In Defense of Happiness

Social Theory and Practice 26 (2):279-300 (2000)
Abstract
Many philosophers believe that Robert Nozick's experience machine argument poses an insurmountable obstacle to hedonism as a theory of well-being. After an initial attempt to demonstrate that the persuasiveness of this argument rests on a key ambiguity, I argue that the intuitions to which the thought experiment appeals are not nearly as clear as many philosophers suppose they are. I believe that a careful consideration of the origin of those intuitions -- especially in light of the so-called "paradox of hedonism" -- reveals that they can, in fact, fit quite comfortably into a hedonistic theory of well-being.
Keywords Hedonism  Experience Machine  Well-Being
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DOI 10.5840/soctheorpract200026225
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Eden Lin (2014). Pluralism About Well‐Being. Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):127-154.
Christopher Belshaw (2014). What's Wrong with the Experience Machine? European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):573-592.
Roger Crisp (2006). Hedonism Reconsidered. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):619–645.

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Roger Crisp (2006). Hedonism Reconsidered. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):619–645.
H. E. Baber (2008). The Experience Machine Deconstructed. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 15 (1):133-138.
Harriet Baber (2008). The Experience Machine Deconstructed. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 15 (1):133-138.
Daniel M. Haybron (2001). Happiness and Pleasure. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):501-528.
Dale Dorsey (2011). The Hedonist's Dilemma. Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (2):173-196.

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