Empiricism and Pain/Secondary Qualities

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Reply Fri 8 May, 2009 12:02 pm
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
 
GoshisDead
 
Reply Fri 8 May, 2009 01:13 pm
@Darunia9,
Darunia9 wrote:

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?


Empiricism does not deny that the subject exists or that there are phenomena that are not objectifiable, only that they are not quantifiable and thus not non-extant only (irrelevant) to the most reliable source of knowledge creation. However one might argue that pain is real because the effects of pain are objectifiable. Cause and effect, I kick you in the shin, you say ouch. I have objectified the cause and see direct evidence of a result. This sort of thing is used in science all the time. I introduce stimulus X and get reaction Y, although I don't experience the actual process that connects stimulus and reaction. The problem is in creating a measurment system of the pain suffered not in verifying that pain is a real phenomenon.
 
Darunia9
 
Reply Fri 8 May, 2009 01:18 pm
@GoshisDead,
Ahh, yeah I was thinking that, but I wanted a counter-argument to the idea that pain was subjective. But in the end I only said that this was a way of showing that we each individually see the world as we are not as it is because we dont all feel the same pain from the same stimuli
 
Khethil
 
Reply Fri 8 May, 2009 03:54 pm
@Darunia9,
Pain is a sensation; sensations are part of empirical support.

The intensity of pain (or even the existence in those whose nerves have been damaged) could give support to its subjectivity. But the existence of it has far too much support to suggest its truly subjective (like Gosh's shin-kick for example)

Thanks
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 01:26 am
@Darunia9,
Darunia9 wrote:
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.
 
Darunia9
 
Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 03:28 am
@kennethamy,
Yeah, by pain not existing I meant that the object that causes pain does not have pain as a quality or that there is not a pain object, that it only exists in the mind not outside it. I was just trying to summarise to work out if I could use the example as a counter-claim in my argument as I wrote it when I was tired and not really thinking.
In the end I decided that it didn't really have any truth in it so I just cut it out
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 9 May, 2009 08:27 am
@Darunia9,
Darunia9 wrote:
Yeah, by pain not existing I meant that the object that causes pain does not have pain as a quality or that there is not a pain object, that it only exists in the mind not outside it. I was just trying to summarise to work out if I could use the example as a counter-claim in my argument as I wrote it when I was tired and not really thinking.
In the end I decided that it didn't really have any truth in it so I just cut it out


Very good decision
 
 

 
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