Being in Pain by Abraham Olivier
Vince Luizzi gets a new focus on pain from Abraham Olivier.
This book is an interesting discussion of how French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy has a practical application for relieving pain. Being in Pain may be a difficult read in spots, but it remains a page-turner for anyone who knows pain and welcomes advice for relieving it.
The book first investigates philosophy’s famous ‘mind-body problem’. Is the mind merely matter in motion? Can it survive the body? Or is Merleau-Ponty correct that we are our perceiving bodies? Olivier believes that he is, and adds to the old metaphysical debate with his defense of Merleau-Ponty’s view. The problem with materialism about consciousness is its inability to account for subjective states such as my perception of my body; and dualism fails to fully recognize the bodily dimension of pain.