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  1. The Rationality of Near Bias toward both Future and Past Events.Preston Greene, Alex Holcombe, Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):905-922.
    In recent years, a disagreement has erupted between two camps of philosophers about the rationality of bias toward the near and bias toward the future. 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. They claim that those who reject near bias should reject both biases and embrace time neutrality. To date, experimental work has focused on future-directed near bias. (...)
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  • Tensed Facts and the Fittingness of our Attitudes.Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Philosophical Perspectives.
    We direct different attitudes towards states of affairs depending on where in time those states of affairs are located. Call this the type asymmetry. The type asymmetry appears fitting. For instance, it seems fitting to feel guilt or regret only about states of affairs that are past, and anticipation only of states of affairs that are future. It has been argued that the type asymmetry could only be fitting if there are tensed facts, and hence that since it is fitting, (...)
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  • Death, Creation, and Future Bias.Michael Rabenberg - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (2):465-477.
    A much discussed question in the philosophy of death is whether both of the following claims are true: (1) it is at least typically appropriate to prefer dying further in the future to dying less far in the future; and (2) it is at least typically appropriate not to prefer having been created further in the past to having been created less far in the past. Some philosophers have tried to defend (1) and (2) by appeal to the alleged appropriateness (...)
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  • Why future-bias isn't rationally evaluable.Callie K. Phillips - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (4):573-596.
    Future-bias is preferring some lesser future good to a greater past good because it is in the future, or preferring some greater past pain to some lesser future pain because it is in the past. Most of us think that this bias is rational. I argue that no agents have future-biased preferences that are rationally evaluable—that is, evaluable as rational or irrational. Given certain plausible assumptions about rational evaluability, either we must find a new conception of future-bias that avoids the (...)
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  • Bias towards the future.Kristie Miller, Preston Greene, Andrew J. Latham, James Norton, Christian Tarsney & Hannah Tierney - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (8).
    All else being equal, most of us typically prefer to have positive experiences in the future rather than the past and negative experiences in the past rather than the future. Recent empirical evidence tends not only to support the idea that people have these preferences, but further, that people tend to prefer more painful experiences in their past rather than fewer in their future (and mutatis mutandis for pleasant experiences). Are such preferences rationally permissible, or are they, as time-neutralists contend, (...)
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  • Toward an Account of Intuitive Time.Ruth Lee, Jack Shardlow, Christoph Hoerl, Patrick A. O'Connor, Alison S. Fernandes & Teresa McCormack - 2022 - Cognitive Science 46 (7):e13166.
    People hold intuitive theories of the physical world, such as theories of matter, energy, and motion, in the sense that they have a coherent conceptual structure supporting a network of beliefs about the domain. It is not yet clear whether people can also be said to hold a shared intuitive theory of time. Yet, philosophical debates about the metaphysical nature of time often revolve around the idea that people hold one or more “common sense” assumptions about time: that there is (...)
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  • Past-future preferences for hedonic goods and the utility of experiential memories.Ruth Lee, Jack Shardlow, Patrick A. O'Connor, Lesley Hotson, Rebecca Hotson, Christoph Hoerl & Teresa McCormack - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (8):1181-1211.
    Recent studies have suggested that while both adults and children hold past-future hedonic preferences – preferring painful experiences to be in the past and pleasurable experiences to lie in the future – these preferences are abandoned when the quantity of pain or pleasure under consideration is greater in the past than in the future. We examined whether such preferences might be affected by the utility people assign to experiential memories, since the recollection of events can itself be pleasurable or aversive, (...)
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  • Pain in the past and pleasure in the future: The development of past–future preferences for hedonic goods.Ruth Lee, Christoph Hoerl, Patrick Burns, Alison Sutton Fernandes, Patrick A. O'Connor & Teresa McCormack - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (9):e12887.
    It seems self-evident that people prefer painful experiences to be in the past and pleasurable experiences to lie in the future. Indeed, it has been claimed that, for hedonic goods, this preference is absolute (Sullivan, 2018). Yet very little is known about the extent to which people demonstrate explicit preferences regarding the temporal location of hedonic experiences, about the developmental trajectory of such preferences, and about whether such preferences are impervious to differences in the quantity of envisaged past and future (...)
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  • Robust passage phenomenology probably does not explain future-bias.Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller, Christian Tarsney & Hannah Tierney - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-23.
    People are ‘biased toward the future’: all else being equal, we typically prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. Several explanations have been suggested for this pattern of preferences. Adjudicating among these explanations can, among other things, shed light on the rationality of future-bias: For instance, if our preferences are explained by unjustified beliefs or an illusory phenomenology, we might conclude that they are irrational. This paper investigates one hypothesis, according to which future-bias (...)
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  • Belief in robust temporal passage (probably) does not explain future-bias.Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller, Christian Tarsney & Hannah Tierney - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):2053-2075.
    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 (...)
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  • Agency, Experience, and Future Bias.Antti Kauppinen - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):237-245.
    Most of us are hedonically future-biased: other things being equal, we prefer pains to be in the past and pleasures to be in the future. Recently, various authors have argued that future bias is irrational, and that we should be temporally neutral instead. I argue that instead of temporal neutrality, the putative counterexamples and the rationales offered for them only motivate a more narrow principle I call Only Action Fixes Utility: it is only when you act on the basis of (...)
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  • What Justifies Our Bias Toward the Future?Todd Karhu - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-14.
    A person is biased toward the future when she prefers, other things being equal, bad events to be in her past rather than her future or good ones to be in her future rather than her past. In this paper, I explain why both critics and defenders of future bias have failed to consider the best version of the view. I distinguish external time from personal time, and show that future bias is best construed in terms of the latter. This (...)
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  • On Preferring that Overall, Things are Worse: Future‐Bias and Unequal Payoffs.Preston Greene, Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (1):181-194.
    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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  • How Much Do We Discount Past Pleasures?Preston Greene, Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (4):367-376.
    Future-biased individuals systematically prefer pleasures to be in the future and pains to be in the past. Empirical research shows that negative future-bias is robust: people prefer more past pain to less future pain. Is positive future-bias robust or fragile? Do people only prefer pleasures to be located in the future, compared to the past, when those pleasures are of equal value, or do they continue to prefer that pleasures be located in the future even when past pleasures outweigh future (...)
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  • Hedonic and Non-Hedonic Bias toward the Future.Preston Greene, Andrew J. 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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  • Capacity for simulation and mitigation drives hedonic and non-hedonic time biases.Preston Greene, Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (2):226-252.
    Until recently, philosophers debating the rationality of time-biases have supposed that people exhibit a first-person hedonic bias toward the future, but that their non-hedonic and third-person preferences are time-neutral. Recent empirical work, however, suggests that our preferences are more nuanced. First, there is evidence that our third-person preferences exhibit time-neutrality only when the individual with respect to whom we have preferences—the preference target—is a random stranger about whom we know nothing; given access to some information about the preference target, third-person (...)
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  • Time Biases.Alan H. Goldman - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):388-397.
    Despite judging the central controversial thesis of this book false and arguments for it ultimately unconvincing, I highly recommend the book for its many philosophical virtues, prominent among them being breadth and clarity.1 1 Sullivan addresses all the major issues surrounding various time biases that decision-makers exhibit. Writing on topics that can often become overly technical, she spells her arguments out in the clearest prose, making the book ideal as an introduction to this interesting subdivision of practical reason, but also, (...)
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  • Does the temporal asymmetry of value support a tensed metaphysics?Alison Fernandes - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):3999-4016.
    There are temporal asymmetries in our attitudes towards the past and future. For example, we judge that a given amount of work is worth twice as much if it is described as taking place in the future, compared to the past :796–801, 2008). Does this temporal value asymmetry support a tensed metaphysics? By getting clear on the asymmetry’s features, I’ll argue that it doesn’t. To support a tensed metaphysics, the value asymmetry would need to not vary with temporal distance, apply (...)
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  • Preferences and Prudential Reasons.Dale Dorsey - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (2):157-178.
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  • Prudence and past selves.Dale Dorsey - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (8):1901-1925.
    An important platitude about prudential rationality is that I should not refuse to sacrifice a smaller amount of present welfare for the sake of larger future benefits. I ought, in other words, to treat my present and future as of equal prudential significance. The demands of prudence are less clear, however, when it comes to one’s past selves. In this paper, I argue that past benefits are possible in two ways, and that this fact cannot be easily accommodated by traditional (...)
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  • Relief, time-bias, and the metaphysics of tense.Julian Bacharach - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-22.
    Our emotional lives are full of temporal asymmetries. Salient among these is that we tend to feel differently about painful or unpleasant events depending on their temporal location: we feel anxiety or trepidation about painful events we anticipate in the future, and relief when they are over. One question, then, is whether temporally asymmetric emotions such as relief have any ramifications for the metaphysics of time. On what has become the standard way of finessing this question, the asymmetry of relief (...)
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  • Lucretian Puzzles.Michael Rabenberg - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8:110-140.
    It seems that people typically prefer dying later to dying earlier. It also seems that people typically do not prefer having been created earlier to having been created later. Lucretius’ Puzzle is the question whether anything typically rationally recommends having a preference for dying later to dying earlier over having a preference for having been created earlier to having been created later. In this paper, I distinguish among three ways in which Lucretius’ Puzzle can be understood and say how I (...)
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  • Non-Additive Axiologies in Large Worlds.Christian Tarsney & Teruji Thomas - manuscript
    Is the overall value of a world just the sum of values contributed by each value-bearing entity in that world? Additively separable axiologies (like total utilitarianism, prioritarianism, and critical level views) say 'yes', but non-additive axiologies (like average utilitarianism, rank-discounted utilitarianism, and variable value views) say 'no'. This distinction is practically important: additive axiologies support 'arguments from astronomical scale' which suggest (among other things) that it is overwhelmingly important for humanity to avoid premature extinction and ensure the existence of a (...)
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  • B-Theory and Time Biases.Sayid Bnefsi - 2019 - In Patrick Blackburn, Per Hasle & Peter Øhrstrøm (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Time: Further Themes from Prior. Aalborg, Denmark: Aalborg University Press. pp. 41-52.
    We care not only about what experiences we have, but when we have them too. However, on the B-theory of time, something’s timing isn’t an intrinsic way for that thing to be or become. Given B-theory, should we be rationally indifferent about the timing per se of an experience? In this paper, I argue that B-theorists can justify time-biased preferences for pains to be past rather than present and for pleasures to be present rather than past. In support of this (...)
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