Pain and agency
on the essential importance of vulnerability and transgression
This chapter argues that human action is inherently accompanied by various kinds of pain and that the status of the pain ensuing from action is ambivalent, both positive and negative in its significance. It begins with a description of the essentially active aspect of human experience, that character it has that involves it essentially with the world and the objects, people, and environments encompassed by the world. On the basis of that description, the chapter investigates the different kinds of pain that result from openness to this world, distinguishing between those kinds of pain to be avoided and those that are key aspects of human development, and identifying that pain that results from our separation from the intersubjective and objective conditions of agency. The chapter aims to develop a nuanced approach to the human experience of pain, arguing against the tendency to overlook and oppose certain kinds of pain.
Hoff, S. (2016)., Pain and agency: on the essential importance of vulnerability and transgression, in S. K. George & P. G. Jung (eds.), Cultural ontology of the self in pain, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 211-223.
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