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The Experience Machine

Philosophy Compass 11 (3):136-145 (2016)

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  1. Virtual Reality and the Meaning of Life.John Danaher - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook on Meaning in Life.
    It is commonly assumed that a virtual life would be less meaningful (perhaps even meaningless). As virtual reality technologies develop and become more integrated into our everyday lives, this poses a challenge for those that care about meaning in life. In this chapter, it is argued that the common assumption about meaninglessness and virtuality is mistaken. After clarifying the distinction between two different visions of virtual reality, four arguments are presented for thinking that meaning is possible in virtual reality. Following (...)
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  • Doctor, Please Make Me Freer: Capabilities Enhancement as a Goal of Medicine.Jon Rueda, Pablo García-Barranquero & Francisco Lara - 2021 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy.
    Biomedical innovations are making possible the enhancement of human capabilities. There are two philosophical stances on the role that medicine should play in this respect. On the one hand, naturalism rejects every medical intervention that goes beyond preventing and treating disease. On the other hand, welfarism advocates enhancements that foster subjective well-being. We will show that both positions have considerable shortcomings. Consequently, we will introduce a third characterization in which therapies and enhancements can be reconciled with the legitimate objectives of (...)
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  • How to Study Well-Being: A Proposal for the Integration of Philosophy with Science.Michael Prinzing - forthcoming - Review of General Psychology.
    There are presently two approaches to the study of well-being. Philosophers typically focus on normative theorizing, attempting to identify the things that are ultimately good for a person, while largely ignoring empirical research. The idea is that empirical attention cannot be directed to the right place without a rigorous theory. Meanwhile, social scientists typically focus on empirical research, attempting to identify the causes and consequences of well-being, while largely ignoring normative theorizing. The idea is that conceptual and theoretical clarity will (...)
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  • The sentience argument for experientialism about welfare.Willem van der Deijl - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):187-208.
    Can a person’s degree of wellbeing be affected by things that do not enter her experience? Experientialists deny that it can, extra-experientialists affirm it. The debate between these two positions has focused on an argument against experientialism—the experience machine objection—but few arguments exist for it. I present an argument for experientialism. It builds on the claim that theories of wellbeing should not only state what constitutes wellbeing, but also which entities are welfare subjects. Moreover, the claims it makes about these (...)
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  • General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.
    Philosophy is unsolved. My forthcoming book sets forth the final resolution, with some exceptions, to this 2,500 year crisis. I am currently close to finishing page 983.
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  • Is Pleasure All That is Good About Experience?Willem Deijl - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1-19.
    Experientialist accounts of wellbeing are those accounts of wellbeing that subscribe to the experience requirement. Typically, these accounts are hedonistic. In this article I present the claim that hedonism is not the most plausible experientialist account of wellbeing. The value of experience should not be understood as being limited to pleasure, and as such, the most plausible experientialist account of wellbeing is pluralistic, not hedonistic. In support of this claim, I argue first that pleasure should not be understood as a (...)
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  • Well-Being: Reality's Role.Andrew T. Forcehimes & Luke Semrau - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (3):456-68.
    A familiar objection to mental state theories of well-being proceeds as follows: Describe a good life. Contrast it with one identical in mental respects, but lacking a connection to reality. Then observe that mental state theories of well-being implausibly hold both lives in equal esteem. Conclude that such views are false. Here we argue this objection fails. There are two ways reality may be thought to matter for well-being. We want to contribute to reality, and we want our experience of (...)
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  • Happiness.Dan Haybron - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    There are roughly two philosophical literatures on “happiness,” each corresponding to a different sense of the term. One uses ‘happiness’ as a value term, roughly synonymous with well-being or flourishing. The other body of work uses the word as a purely descriptive psychological term, akin to ‘depression’ or ‘tranquility’. An important project in the philosophy of happiness is simply getting clear on what various writers are talking about: what are the important meanings of the term and how do they connect? (...)
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