The Dennes Room

Event Detail

Wed Dec 3, 2008
4:10–6 PM
Philosophy Colloquium
Josh Sheptow (UC Berkeley)
Why Does Pain Hurt?

The question I take up is: why does bad stuff, such as damage and deprivation, give rise to bad feelings (pain, hunger, etc.) while good stuff, such as adequate heat and nourishment, gives rise to good feelings(warmth, feeling full etc.). I consider an evolutionary explanation as well as an explanation that draws on functionalism about feelings (i.e. about qualia) and I argue that neither of these explanations is satisfying. I then present what I think is a satisfying explanation. Namely, I argue for a functionalist account, not of qualia full stop, but rather of the goodness and badness of qualia.