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Avoiding the Asymmetry Problem

Ratio 31 (1):88-102 (2018)

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  1. New Reflections on the Mirror: the Interests Proximity Bias Solution.Ricardo Miguel & Diogo Santos - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (4):1527-1542.
    We worry about becoming non-existent, but not about coming into being. But both events are similarly bad according to Deprivationism; hence, it seems that we should display symmetric attitudes towards both. This entails the implausible conclusion that we should display negative attitudes towards the time of our birth. In a series of articles Brueckner and Fischer offered one of the most prominent attempts to block this conclusion by appealing to a temporal bias towards future pleasures. Inspired by Yi’s criticism of (...)
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  • Death, Immortality, and Meaning in Life.John Martin Fischer - 2020 - New York: Oxford University Press.
  • What Matters in the Mirror of Time: Why Lucretius’ Symmetry Argument Fails.Lukas J. Meier - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):651-660.
    abstractBy appealing to the similarity between pre-vital and post-mortem nonexistence, Lucretius famously tried to show that our anxiety about death was irrational. His so-called Symmetry Argument has been attacked in various ways, but all of these strategies are themselves problematic. In this paper, I propose a new approach to undermining the argument: when Parfit’s distinction between identity and what matters is applied, not diachronically but across possible worlds, the alleged symmetry can be broken. Although the pre-vital and posthumous time spans (...)
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  • Doomsday Needn’T Be So Bad.Travis Timmerman - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (2):275-296.