David Lewis And Martian Pain Analysis

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Final Paper: David Lewis Prompt In his work, Mad Pain and Martian Pain, David Lewis argues that we can apprehend the concept of pain by applying an ambiguous, yet effective Materialist Mixed Theory of mind. The Mixed Theory of mind includes an Identity Theory and a Functionalist Theory—which Lewis must necessarily accept in order to have his theory of pain. Phenomenologists argue that Lewis fails to account for the experience of pain—the what it is like to be in pain and to feel pain. I will argue that David Lewis does not appropriately defend the Phenomenologist’s objections. The phenomenal experience of pain is not fully accounted for when we try to understand the concept of pain with physicalist and functionalist theories alone.
1: Key
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Phenomenologists claim that materialists overlook the fact that we gain phenomenal knowledge whenever we experience new feelings (Lewis, Postscript 130). Lewis defends himself against this phenomenal objection by saying that the Materialist Mixed Theory of Mind does account for the feeling of pain, because when we describe pain in physical and functional terms, we are implicitly claiming that there is a feeling of pain involved as well. Lewis claims that the state of being in pain, and the feeling of pain are one and the same (Lewis …show more content…
Suppose we had another species in the universe—that is not a human being nor a martian—let us call them Jupiterians. Jupiterians live in Jupiter they have the exact anatomy that human beings have. The only difference between human beings and Jupiterians is that Jupiterians always have their c-fibers firing, but do not always have or experience the feeling of pain. It follows, then, that Identity Theory would fail to explain for the Jupiterian species, since c-fibers firing are not identical with pain in the Jupiterian world. If c-fibers firing were identical with pain, as Lewis would claim, then it follows that Jupiterians would always feel pain, but they do not. Consequently, Kripke believes that since we could conceive of possible scenarios in which Jupiterians have c-fibers firing, and are not necessarily pain, then the Identity Theory is weakened.

5: Evaluation and reply to the concept of pain David Lewis presents an understanding of the concept of pain through the Materialist Mixed Theory of Mind. Lewis attempts to respond to the phenomenal objections, however, his defense is unsatisfactory. The Materialist Mixed Theory of mind fails to appropriately account for the phenomenal experience of feeling pain. I agree with Kripke’s view that pain is a rigid designator—that is, that pain picks out the sensation of pain

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