'Living involves being exposed to pain every second not necessarily as an insistent reality, but always as a possibility', writes Arne Johan Vetlesen in A Philosophy of Pain, a thought-provoking look at an inevitable and essential aspect of the human condition.
Vetlesen addresses pain in many forms, including the pain inflicted by torture; the pain suffered in disease; and the pain of anxiety, grief and depression. He examines the dual nature of pain : how we attempt to avoid it as much as possible in our daily lives and yet, conversely, obtain a thrill from seeking it. Vetlesen looks at pain within areas of modern life such as family and work, and he specifically probes a common modern phenomenon, the idea of pushing oneself to the limit.
Engaging throughout with the ideas of thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Freud, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Horkheimer, Adorno, Sontag and Klein, A Philosophy of Pain explores the concept and possibility of emphathy, as well as providing an analysis of the place of pain in modern culture. Vetlesen offers an original and insightful perspective on something that all of us suffer and endure from a sprained ankle to a broken heart.
Although pain is in itself unpleasant, our ability to feel it reminds us that we are alive.
About the Author
Arne Johan Vetlesen is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oslo. He has published many books, including Perception, Empathy, and Judgment and Evil and Human Agency.
'Recommended reading for those who feel invincible and invulnerable, and also those who have experienced the darker side of life.' - Dagsavisen, Norway 'A book we cannot ignore ... Arne Johan Vetlesen introduces us to different aspects of pain, and discusses the role pain has in our lives. His perspectives are broad-ranging and multiple ... a book for open debate.' - Bergens Tidende, Norway
Number Of Pages: 167
Published: 1st September 2004
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 12.0 x 1.3
Weight (kg): 0.181