David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 151 (3):331 - 349 (2010)
Robert Nozick's experience machine thought experiment is often considered a decisive refutation of hedonism. I argue that the conclusions we draw from Nozick's thought experiment ought to be informed by considerations concerning the operation of our intuitions about value. First, I argue that, in order to show that practical hedonistic reasons are not causing our negative reaction to the experience machine, we must not merely stipulate their irrelevance (since our intuitions are not always responsive to stipulation) but fill in the concrete details that would make them irrelevant. If we do this, we may see our feelings about the experience machine becoming less negative. Second, I argue that, even if our feelings about the experience machine do not perfectly track hedonistic reasons, there are various reasons to doubt the reliability of our anti-hedonistic intuitions. And finally, I argue that, since in the actual world seeing certain things besides pleasure as ends in themselves may best serve hedonistic ends, hedonism may justify our taking these other things to be intrinsically valuable, thus again making the existence of our seemingly anti-hedonistic intuitions far from straightforward evidence for the falsity of hedonism.
|Keywords||Pleasure Pain Hedonism Utilitarianism Experience machine Intuitions Metaethics Thought experiments|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Robert Nozick (1974). Anarchy, State and Utopia. Basic Books.
David Owen Brink (1989). Moral Realism and the Foundations of Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
L. W. Sumner (1996). Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Sharon Street (2006). A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value. Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
Jonathan Glover (forthcoming). What Sort of People Should There Be? Philosophical Explorations.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Fred Feldman (2004). Pleasure and the Good Life: Concerning the Nature, Varieties and Plausibility of Hedonism. Clarendon Press.
Felipe De Brigard (2010). If You Like It, Does It Matter If It's Real? Philosophical Psychology 23 (1):43-57.
Christopher Belshaw (2014). What's Wrong with the Experience Machine? European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):573-592.
Adam J. Kolber (1994). Mental Statism and the Experience Machine. Bard Journal of Social Sciences 3:10-17.
John Lemos (2004). Psychological Hedonism, Evolutionary Biology, and the Experience Machine. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (4):506-526.
Basil Smith (2011). Can We Test the Experience Machine? Ethical Perspectives 18 (1):29-51.
Roger Crisp (2006). Hedonism Reconsidered. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):619–645.
Harriet Baber (2008). The Experience Machine Deconstructed. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 15 (1):133-138.
H. E. Baber (2008). The Experience Machine Deconstructed. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 15 (1):133-138.
Added to index2009-10-03
Total downloads257 ( #3,647 of 1,725,161 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #72,301 of 1,725,161 )
How can I increase my downloads?