By Arne Vetlesen
“Living contains being uncovered to soreness each second—not inevitably as an insistent truth, yet continuously 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 ache suffered in sickness; the ache accompanying nervousness, grief, and melancholy; and the soreness introduced by way of violence. He examines the twin nature of soreness: how we try 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 such a lot severe and complex feelings. He appears to be like at ache inside of various arenas of recent existence akin to kinfolk and paintings, and he in particular probes at a truly universal glossy phenomenon, the belief of pushing oneself to the restrict. attractive all through with the guidelines of thinkers akin to 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 discomfort asks which got here first, pondering or feeling, and explores the concept that and probability of empathy.
Vetlesen deals an unique and insightful viewpoint on whatever that every one folks undergo and endure—from a sprained ankle to a damaged center. even though soreness is in itself disagreeable, our skill to suppose it reminds us that we're alive.
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Extra info for A Philosophy of Pain
When experiencing severe pain my entire life-world, my horizon, is narrowed down; my perception of time and space, my relations with other people as well as with myself are dramatically changed. The final point is reached when existence is reduced to the body. That which was possible as something self-evident and calling only for a minimum of effort becomes impossible. The eminent and apparently limitless, unforced and unhindered openness to the world of the senses, the openness to everything it might contain, is replaced by a solid closure.
I am thinking in particular of Sartre’s striking individualism, his emphasis of the fact that being a human being involves making choices, and that all of us make our choices in what is both total freedom and total aloneness: I and I alone am totally responsible for everything I do, and my freedom to choose cannot be de-chosen, rather, I am eternally sentenced to carry the responsibility that freedom involves, no matter how little that may appeal to me. In philosophical terms Sartre is a voluntarist because he places such emphasis on the freedom of the will in all our doings, the unique power of the will to determine meaning and significance for us.
On the contrary, my body is the actual condition of possibility that I am located as I am in the world at all, am active, movable in this way, that I can focus my attention and energy on anything at all of what exists outside me (outside my body). This is what is so dramatically changed, even turned upside-down, from the moment the body becomes a centre for pain. Pain steals the focus. Pain commands my total attention, it drains me of energy, it demands everything of me, finally more than I am able to give – it wears me out.
A Philosophy of Pain by Arne Vetlesen