Pleasure and Pain

Bimal Krishna Matilal

in Perception

Published in print December 1991 | ISBN: 9780198239765
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680014 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Pleasure and Pain

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Can there be unfelt pain, or unsensed pleasure? Could there be pain in me which I have not experienced? Could there be pleasure that has occurred for me, but which I have not felt? These questions are pertinent. They illuminate a controversy between Nyāya and Buddhism over the nature of the perception of ‘inner’ episodes. Philosophers generally have been of the opinion that there cannot be any ‘unfelt pleasure’ or ‘unsensed pain’. Now the question arises whether or not pleasures and pains are to be identified with, or be considered as an integral part of the awareness itself. The Buddhist here follows the common intuition, and argues that the arising of pain-sensation or pleasure-sensation is nothing but a special form or kind of cognitive episode called the inner perceptual awareness.

Keywords: pain sensation; Udayana; Nyāya; Buddhism; perceptual awareness

Chapter.  7525 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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