This book employs contemporary philosophy, scientific research, and clinical reports to argue that pain, though real, is not an appropriate object of scientific generalisations or an appropriate target for medical intervention. Each pain experience is instead complex and idiosyncratic in a way which undermines scientific utility. In addition to contributing novel arguments and developing a novel position on the nature of pain, the book provides an interdisciplinary overview of dominant models of pain. The author lays the needed groundwork for improved models and targeted treatments at a time when pain science, pain medicine, and philosophy are explicitly searching for both and failing to find them. The Complex Reality of Pain will be of interest to a broad range of researchers and students, including those working in philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, cognitive science, neuroscience, medicine, health, cognitive and behavioural psychology, and pain science.

chapter 1|29 pages


Pain in Life, Science, and Medicine

chapter 2|54 pages

The Need for Complexity

Rejecting the Orthodoxy of Simplicity

chapter 3|57 pages

Mechanistic Explanations

How Complex Idiosyncrasy Undermines Them

chapter 4|33 pages

Adopting Scientific Eliminativism

How Complex Idiosyncrasy Undermines Scientific Utility

chapter 5|25 pages

Rejecting Traditional Eliminativism

Why Pain Is Still Real

chapter 6|15 pages


Living with the Complex Reality of Pain