A Philosophy of Pain by Arne Vetlesen, John Irons

By Arne Vetlesen, John Irons

“Living includes being uncovered to soreness each second—not unavoidably as an insistent truth, yet continuously as a possibility,” writes Arne Vetlesen in A Philosophy of Pain, a thought-provoking examine an inevitable and crucial point of the human situation. right here, Vetlesen addresses soreness in lots of kinds, together with the discomfort inflicted in the course of torture; the discomfort suffered in affliction; the ache accompanying anxiousness, grief, and melancholy; and the discomfort introduced through 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 extreme and complex feelings. He appears to be like at ache inside of diverse arenas of contemporary existence equivalent to relatives and paintings, and he in particular probes at a truly universal glossy phenomenon, the assumption of pushing oneself to the restrict. attractive all through with the guidelines of thinkers similar to 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 Pain asks which got here first, pondering or feeling, and explores the idea that and threat of empathy.

Vetlesen bargains an unique and insightful point of view on whatever that every one folks endure and endure—from a sprained ankle to a damaged middle. even though soreness is in itself disagreeable, our skill to believe it reminds us that we're alive.

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41 Jean-Paul Sartre is famous, and notorious, for answering yes all the way. Sartre describes a time when he is sitting alone in a room, feeling sad. There is a knock at the door. e. after the people visiting me have left. Since, according to Sartre, we ‘don’, put on, the emotion, we can also ‘lay it aside’ and resume it when the situation suits us better. For Sartre, this example shows how ‘consciousness affects itself with sadness as a magical move against a situation that has become too troublesome’.

Mourning is the state that synthesizes the world and all it contains for the mourning person; mourning is the ‘organizing principle’ that determines the value and meaning of everything encountered, in all thoughts, all feelings, all experiences. Life is lived in the hands of the mourning brought by loss, by bereavement. e. 7 No matter whether we are speaking of sorrow or melancholy, it may sound as if these are states that control the person, rather than the reverse. Is that possible? Or is it really that sorrow only apparently controls the person?

Anxiety paralyses my corporeal-sensual openness towards the world. It hampers my movements, and it may force me to make certain movements – in the form of rituals, often taking on a most exhausting because compulsory nature – that I feel dictated to do, and precisely in the detailed and rigid manner required by it, at that, no deviations, no small freedoms allowed me. The movements and acts I carry out 60 compulsively grant me the prospect of a certain quietude, a time-out in the maelstrom of anxiety.

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