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Preston Greene
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  1. Against Time Bias.Preston Greene & Meghan Sullivan - 2015 - Ethics 125 (4):947-970.
    Most of us display a bias toward the near: we prefer pleasurable experiences to be in our near future and painful experiences to be in our distant future. We also display a bias toward the future: we prefer pleasurable experiences to be in our future and painful experiences to be in our past. While philosophers have tended to think that near bias is a rational defect, almost no one finds future bias objectionable. In this essay, we argue that this hybrid (...)
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  2. Hedonic and Non-Hedonic Bias Toward the Future.Preston Greene, Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (1):148-163.
    It has widely been assumed, by philosophers, that our first-person preferences regarding pleasurable and painful experiences exhibit a bias toward the future (positive and negative hedonic future-bias), and that our preferences regarding non-hedonic events (both positive and negative) exhibit no such bias (non-hedonic time-neutrality). Further, it has been assumed that our third-person preferences are always time-neutral. Some have attempted to use these (presumed) differential patterns of future-bias—different across kinds of events and perspectives—to argue for the irrationality of hedonic future-bias. This (...)
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  3. Success-First Decision Theories.Preston Greene - 2018 - In Arif Ahmed (ed.), Newcomb's Problem. Cambridge University Press. pp. 115–137.
    The standard formulation of Newcomb's problem compares evidential and causal conceptions of expected utility, with those maximizing evidential expected utility tending to end up far richer. Thus, in a world in which agents face Newcomb problems, the evidential decision theorist might ask the causal decision theorist: "if you're so smart, why ain’cha rich?” Ultimately, however, the expected riches of evidential decision theorists in Newcomb problems do not vindicate their theory, because their success does not generalize. Consider a theory that allows (...)
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  4. Value in Very Long Lives.Preston Greene - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (4):416-434.
    As things currently stand, our deaths are unavoidable and our lifespans short. It might be thought that these qualities leave room for improvement. According to a prominent line of argument in philosophy, however, this thought is mistaken. Against the idea that a longer life would be better, it is claimed that negative psychological states, such as boredom, would be unavoidable if our lives were significantly longer. Against the idea that a deathless life would be better, it is claimed that such (...)
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  5.  23
    Act Consequentialism Without Free Rides.Preston Greene & Benjamin A. Levinstein - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):88-116.
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  6.  4
    The Real-Life Issue of Prepunishment.Preston Greene - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice.
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  7.  25
    Value in Very Long Lives.Preston Greene - forthcoming - New Content is Available for Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    _ Source: _Page Count 19 As things currently stand, our deaths are unavoidable and our lifespans short. It might be thought that these qualities leave room for improvement. According to a prominent line of argument in philosophy, however, this thought is mistaken. Against the idea that a longer life would be better, it is claimed that negative psychological states, such as boredom, would be unavoidable if our lives were significantly longer. Against the idea that a deathless life would be better, (...)
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  8. When Is A Belief True Because Of Luck?Preston Greene - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (252):465-475.
    Many epistemologists are attracted to the claim that knowledge possession excludes luck. Virtue epistemologists attempt to clarify this idea by holding that knowledge requires apt belief: belief that is true because of an agent's epistemic virtues, and not because of luck. Thinking about aptness may have the potential to make progress on important questions in epistemology, but first we must possess an adequate account of when a belief is true because of luck. Existing treatments of aptness assume a simple and (...)
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  9.  23
    How Much Do We Discount Past Pleasures?Preston Greene, Andrew Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - manuscript
    Future-biased individuals systematically prefer pleasures to be in the future (positive future-bias) and pains to be in the past (negative future-bias). Recent empirical research shows that negative future-bias exists and that it is strong: people prefer more past pain to less future pain. In fact, people prefer ten units of past pain to one unit of future pain. By contrast, this research shows that people do not prefer ten units of past pleasure to one unit of future pleasure. Thus the (...)
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  10.  17
    'It Doesn’T Matter Because One Day It Will End'.Preston Greene - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (1):165-182.
    The inference that things do not matter because they will end is a source of despair for reflective people that features in literature, popular culture, and philosophy. Are there sound arguments in support of the inference? I first review three arguments that have been put forward in the existing philosophical literature and consider the objections that can be made against them. While the objections appear persuasive, these arguments do not exhaust the plausible justifications for the inference. Drawing on examples from (...)
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  11.  52
    On Preferring That Overall, Things Are Worse: Future-Bias and Unequal Payoffs.Preston Greene, Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - manuscript
    Philosophers working on time-biases assume that people are hedonically biased toward the future. A hedonically future-biased agent prefers pleasurable experiences to be future instead of past, and painful experiences to be past instead of future. Philosophers further predict that this bias is strong enough to apply to unequal payoffs: people often prefer less pleasurable future experiences to more pleasurable past ones, and more painful past experiences to less painful future ones. In addition, philosophers have predicted that future-bias is restricted to (...)
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  12.  10
    ‘Pure’ Time Preferences Are Irrelevant to the Debate Over Time Bias: A Plea for Zero Time Discounting as the Normative Standard.Preston Greene - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review.
    I find much to like in Craig Callender's (2021) arguments for the rational permissibility of non-exponential time discounting when these arguments are viewed in a conditional form: viz., if one thinks that time discounting is rationally permissible, as the social scientist does, then one should think that non-exponential time discounting is too. However, time neutralists believe that time discounting is rationally impermissible, and thus they take zero time discounting to be the normative standard. The time neutralist rejects time discounting because (...)
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  13.  9
    Rationality and Success.Preston Greene - 2013 - Dissertation, Rutgers University - New Brunswick
    Standard theories of rational decision making and rational preference embrace the idea that there is something special about the present. Standard decision theory, for example, demands that agents privilege the perspective of the present (i.e., the time of decision) in evaluating what to do. When forming preferences, most philosophers believe that a similar focus on the present is justified, at least in the sense that rationality requires or permits future experiences to be given more weight than past ones. In this (...)
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  14.  6
    The Consequentialist Problem with Prepunishment.Preston Greene - forthcoming - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  15.  78
    The Rationality of Near Bias Toward Both Future and Past Events.Preston Greene, Alex Holcombe, Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-18.
    In recent years, a disagreement has erupted between two camps of philosophers about the rationality of bias toward the near (“near bias”) and bias toward the future (“future bias”). According to the traditional hybrid view, near bias is rationally impermissible, while future bias is either rationally permissible or obligatory. Time neutralists, meanwhile, argue that the hybrid view is untenable. Time-neutralists argue that those who reject near bias should reject both biases and embrace time-neutrality. To date, experimental work has focused on (...)
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  16. The Termination Risks of Simulation Science.Preston Greene - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (2):489-509.
    Historically, the hypothesis that our world is a computer simulation has struck many as just another improbable-but-possible “skeptical hypothesis” about the nature of reality. Recently, however, the simulation hypothesis has received significant attention from philosophers, physicists, and the popular press. This is due to the discovery of an epistemic dependency: If we believe that our civilization will one day run many simulations concerning its ancestry, then we should believe that we are probably in an ancestor simulation right now. This essay (...)
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  17.  65
    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.
    Many philosophers have assumed that our preferences regarding hedonic events exhibit a bias toward the future: we prefer positive experiences to be in our future and negative experiences to be in our past. Recent experimental work by Greene et al. (ms) confirmed this assumption. However, they noted a potential for some participants to respond in a deviant manner, and hence for their methodology to underestimate the percentage of people who are time neutral, and overestimate the percentage who are future biased. (...)
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