Second-person Experience, Testimony, and Healing: An Investigation with Aquinas into the Problem of Human Suffering
This dissertation focuses on one of the healing methods of human suffering: second-person relationship between survivors and sufferers (S-S relation). I argue that (1) this relationship provides an emotional-convincing healing of which medications or psychological treatments lack; (2) this relationship can be successfully interpreted in accordance to Aquinas’s conception of testimony; and (3) this complex relationship is effective in alleviating human suffering. The second-person experience, which is explored in this dissertation, is an approach developed by a modern Thomistic philosopher Eleonore Stump. I argue that Stump’s approach has great potential on the S-S relation, and it is a fresh interpretation to Aquinas’s account of testimony, which has long been overlooked. This research has three dominant contributions: (1) it is a comprehensive analysis of Aquinas’s account of testimony; (2) when this analysis combines with Stump’s approach, it provides a new understanding of alleviating human suffering both speculatively and practically; and (3) it strengthens Stump’s approach since it exhibits some domains upon which her approach has not been touched.