The LCFI website uses cookies only for anonymised website statistics and for ensuring our security, never for tracking or identifying you individually. To find out more, and to find out how we protect your personal information, please read our privacy policy.

Pain, placebo, and cognitive penetration

Academic Journal article by Henry Shevlin, Phoebe Friesen

Pain, placebo, and cognitive penetrationMind & Language (2020).

Abstract: There is compelling evidence that pain experience is influenced by cognitive states. We explore one specific form of such influence, namely placebo analgesia, and examine its relevance for the cognitive penetration debate in philosophy of mind. We single out as important a form of influence on experience that we term radical cognitive penetration, and argue that some cases of placebo analgesia constitute compelling instances of this phenomenon. Still, we urge caution in extrapolating from this to broader conclusions about cognitive penetration in perceptual experience. Instead, we suggest that the cognitive penetration of pain raises distinctive psychological, epistemological, and ethical issues.

Download Academic Journal article