Pain and Communication
van Hooft, Stan
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy: A European Journal 2003; 6(3): 255-262
It is frequently said that pain is incommunicable and even that it "destroys language". This paper offers a phenomenological account of pain and then explores and critiques this view. It suggests not only that pain is communicable to an adequate degree for clinical purposes, but also that it is itself a form of communication through which the person in pain appeals to the empathy and ethical goodness of the clinician. To explain this latter idea and its ethical implications, reference is made to the writings of Emmanuel Levinas.
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van Hooft, Stan (1998-09)Western thinkers have usually falsified our experience of suffering in trying to make sense of it. In a postmodern age, their accounts seem implausible. We need a way of making sense of suffering while admitting its horror.
van Hooft, Stan (1999-05)The author challenges the recently argued position of Helga Kuhse that caring is merely a preparatory stage to moral action and that impartial, principled thinking is required to make action moral, by suggesting a notion of ...