Is Pain Good?

F. H. Bradley “Notes on Essay III,” Ethical Studies, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1927), p.131:

To say that pain is an absolute evil, we should have to answer in the affirmative the question, can you have the positive without the negative, or the negative in this form? And I do not see how we can give this answer. We know that pain is often a stimulus; without some pain little is produced—perhaps nothing. We know that the pain of the part is often the good of the whole; that that good demands sometimes even the destruction of the part. . . . that no man has a right to say pain is an evil absolutely, unless he knows that there is no such life of the whole, or that pain is a negative which limits it functions, and is not a negative condition of those functions. . . . We have seen that pain is bad whenever it is not necessary as a condition of the good.

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