Transformative experiences and the equivocation objection

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-22 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Paul (2014, 2015a) argues that one cannot rationally decide whether to have a transformative experience by trying to form judgments, in advance, about (i) what it would feel like to have that experience, and (ii) the subjective value of having such an experience. The problem is if you haven’t had the experience then you cannot know what it is like, and you need to know what it is like to assess its value. However, in earlier work I argued that ‘what it is like’-knowledge comes in degrees, and I briefly suggested that, consequently, some instances of Paul’s argument schema might commit a fallacy of equivocation. The aim of this paper is to further explore and strengthen this objection by, first, offering a new argument—the modelling argument—in support of it, and then by evaluating a range of replies that might be given to this objection on Paul’s behalf. I conclude that each reply either fails or, at best, only partially succeeds in defending some but not all instances of Paul’s argument schema. In closing, I consider how we might revise Paul’s concepts of transformative experiences and choices in response to this conclusion.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Suffering as Transformative Experience.Ian James Kidd & Havi Carel - forthcoming - In David Bain, Michael S. Brady & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Philosophy of Suffering. Routledge.
Suffering and Transformative Experience.Ian James Kidd & Havi Carel - 2020 - In David Bain, Michael Brady & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Philosophy of Suffering: Metaphysics, Value, and Normativity. London: Routledge. pp. 165-179.
Précis of Transformative Experience.L. A. Paul - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):760-765.
Even Worse Than It Seems.John Capps - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Research 43:113-124.
Knowing What It is Like and Testimony.Yuri Cath - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):105-120.
Transformative experiences, rational decisions and shark attacks.Marc-Kevin Daoust - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
Expanding Transformative Experience.Havi Carel & Ian James Kidd - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (1):199-213.
Pandemic Transformative Experience.Ian James Kidd & Havi Carel - forthcoming - The Philosophers’ Magazine.
Personal identity, transformative experiences, and the future self.Katja Crone - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 20 (2):299-310.
The problems of transformative experience.Yoaav Isaacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):1065-1084.
Trans*formative Experiences.Rachel McKinnon - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):419-440.

Analytics

Added to PP
2022-08-04

Downloads
205 (#62,801)

6 months
189 (#3,027)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Yuri Cath
La Trobe University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Transformative Experience.Laurie Ann Paul - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
What Mary Didn't Know.Frank Jackson - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (5):291-295.
What experience teaches.David K. Lewis - 1990 - In William G. Lycan (ed.), Mind and Cognition. Blackwell. pp. 29--57.
Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness.Joseph Levine - 2001 - Philosophy 77 (299):130-135.

View all 12 references / Add more references