In the 17th century, René Descartes, who is generally considered as the ‘father of modern philosophy’, was one of the first in history to inquire into the feeling of pain on a rational (scientific) basis. Some of his philosophical reasoning, like his theory on the dualistic nature of humans with a clear separation between the mind and the body, are still found in our culture today. Several of his other statements, e.g. that animals do not have a mind and therefore are not able to feel pain, are now generally considered as outdated. Nevertheless, his view on the transmission of pain, represented as the pulling of a thread, and on the functional importance of pain are not completely at odds with current views on pain transmission.

This PhD project was supported by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)
C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hossaini, M. (2010, December 15). Pain related inhibition by GABA and glycine in the rat spinal cord
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