David Lewis 's Mad Pain And Martian Pain Essay

1239 Words Dec 1st, 2016 5 Pages
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 Definitions Understanding the problem with David Lewis’s concept of pain requires that we first clarify some formal definitions. In general, Identity Theorists claim that a particular kind of mental state is a particular kind of physical state—this can also generally be called ‘physicalism’. Functionalist theorists assert that types of mental states depend on the way they function or the role they have on causal sequences within the cognitive system of which they are a part of (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Materialist Theorists claim that everything is matter, or is made out of matter. Phenomenologists are philosophers who study the subjective experience of the mind (the ‘what-it-is-like’ to feel or be in that experience).…

Related Documents