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The Phenomenology of Pain
by Saulius Geniusas
Ohio University Press, 2002
Cloth: 978-0-8214-2403-2 | eISBN: 978-0-8214-4694-2
Library of Congress Classification BJ1409.G46 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 128.4


The Phenomenology of Pain is the first book-length investigation of its topic to appear in English. Groundbreaking, systematic, and illuminating, it opens a dialogue between phenomenology and such disciplines as cognitive science and cultural anthropology to argue that science alone cannot clarify the nature of pain experience without incorporating a phenomenological approach. Building on this premise, Saulius Geniusas develops a novel conception of pain grounded in phenomenological principles: pain is an aversive bodily feeling with a distinct experiential quality, which can only be given in original first-hand experience, either as a feeling-sensation or as an emotion.

Geniusas crystallizes the fundamental methodological principles that underlie phenomenological research. On the basis of those principles, he offers a phenomenological clarification of the fundamental structures of pain experience and contests the common conflation of phenomenology with introspectionism. Geniusas analyzes numerous pain dissociation syndromes, brings into focus the de-personalizing and re-personalizing nature of chronic pain experience, and demonstrates what role somatization and psychologization play in pain experience. In the process, he advances Husserlian phenomenology in a direction that is not explicitly worked out in Husserl’s own writings.

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