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The Agony and the Ecstasy

We take it for granted that eradicating pain is desirable. And since De Quincey remarked that a quarter of human misery was toothache, remarkable strides have indeed been made. But is it possible, and do we want, to eliminate pain and suffering entirely or is it necessary to life?

In this video from the Institute of Art and Ideas, philosopher-physician Raymond Tallis, Kings College London philosopher Christopher Hamilton, UCL’s Barry C. Smith, and metaphysician Havi Carel, who has a terminal illness, question the purpose of pain.

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This video was produced by The Institute of Art and Ideas and is republished here with permission. It was filmed at HowTheLightGetsIn 2016, along with over 200 other debates and talks. Their new podcast, Philosophy for our times, is available here.


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