Belief in robust temporal passage (probably) does not explain future-bias

Philosophical Studies 179 (6):2053-2075 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Empirical work has lately confirmed what many philosophers have taken to be true: people are ‘biased toward the future’. All else being equal, we usually prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. According to one hypothesis, the temporal metaphysics hypothesis, future-bias is explained either by our beliefs about temporal metaphysics—the temporal belief hypothesis—or alternatively by our temporal phenomenology—the temporal phenomenology hypothesis. We empirically investigate a particular version of the temporal belief hypothesis according to which future-bias is explained by the belief that time robustly passes. Our results do not match the apparent predictions of this hypothesis, and so provide evidence against it. But we also find that people give more future-biased responses when asked to simulate a belief in robust passage. We take this to suggest that the phenomenology that attends simulation of that belief may be partially responsible for future-bias, and we examine the implications of these results for debates about the rationality of future-bias.

Similar books and articles

Time Passages.Miller Kristie - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (3-4):149-176.
How Much Do We Discount Past Pleasures?Preston Greene, Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (4):367-376.
Why Are People so Darn Past Biased?Preston Greene, Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - In Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Alison Sutton Fernandes (eds.), Temporal Asymmetries in Philosophy and Psychology. OUP.
Against Time Bias.Preston Greene & Meghan Sullivan - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):947-970.
Time Passages.K. Miller - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (3-4):149-176.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-08-04

Downloads
152 (#81,709)

6 months
66 (#13,088)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Kristie Miller
University of Sydney
Hannah Tierney
University of California, Davis
Christian Tarsney
University of Texas at Austin
1 more

References found in this work

Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - University of Chicago Press.
The Unreality of Time.John Ellis McTaggart - 1908 - Mind 17 (68):457-474.
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Ethics 93 (3):619-621.

View all 46 references / Add more references