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Pain Linguistics: A Case for Pluralism

Coninx, Sabrina and Willemsen, Pascale and Reuter, Kevin (2022) Pain Linguistics: A Case for Pluralism. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The most common approach to understanding the semantics of the concept of pain are third-person thought experiments. By contrast, the most frequent and most relevant use of the folk concept of pain concerns a first-person perspective in conversational settings. In this paper, we use a set of linguistic tools to systematically explore the semantics of what people communicate when reporting pain from a first-person perspective. Our results suggest that only a pluralistic view can do justice to the way we talk about pain: The semantic content of the folk concept of pain consists of information about both an unpleasant feeling and a disruptive bodily state. Pain linguistics thus provides an interesting challenge to the dominant unitary views of pain, as well as new insights into ordinary pain language.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Coninx, Sabrinas.coninx@vu.nl0000-0003-1209-4609
Willemsen, Pascalepascale.willemsen@philos.uzh.ch0000-0002-4563-1397
Reuter, Kevinkevin.reuter@uzh.ch0000-0003-2404-1619
Keywords: folk concept of pain; bodily states; feeling pain; paradox of pain; deniability test; projection test
Subjects: General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Depositing User: Dr. Sabrina Coninx
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2022 15:38
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2022 15:38
Item ID: 21577
Subjects: General Issues > Experimentation
General Issues > Thought Experiments
Date: 2022
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21577

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