I'm writing an essay on the idea that we see and understand the world as we are not as it is, and I have a question regarding empiricism and secondary qualities such as pain.
Pain does not exist, such as it is merely a sensation which we can know of. But as pain is not an object such as a table or other observable thing, does an idea of a total empiricism, i.e. we can only know that which we see/observe suggest that pain does not exist?
Or at least bot be subjective as the pain observed must exist and therefore should be the same for all people?
For example a buddhist monk can withstand extreme pain, yet from my knowlodge it that is that it is pain whereas their knowledge is that it is not pain.
Surely this is a flaw in a total empiricist view
Why would you think that if pain is a sensation, then it does not exist? Don't sensations exist? What you mean, I think, is that pain exists "in the mind", and not externally to the mind. But that does not mean that it does not exist. If we can know we have a pain, then it must exist, for we cannot know of what does not exist. It is true that we do not touch or see our pains, but what that means is that it is not only what we can touch or see, that exists. We cannot touch or see electrons. But they exist.
As for the Buddhist, the fact that he can endure the pain, and that you cannot, does not show that he does not know it is pain, and you do.