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 (1996-04)The author agrees with the critiques of moral theory offered by such writers as Bernard Williams and Alasdair MacIntyre, and uses ideas from Heidegger and Levinas to argue that caring is an ontological structure of human ...