David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Utilitas 19 (1):51-72 (2007)
Sometimes we make decisions which affect our lives at times when we will hold values that are different from our values at the time the decision is made. What is the reasonable way to make such a choice? Some think we should accept a requirement of temporal neutrality and take both sets of values into account, others think we should decide on the strength of our present values, yet others think that in evaluating what will happen at that other time we should use the values that we will endorse at that time instead of our present values. These views see the problem as one about finding some attitude towards time itself that is distinctively rational. This article argues that these views are subject to serious objections. It suggests that instead we should think in terms of well-being. If a person approves of, or positively responds to, the way their life is going they will experience more well-being than if there is no positive response. The article explores the implications of a positive response condition on well-being for deciding what it is rational to do in cases involving changing goals.
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Citations of this work BETA
Dale Dorsey (2010). Preferences, Welfare, and the Status-Quo Bias. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):535-554.
Armin W. Schulz (2014). Niche Construction, Adaptive Preferences, and the Differences Between Fitness and Utility. Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):315-335.
Alexander Sarch (2013). Desire Satisfactionism and Time. Utilitas 25 (2):221-245.
Vaughn Huckfeldt (2011). Prudence, Commitments and Intertemporal Conflicts. Theoria 77 (1):42-54.
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