University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors

Pain, Paradox, and Polysemy

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Original languageEnglish
Article numberanaa073
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2021


The paradox of pain refers to the idea that the folk concept of pain is paradoxical, treating pains as simultaneously mental states and bodily states (e.g. Hill 2005, 2017; Borg et al. 2020). By taking a close look at our pain terms, this paper argues that there is no paradox of pain. The air of paradox dissolves once we recognise that pain terms are polysemous and that there are two separate but related concepts of pain rather than one.


© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. This is the accepted manuscript version of an article which has been published in final form at

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