Pain, placebo, and cognitive penetration
Mind and Language
MetadataShow full item record
Shevlin, H., & Friesen, P. (2021). Pain, placebo, and cognitive penetration. Mind and Language, 36 (5), 771-791. https://doi.org/10.1111/mila.12292
Funder: Leverhulme Trust; Id: http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000275
There is compelling evidence that pain experience is influenced by subjects’ cognitive states such as expectations and beliefs. In this paper, we explore one specific form of such influence, namely placebo analgesia, and examine its relevance for a debate in philosophy of mind and cognitive science the cognitive penetration of perceptual experience. In short, this refers to the epistemologically problematic influence of a subject’s beliefs, expectations, and desires on their perceptual experience. We begin by summarising the cognitive penetration debate, and single out as particularly important a form of cognitive influence on experience that we term Radical Cognitive Penetration. We go on to argue at least some cases of placebo analgesia constitute compelling instances of Radical Cognitive Penetration and are resistant to debunking explanations. Nonetheless, we urge caution in extrapolating from the cognitive penetration of pain experience to broader conclusions about the cognitive penetration of perceptual experience. Instead, we suggest that the cognitive penetration of pain experience raises distinctive psychological, epistemological, and ethical issues of its own.
cognitive penetration, pain, placebo, placebo analgesia
This work was supported by the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, Leverhulme Trust, under Grant RC-2015-067.
Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, Leverhulme Trust (RC‐2015‐067)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/mila.12292
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/331690
Recommended or similar items
The current recommendation prototype on the Apollo Repository will be turned off on 03 February 2023. Although the pilot has been fruitful for both parties, the service provider IKVA is focusing on horizon scanning products and so the recommender service can no longer be supported. We recognise the importance of recommender services in supporting research discovery and are evaluating offerings from other service providers. If you would like to offer feedback on this decision please contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org