Unconscious Pains and Unconscious Suffering
University of Hertfordshire
21 September 2018, 16:00
Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa
Sala Mattos Romão (Departamento de Filosofia)
Abstract: I will distinguish a few different kinds of suffering, zeroing in on one that involves the ‘intrinsic’ qualitative character of a mental/bodily state, paradigmatically exemplified in the case of suffering severe pains, e.g. as when burning one’s hand on a hot stove. I am interested in the question of whether if pains can exist unconsciously, then such suffering could also occur unconsciously. I will make the case for an affirmative answer to this question. I will also briefly make the case that there are such things as unconscious pains. So overall I defend the claim that there is such a thing as unconscious suffering in the relevant sense. If I have time I’ll hope to say something about the connection of such suffering to moral regard.