A Treatise on the Study of Pain
Todd, James G.
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Pain is a very peculiar human condition. Why, then, has the question of what it is been unasked on a culture-wide level for so long? I will address this question and also offer some answers to the ontological question regarding pain in the pages that follow. First, I will explicate the Cartesian approach to pain. I will also some examples of Cartesian analysis of problems in the treatment of pain which still trouble our medical community today. Next, I will examine our current beliefs regarding what pain is while demonstrating the way in which it is related to the Cartesian tradition. Within the scope of that discussion, I will explain what that conceptualization of pain has meant to the treatment of pain. Then, I will look at a third approach from the French philosopher Merleau-Ponty. I will explicate his conceptualization of pain. In that exegesis I also intend to demonstrate the profound practical implications of his theory. Finally, I will examine a recent work about pain by David Morris. I will explain his task and look at the scope of his work. Furthermore, I will show some of the practical results of his characterization of pain as it relates to earlier conceptualizations of it.