The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain

ISBN 9781138823181
Published June 26, 2017 by Routledge
476 Pages

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Book Description

The phenomenon of pain presents problems and puzzles for philosophers who want to understand its nature. Though pain might seem simple, there has been disagreement since Aristotle about whether pain is an emotion, sensation, perception, or disturbed state of the body. Despite advances in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine, pain is still poorly understood and multiple theories of pain abound.

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems, and debates in this exciting and interdisciplinary subject and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising over thirty chapters by a team of international contributors the Handbook is divided into nine clear parts:

  • Modeling pain in philosophy

  • Modeling pain in neuroscience

  • Modeling pain in psychology

  • Pain in philosophy of mind

  • Pain in epistemology

  • Pain in philosophy of religion

  • Pain in ethics

  • Pain in medicine

  • Pain in law

As well as fundamental topics in the philosophy of pain such as the nature, role, and value of pain, many other important topics are covered including the neurological pathways involved in pain processing; biopsychosocial and cognitive-behavioural models of pain; chronic pain; pain and non-human animals; pain and knowledge; controlled substances for pain; pain and placebo effects; and pain and physician-assisted suicide.

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain is essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology and ethics. It will also be very useful to researchers of pain from any field, especially those in psychology, medicine, and health studies.



Jennifer Corns is Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, UK. Her published research focuses on pain and affect. She aims to use philosophical tools and evaluate empirical research to make progress on topics that matter within and beyond the academy. She is currently revising a monograph, Pain is Not a Natural Kind.

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