I have a strong theoretical commitment to:
- To feel pain is to perceive something as if it were bad.
- Veridical perception is non-instrumentally good.
- Particularly intense physical pain is always non-instrumentally bad.
But today I realized that there is no real contradiction between (1), (2) and (3). Rather than deriving a contradiction from (1)-(3), what we should conclude is:
- No instance of particularly intense physical pain is veridical.
One difficulty is that the plausibility of my position depends on how one understands "particularly intense". If one has a high enough standard for that, then (4) is plausible, but it also becomes plausible that pains that just fall short of the standard still are non-instrumentally bad. If one has a lower standard for "particularly intense", then (4) becomes less plausible. I am hoping that there is a sweet spot (well, actually, a miserable spot!) where the position works.