By Arne Vetlesen
“Living comprises being uncovered to soreness each second—not inevitably as an insistent fact, yet regularly as a possibility,” writes Arne Vetlesen in A Philosophy of discomfort, a thought-provoking examine an inevitable and crucial element of the human situation. the following, Vetlesen addresses discomfort in lots of varieties, together with the discomfort inflicted in the course of torture; the discomfort suffered in sickness; the ache accompanying anxiousness, grief, and melancholy; and the soreness introduced via 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 discomfort is revealing, plumbing the very middle of lots of our such a lot extreme and intricate feelings. He appears to be like at ache inside of varied arenas of recent lifestyles equivalent to relatives and paintings, and he particularly probes at a really universal smooth phenomenon, the belief of pushing oneself to the restrict. attractive all through with the tips of thinkers corresponding 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 standpoint on anything that every one people undergo and endure—from a sprained ankle to a damaged middle. even though soreness is in itself disagreeable, our skill to believe it reminds us that we're alive.
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Extra info for A Philosophy of Pain
Instead of things just ‘happening’ – happening in the world or happening to us – everything that has happened, is happening and may happen are taken inside us, populating our subjective world, equipping it with its ‘mineness’. To be incorporated into this inner, subjective world means having the nature of what I call mental reality. The concept of mental reality has aptly been summed up by Chateaubriand: ‘Everyone bears within a world that consists of everything he or she has experienced and loved’ – and hated or feared, I would add.
Something’ can only assume meaning for ‘someone’ because this ‘someone’, the human individual, is a mental being as well as a physical one. ). The primary characteristics of persons do not belong to the objects that exist in time and space outside persons. The best example of what this implies is perhaps death. Persons are living physical beings that exist in time and space just like all other such beings. But we are – as far as can be ascertained – the only such beings that live conscious of the fact that our life will one day come to an end, that we shall die.
True enough, the body that shudders with pain as a result of the slash wound inflicted on me is my body, no one else’s; I experience my body’s pain in the first person singular, and I may well doubt your expressed assurance that you know and not least feel ‘exactly what I am going through’. In my physically inflicted pain I therefore experience myself as anything but interchangeable. To the extent that the experience of pain changes anything at all in my relationship to the outside world in general and other people in particular, the change consists in my being cast out into a kind of aloneness I had not experienced before pain invaded my life.