External Pain

I had an existential experience in my local drug store last night while pondering this sign.

sign for products dealing with "external pain"

What does it mean for pain to be truly external to the person feeling it? Have I ever felt external pain? Is external pain merely another term for empathy? What might products to help with empathy entail? Would my local drug store stock them?

7 Replies to “External Pain”

  1. well, Elaine Scarry is in your neighbourhood.  You could ask her.  or read The Body In Pain.  I think that might qualify as a product for treating empathy disorders.

  2. possibly the same painkillers that help you deal with internal pain also help with external pain.

    in a less individualistic sense, external pain relievers would be the long tail of things that only make the world a better place.

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