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  1. The Good Cause Account of the Meaning of Life.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (4):536-562.
    I defend the theory that one's life is meaningful to the extent that one promotes the good. Call this the good cause account (GCA) of the meaning of life. It holds that the good effects that count towards the meaning of one's life need not be intentional. Nor must one be aware of the effects. Nor does it matter whether the same good would have resulted if one had not existed. What matters is that one is causally responsible for the (...)
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  • Experience Machines, Conflicting Intuitions and the Bipartite Characterization of Well-Being.Chad M. Stevenson - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (4):383-398.
    While Nozick and his sympathizers assume there is a widespread anti-hedonist intuition to prefer reality to an experience machine, hedonists have marshalled empirical evidence that shows such an assumption to be unfounded. Results of several experience machine variants indicate there is no widespread anti-hedonist intuition. From these findings, hedonists claim Nozick's argument fails as an objection to hedonism. This article suggests the argument surrounding experience machines has been misconceived. Rather than eliciting intuitions about what is prudentially valuable, these intuitive judgements (...)
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  • Painful Art and the Limits of Well-Being.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Suffering Art Gladly: The Paradox of Negative Emotions in Art. Palgrave/ Macmillan.
    In this chapter I explore what painful art can tell us about the nature and importance of human welfare. My goal is not so much to defend a new solution to the paradox of tragedy, as it is to explore the implications of the kinds of solutions that I find attractive. Both nonhedonic compensatory theories and constitutive theories explain why people seek out painful art, but they have troublesome implications. On some narrow theories of well-being, they imply that painful art (...)
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  • How to Use the Experience Machine.Eden Lin - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):314-332.
    The experience machine was traditionally thought to refute hedonism about welfare. In recent years, however, the tide has turned: many philosophers have argued not merely that the experience machine doesn't rule out hedonism, but that it doesn't count against it at all. I argue for a moderate position between those two extremes: although the experience machine doesn't decisively rule out hedonism, it provides us with some reason to reject it. I also argue for a particular way of using the experience (...)
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  • Adaptation and the Measurement of Well-Being.Tim Taylor - 2014 - Ethics and Social Welfare 8 (3):248-261.
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  • What Do Our Intuitions About the Experience Machine Really Tell Us About Hedonism?Sharon Hewitt - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (3):331 - 349.
    Robert Nozick's experience machine thought experiment is often considered a decisive refutation of hedonism. I argue that the conclusions we draw from Nozick's thought experiment ought to be informed by considerations concerning the operation of our intuitions about value. First, I argue that, in order to show that practical hedonistic reasons are not causing our negative reaction to the experience machine, we must not merely stipulate their irrelevance (since our intuitions are not always responsive to stipulation) but fill in the (...)
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  • Hedonism and the Experience Machine.Alex Barber - 2011 - Philosophical Papers 40 (2):257 - 278.
    Money isn’t everything, so what is? Many government leaders, social policy theorists, and members of the general public have a ready answer: happiness. This paper examines an opposing view due to Robert Nozick, which centres on his experience-machine thought experiment. Despite the example's influence among philosophers, the argument behind it is riddled with difficulties. Dropping the example allows us to re-version Nozick's argument in a way that makes it far more forceful - and less dependent on people's often divergent intutions (...)
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  • The Objectivity of Wellbeing.Matt Ferkany - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):472-492.
    Subjective theories of wellbeing place authority concerning what benefits a person with that person herself, or limit wellbeing to psychological states. But how well off we are seems to depend on two different concerns, how well we are doing and how well things are going for us. I argue that two powerful subjective theories fail to adequately account for this and that principled arguments favoring subjectivism are unsound and poorly motivated. In the absence of more compelling evidence that how things (...)
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  • If You Like It, Does It Matter If It's Real?Felipe De Brigard - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (1):43-57.
    Most people's intuitive reaction after considering Nozick's experience machine thought-experiment seems to be just like his: we feel very little inclination to plug in to a virtual reality machine capable of providing us with pleasurable experiences. Many philosophers take this empirical fact as sufficient reason to believe that, more than pleasurable experiences, people care about “living in contact with reality.” Such claim, however, assumes that people's reaction to the experience machine thought-experiment is due to the fact that they value reality (...)
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  • Hedonism Reconsidered.Roger Crisp - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):619–645.
    This paper is a plea for hedonism to be taken more seriously. It begins by charting hedonism's decline, and suggests that this is a result of two major objections: the claim that hedonism is the 'philosophy of swine', reducing all value to a single common denominator, and Nozick's 'experience machine' objection. There follows some elucidation of the nature of hedonism, and of enjoyment in particular. Two types of theory of enjoyment are outlined-intemalism, according to which enjoyment has some special 'feeling (...)
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