By Arne Vetlesen
“Living consists of being uncovered to soreness each second—not inevitably as an insistent fact, yet constantly as a possibility,” writes Arne Vetlesen in A Philosophy of ache, a thought-provoking examine an inevitable and crucial point of the human . the following, Vetlesen addresses ache in lots of varieties, together with the soreness inflicted in the course of torture; the soreness suffered in ailment; the soreness accompanying nervousness, grief, and melancholy; and the ache introduced by way of violence. He examines the twin nature of discomfort: how we strive 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 soreness is revealing, plumbing the very middle of a lot of our so much severe and complex feelings. He appears to be like at ache inside of diverse arenas of recent lifestyles reminiscent of kinfolk and paintings, and he particularly probes at a really universal smooth phenomenon, the assumption of pushing oneself to the restrict. attractive all through with the information of thinkers reminiscent of 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 soreness asks which got here first, considering or feeling, and explores the concept that and hazard of empathy.
Vetlesen deals an unique and insightful viewpoint on whatever that each one folks undergo and endure—from a sprained ankle to a damaged middle. even supposing ache is in itself disagreeable, our skill to think it reminds us that we're alive.
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Additional resources for A Philosophy of Pain
But – contra Sartre – the sensitivity, the affective susceptibility, that I am moved by how others are moved in a situation (via my capacity for empathy), is something about me that I am, not something I have chosen. Nor have I, as a human subject, decided all the modes 48 of expression and manifestations of this sensitivity as they vary from one situation to the other (blushing as a bodily expression of my shame, sweating as an expression of my nervousness). Just as fully, I recognize these affective expressions as unmistakably mine.
G. in the form of compulsive thoughts and compulsive acts, often just as incomprehensible to the individual himself as to others, but that he, because of a violent inner pressure, feels ‘compelled’ to carry out, to repeat time after time. It must of course be said that medical science, ever since the days of its pioneer Hippocrates, has been well aware that 37 human nature is not restricted to what can be observed by examining the body. Every individual is the bearer of a history, his own history, and this history must always be taken into account when the individual’s actual situation is to be understood, with the sufferings it may contain.
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. While the break is only temporary, obeying the dictates of anxiety and scrupulously doing as it dictates does not give me any victory over it, does not liberate me from it, but merely serves to consolidate its almost total power over me.
A Philosophy of Pain by Arne Vetlesen