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December 1957

Pain and Pleasure: A Study of Bodily Feelings

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;78(6):602-603. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330420062013

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The nature of explanation often is different for one man than it is for another, particularly in the opening phases of inquiry. In this book a psychoanalyst presents his reflections on pain and pleasure; in keeping with the psychoanalytic tradition, the explanations he seeks maintain a sharp boundary between those things that are "bodily" and those that are in the realm of the "ego-experience" of the individual. The ability to deal with the rich world of individual subjective experience is hard won and, understandably, often accompanied by dissatisfaction with the seemingly remote and sterile abstractions of those who seek monistic explanations in broad biological terms. The author frequently expresses this dissatisfaction— indeed, his rejection of the explanations of those who have sought to approach pain monistically and experimentally is a major theme of the book. From experimental studies two aspects of pain have been found to be measurable and, to