my analytical roots are showing, but I think an added emphasis on the search for what the word can/should be fit to, adds more meaning to the question (or clarifies its intent perhaps). Not that it will necessarily be more answerable, for that. – Niel de Beaudrap Feb 6 '14 at 12:20
  • Maybe a bit good will would solve all that. Physicalists will tell you that you cannot, since there is just the physical, dualists will maybe tell you something about soul-pain, where nothing physical is involved, and then there are those who say that there is some non-physical involved, and i think they are called 'property-dualists', or something like that. – Lukas Feb 6 '14 at 13:29
  • I take the question to be a reference request for different positions in the philosophy of mind that deal with pain, or have results that include pain(because it is a mental state). – Lukas Feb 6 '14 at 13:30
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Analysis of phantom limb syndrome suggests that pain (along with many types of sensations) can occur in a place other than where they seem to be happening, but there's no evidence it's not physical in nature. That is, the experience of pain may be "all in your mind" but still the result of physical processes.

More info:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31555.Phantoms_in_the_Brain

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilayanur_S._Ramachandran

  • If its at the end "all in your mind" then it can be also result of the mind itself. And not that thing which you called "physical", which itself can be in the bigger mind. – Asphir Dom Feb 7 '14 at 12:30
  • @AsphirDom - I'm inclined to think minds result from physical processes but I'm not making that argument here. That argument is well explored in other places. I am suggesting that minds might be physical, and if one accepts that minds are physical than it follows that pain is too. – obelia Feb 7 '14 at 18:12
  • Good point, but isn't it obvious that Physical IS mind? – Asphir Dom Feb 7 '14 at 21:57
  • @AsphirDom I think minds are a physical process, but I'm just not prepared to argue that point. There are better people than me for that. – obelia Feb 8 '14 at 1:16

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