n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die pyn van bewussyn

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


In contemporary brain research as well as in studies on the philosophy of mind, the ruling contention is that the experience of pain is a conscious experience. The underlying premise is that pain is a state of consciousness. In this article I defend the thesis that pain is not only a state of consciousness, but that it can also appear as a source of consciousness. This thesis is presented on the base of a philosophical analysis of the film . Respective episodes and symbols of this film are used to point out different ways in which pain gives rise to consciousness. As is shown, consciousness in its turn can become a cause of pain. Hence the title : "The pain of consciousness", which ambiguously pertains to pain giving birth to a consciousness that concurrently can become a source of pain itself. The film material gives proof of the philosophical thesis, while the philosophical thesis confines the analysis of the film.

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