The social pain posit

Corns, J. (2015) The social pain posit. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 93(3), pp. 561-582. (doi:10.1080/00048402.2014.984614)

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Abstract

Although discussion of social pain has become popular among researchers in psychology and behavioural neuroscience, the philosophical community has yet to pay it any direct attention. Social pain is characterized as the emotional reaction to the perception of the loss or devaluation of desired relationships. These are argued to comprise a pain type and are explicitly intended to include the everyday sub-types grief, jealousy, heartbreak, rejection, and hurt feelings. Social pain is accordingly posited as a nested type of pain encompassing multiple emotional sub-types. Call this the social pain posit. This article focuses on whether we should endorse the social pain posit and, in particular, whether social pain is pain. I present the four lines of evidence for the social pain posit that are currently offered in the literature and I argue that each provides only inadequate support, taken either individually or together. I close by considering the significance of the presented argument for philosophical theorizing about the nature and the moral significance of affective experiences in particular and mental taxonomizing more generally.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Corns, Dr Jennifer
Authors: Corns, J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0004-8402
ISSN (Online):1471-6828

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