THE PERCEPTUAL THEORY OF PAIN: ANOTHER LOOK
Article first published online: 12 MAR 2008
Volume 2, Issue 1, pages 53–55, January 1979
How to Cite
MAYBERRY, T. C. (1979), THE PERCEPTUAL THEORY OF PAIN: ANOTHER LOOK. Philosophical Investigations, 2: 53–55. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9205.1979.tb00380.x
- Issue published online: 12 MAR 2008
- Article first published online: 12 MAR 2008
The essential logical deficiency of the perceptual theory of pain, as I tried to show in my paper,1 is that feeling pain cannot be perceiving anything. The conceptual framework that would make it possible for us to understand “feel” in this use to be a perception concept does not exist. The concept of a glimpse, which George Pitcher relies upon to supply this framework,2cannot begin to do so because it is a secondary perception concept entirely dependent upon that of seeing. This primary concept of visual perception is tied up with actions and supporting concepts like looking, glancing, gazing, glimpsing, watching, and the like. These are different ways in which one's visual perceiving may be characterized. Without the primary concept and the actions connected with it, there would be nothing to characterize. The word “feel” in contexts involving pain is not a perception concept and efforts to make it one are doomed to fail. The supporting actions and concepts do not exist.