Bodily Sensations

Bodily Sensations

Bodily Sensations

Bodily Sensations

Excerpt

My object is to give an account of the nature of bodily sensations. The word 'sensation' is used in different ways, but to speak of 'sensations' in common talk is often to speak of bodily sensations. They may be divided into two classes. Sensations of warmth, pressure, motion, distension, etc., form one class. Aches, pains, itches, tickles, erotic sensations, and so on, form the second class.

I draw the distinction between these two sorts of bodily sensation in the following way. A bodily sensation (indeed, any sensation) demands the existence of a sentient being who has the sensation. But in the case of the first class we can distinguish between warmth and a sensation of warmth, pressure and a sensation of pressure, motion and a sensation of motion. For warmth, pressure or motion can exist in the absence of sentient beings. However, we cannot make the same distinction between pain and a sensation of pain, or an itch and a sensation of itching. For a pain is a sensation of pain, and an itch is a sensation of itching.

Although it is quite natural to say that aches, pains, itches, tickles, etc., are sensations, it is somewhat unusual to speak of an aching, itching, tickling or painful . . .

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