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Profile: Dan Weijers (University of Waikato)
  1. Nozick's Experience Machine is Dead, Long Live the Experience Machine!Dan Weijers - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (4):513-535.
    Robert Nozick's experience machine thought experiment (Nozick's scenario) is widely used as the basis for a ?knockdown? argument against all internalist mental state theories of well-being. Recently, however, it has been convincingly argued that Nozick's scenario should not be used in this way because it elicits judgments marred by status quo bias and other irrelevant factors. These arguments all include alternate experience machine thought experiments, but these scenarios also elicit judgments marred by status quo bias and other irrelevant factors. In (...)
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  2.  68
    An Assessment of Recent Responses to the Experience Machine Objection to Hedonism.Dan Weijers & Vanessa Schouten - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (4):461-482.
    Prudential hedonism has been beset by many objections, the strength and number of which have led most modern philosophers to believe that it is implausible. One objection in particular, however, is nearly always cited when a philosopher wants to argue that prudential hedonism is implausible—the experience machine objection to hedonism. This paper examines this objection in detail. First, the deductive and abductive versions of the experience machine objection to hedonism are explained. Following this, the contemporary responses to each version of (...)
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  3.  6
    Intuitive Biases in Judgements About Thought Experiments: The Experience Machine Revisited.Dan Weijers - 2013 - Philosophical Writings 41 (1):17-31.
    This paper is a warning that objections based on thought experiments can be misleading because they may elicit judgments that, unbeknownst to the judger, have been seriously skewed by psychological biases. The fact that most people choose not to plug in to the Experience Machine in Nozick’s (1974) famous thought experiment has long been used as a knock-down objection to hedonism because it is widely thought to show that real experiences are more important to us than pleasurable experiences. This paper (...)
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  4.  16
    The Morality of Experience Machines for Palliative and End of Life Care.Dan Weijers - 2017 - In Mark Silcox (ed.), Experience Machines: The Philosophy of Virtual Worlds. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 183-201.
    Experience machines, popularized in print by Robert Nozick and on the screen by the Wachowskis’ film The Matrix, provide highly or perfectly realistic experiences that are more pleasant and less painful than those generated in real life.1 The recent surge in virtual reality and neuro-prosthetic technologies is making the creation of real-world experience machines seem inevitable and perhaps imminent.2 Given the likelihood of the near-future availability of such machines, it behooves ethicists to consider the moral status of their potential uses. (...)
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  5.  13
    The Varieties and Dynamics of Moral Repugnance: Prediction Markets and Betting on Matters of Life and Death.Dan Weijers & Vadim Keyser - 2016 - Humanities and Technology Review 35:91-129.
    In this paper, prediction markets that encourage traders to bet on matters of life and death are used to explore the varieties and dynamics of moral repugnance. We define moral repugnance as morally charged feelings of revulsion that correspond (correctly, incorrectly, and indeterminately) to moral reasons and contexts. Rich variations of moral repugnance and their dynamic qualities are presented by investigating the contextual frames in which they arise. These contextual frames constitute interacting conditions composed of information about states of affairs, (...)
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  6.  11
    Western Historical Traditions of Well-Being.Alex Michalos & Dan Weijers - 2017 - In Richard Estes & Joseph Sirgy (eds.), The Pursuit of Well-Being: The Untold Global History. Springer. pp. 31-57.
    This chapter provides a brief historical overview of western philosophical views about human well-being from the eighth century BCE to the middle of the twentieth century. Different understandings of the concept of well-being are explained, including our preferred understanding of well-being as the subjective states and objective conditions that make our lives go well for us. While this review is necessarily incomplete, we aim to discuss some of the most salient and influential contributions to our subject. To that end, we (...)
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  7.  7
    We Can Test the Experience Machine: Reply to Smith.Dan Weijers - 2012 - Ethical Perspectives 19 (2):261-268.
    In his provocative “Can We Test the Experience Machine?”, Basil Smith argues that we should recognise a limit on experimental philosophy. In this response to Smith, I will argue that his limit does not prevent us from usefully testing most experience machine thought experiments, including De Brigard‟s inverted experience machine scenarios. I will also argue that, if taken seriously, Smith‟s limit has far-reaching consequences for traditional (non-experimental) philosophy as well.
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  8.  27
    Hedonism.Dan Weijers - 2011 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The term "hedonism," from the Greek word ἡδονή (hēdonē) for pleasure, refers to several related theories about what is good for us, how we should behave, and what motivates us to behave in the way that we do. All hedonistic theories identify pleasure and pain as the only important elements of whatever phenomena they are designed to describe. If hedonistic theories identified pleasure and pain as merely two important elements, instead of the only important elements of what they are describing, (...)
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  9.  5
    Reality Doesn't Really Matter.Dan Weijers - 2011 - In David Kyle Johnson (ed.), Inception and Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 92-107.
    So you‘re leaving the cinema—you've just been blown away by Inception—and your mind is buzzing. There is a buzz around you too. Everyone‘s asking each other: ‗Does Cobb‘s spinning top fall?‘ Throughout Inception, Cobb has been struggling to achieve two things: to get back home so he can see his kids again and to keep a grip on reality in the process. What ends up happening to Cobb‘s totem bears on both of these struggles. So, most people who watch Inception (...)
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  10.  57
    Wipe That Smile Off Your Face.Aaron Jarden & Dan Weijers - 2011 - The Philosophers' Magazine 52 (52):53-58.
    There are enigmas of defining happiness and of discerning what it is that really makes a life go well for someone – topics that positive psychologists have not adequately addressed to date. And this is despite the fact that Ed Diener sees positive psychology as “the endeavour by scientists to answer the classic question posed by philosophers: What is the good life?” What is rarely mentioned by positive psychologists is that, depending on how the specific happiness questions are worded, they (...)
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  11.  40
    Optimistic Naturalism: Scientific Advancement and the Meaning of Life.Dan Weijers - 2014 - Sophia 53 (1):1-18.
    Naturalist theories of the meaning of life are sometimes criticised for not setting the bar high enough for what counts as a meaningful life. Tolstoy’s version of this criticism is that Naturalist theories do not describe really meaningful lives because they do not require that we connect our finite lives with the infinite. Another criticism of Naturalist theories is that they cannot adequately resolve the Absurd—the vast difference between how meaningful our actions and lives appear from subjective and objective viewpoints. (...)
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  12.  12
    Is the Repugnance About Betting on Terrorist Attacks Misguided?Dan Weijers & Jennifer Richardson - 2014 - Ethics and Information Technology 16 (3):251-262.
    Prediction markets designed to predict terrorism through traders’ investments on the likelihood of specific terrorist attacks are, strictly speaking, enabling those traders to bet on terrorism. Betting on terrorist attacks, like some other forms of betting on death, has been accused of being repugnant. In this paper, it is argued that while government-backed effective intelligence-gathering prediction markets on terrorism (PMsoT) might elicit feelings of repugnance, those feelings are likely to be misguided. The feelings of repugnance arise because PMsoT are assumed (...)
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  13.  17
    Sharing the Responsibility of Dealing with Climate Change: Interpreting the Principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities.Dan Weijers, David Eng & Ramon Das - 2010 - In Jonathan Boston, Andrew Bradstock & David L. Eng (eds.), Public Policy: Why Ethics Matters. ANU ePress. pp. 141-158.
    In this chapter we first discuss the main principles of justice and note the standard objections to them, which we believe necessitate a hybrid approach. The hybrid account we defend is primarily based on the distributive principle of sufficientarianism, which we interpret as the idea that each country should have the means to provide a minimally decent quality of life for each of its citizens. We argue that sufficientarian considerations give good reason to think that what we call the ‘ability (...)
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  14.  1
    Prediction Markets as an Alternative to One More Spy.Dan Weijers - 2016 - In Jai Galliott & Warren Reed (eds.), Ethics and the Future of Spying: Technology, Intelligence Collection and National Security. Routledge. pp. 80-92.
    Real-world policy decisions involve trade-offs. Sometimes the trade-offs involve both the efficacy and morality of potential policies. In this chapter, the morality and likely efficacy of hiring one more spy to help anti-terrorist intelligence gathering efforts is compared to the morality and likely efficacy of implementing a prediction market on terrorism. Prediction markets on terrorism allow registered traders to buy and sell shares in predictions about terrorism-related real-world events. The comparison at the heart of this chapter is based on the (...)
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  15.  11
    The Experience Machine Objection to Hedonism.Dan Weijers - 2011 - In Michael Bruce & Steven Barbone (eds.), Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 229--231.
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  16.  1
    A Moral Analysis of Effective Prediction Markets on Terrorism.Dan Weijers - 2014 - International Journal of Technoethics 5 (1):28-43.
    Predicting terrorist attacks with prediction markets has been accused of being immoral. While some of these concerns are about the likely effectiveness of prediction markets on terrorism (PMsoT), this paper discusses the three main reasons why even effective prediction markets on terrorism might be considered immoral. We argue that these three reasons establish only that PMsoT cause offense and/or fleeting mild harm, and that, even taken together, they do not constitute serious harm. The moral issues considered are that PMsoT: 1) (...)
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  17.  1
    Wipe That Smile Off Your Face.Aaron Jarden & Dan Weijers - 2011 - The Philosophers' Magazine 52:53-58.
    There are enigmas of defining happiness and of discerning what it is that really makes a life go well for someone – topics that positive psychologists have not adequately addressed to date. And this is despite the fact that Ed Diener sees positive psychology as “the endeavour by scientists to answer the classic question posed by philosophers: What is the good life?” What is rarely mentioned by positive psychologists is that, depending on how the specific happiness questions are worded, they (...)
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