Praesidium

Monday, January 22, 2007

Interesting Scientific Research

Two stories in the BBC health section caught my eye:

Couples feel each other's pain - This sounds very much like Hume's account of sympathy to me. Further, although the study was based on couples, I see no evidence the findings are necessarily confined to such - it could be, from what's reported, a natural reaction to witnessing any other suffering.

Pain from a woman hurts less - This backs up the claim made by Wayne Sumner (citing some psychological evidence) that pleasure and pain consists of a sensation and an affective element - how much we care. He argues pleasure and pain themselves are not always good or bad - we may shun the former or welcome the latter, in certain contexts. Rather what matters to the quality of someone's life is enjoyment or suffering.

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