Beyond naturalism and social constructivism: The role of phenomenology in pain research

Keywords: Philosophy of Pain, Theories of Pain, Definitions of Pain, Phenomenology, Naturalism, Social Constructivism


This paper strives to map out the field of contemporary pain research and draw the lines that demarcate different methodologies. I want to argue against the common view that naturalism and social constructionism are the only possible standpoints in pain research. My goal is to show that naturalism and social constructionism rest on tacit presuppositions, whose philosophical clarification calls for a phenomenology of pain. Since these presuppositions concern the concept of pain, my goal here to offer a critique of established conceptions of pain and to present what I would call a phenomenological definition of pain.


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