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The Experience Machine and the Experience Requirement

In Guy Fletcher (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Well-Being. New York, NY, USA: Routledge. pp. 355-365 (2016)

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  1. A Defense of Basic Prudential Hedonism.Joe Nelson - 2020 - Dissertation, Duke University
    Prudential hedonism is a school of thought in the philosophy of welfare that says that only pleasure is good for us in itself and only pain is bad for us in itself. This dissertation concerns an especially austere form of prudential hedonism: basic prudential hedonism (BPH). BPH claims that all pleasure is good for us in itself, and all pain is bad for us in itself, without exception; that all pleasures feel fundamentally alike, as do all pains; and that the (...)
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  • Well-Being and Experience.Alan H. Goldman - forthcoming - The Journal of Ethics:1-18.
    Robert Nozick argued that we would not plug into his machine that could give us any experiences we chose. More recently Richard Kraut has argued that it would be prudentially rational to plug into the machine, since only experiences count for personal welfare. I argue that both are wrong, that either choice can be rational or not, depending on the central desires of the subjects choosing. This claim is supported by the empirical evidence, which shows an almost even split between (...)
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  • Happiness and Desire Satisfaction.Chris Heathwood - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper develops and defends a novel version of a relatively neglected category of theory of the nature of happiness: the desire-satisfaction theory. My account is similar in its fundamentals to Wayne Davis’s theory of happiness-as-subjective-desire-satisfaction. After arguing that this is the best general way to proceed for the desire-based approach, I develop an improved version of subjective desire satisfactionism in light of recent arguments in the happiness literature.
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  • The Experience Requirement on Well-Being.Eden Lin - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):867-886.
    According to the experience requirement on well-being, differences in subjects’ levels of welfare or well-being require differences in the phenomenology of their experiences. I explain why the two existing arguments for this requirement are not successful. Then, I introduce a more promising argument for it: that unless we accept the requirement, we cannot plausibly explain why only sentient beings are welfare subjects. I argue, however, that because the right kind of theory of well-being can plausibly account for that apparent fact (...)
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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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  • The Experience Machine.Ben Bramble - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (3):136-145.
    In this paper, I reconstruct Robert Nozick's experience machine objection to hedonism about well-being. I then explain and briefly discuss the most important recent criticisms that have been made of it. Finally, I question the conventional wisdom that the experience machine, while it neatly disposes of hedonism, poses no problem for desire-based theories of well-being.
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  • Consequentialism.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • The Worst Things in Life.Wayne Sumner - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (3):419-432.
    One important test of adequacy for a theory of welfare is completeness. To be complete a theory must cover ill-being as well as well-being. Call this the ill-being test for a theory. The author’s aim in this article is to determine how well equipped the leading theories of welfare are to pass this test. The author reaches three modest conclusions: passing the test is not straightforward for any theory; on the whole, subjective theories do better than objective ones; within the (...)
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  • II—Deception and the Desires That Speak Against It.Christoph Fehige & Ulla Wessels - 2019 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 93 (1):91-110.
    This article explores the role of desires in the ethics of deception. The argument concentrates on intrinsic desires not to have false beliefs and on the resulting role of false beliefs as building-blocks, not just causes, of harm. If there is a duty of beneficence at all and desire fulfilment is at least a component of welfare, there is often a direct wrongness in causing a false belief.
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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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