Rethinking 'The Body in Pain'

Subjectivity (2016), DOI: 10.1057/s41286-016-0010-x

Posted: 24 Sep 2016

Date Written: September 23, 2016


This article calls into question two core suppositions of "The Body in Pain": That pain is sheerly aversive; and that those who inflict pain do so unawares. I argue that these pieties avoid disturbing questions regarding the pain-filled body. The controlled experience of pain is central to any number of practices; many of them place the body in extremis. Conversely, there are practices of pain-infliction undertaken with the expectation of gratification or social validation. Pain, in short, is alluring as well as aversive.

Keywords: Bataille, Scarry, Nietzsche, pain, torture, sadomasochism

Suggested Citation

McIntyre, Michael, Rethinking 'The Body in Pain' (September 23, 2016). Subjectivity (2016), DOI: 10.1057/s41286-016-0010-x , Available at SSRN:

Michael McIntyre (Contact Author)

DePaul University ( email )

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Chicago, IL 60604
United States
773.325.7456 (Phone)

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