David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):74–91 (2007)
The question I address in this paper is whether there is a version of mental state welfarism that can be coherent with the thesis that we have a legitimate concern for non-experiential goals. If there is not, then we should reject mental state welfarism. My thesis is that there is such a version. My argument relies on the distinction between "reality-centered desires" and "experience-centered desires". Mental state welfarism can accommodate our reality-centered desires and our desire that they be objectively satisfied. My general strategy is, at the level of the value theory, somewhat analogous to the strategy that indirect consequentialism applies at the level of moral obligation theory. To test my argument, I appeal to Nozick's well-known example of the Experience Machine.
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