The Philosophy of Pain

Associate Professor Brendan O’Sullivan (Stonehill College) presented a paper entitled “Where Does It Hurt?–Tensions in Our Concept of Pain” as part of the Philosophy Department’s Colloquium on Feb. 26th.  He showed how our ordinary judgments about pain are incompatible between two fundamental views (that pains are literally in or on the body, and that they are subjective).  Rather than show that one strand in our commonsense judgments is mistaken, he provided a view that draws from sense-data theory to handle the act-object distinction and mitigate the tensions between the two views.  We are happy to report that no students were harmed during his presentation.