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  1. An Ignorance Account of Hard Choices.Daniel Villiger - 2022 - Res Philosophica 99 (3):321-337.
    Ignorance is said to be the most widely accepted explanation of what makes choices hard. But despite its apparent popularity, the debate on hard choices has been dominated by tetrachotomist and vagueness views. In fact, there is no elaborate ignorance account of hard choices. This article closes this research gap. In so doing, it connects the debate on hard choices with that on transformative experiences. More precisely, an option’s transformative character can prevent us from epistemically accessing its expected value, promoting (...)
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  • Transformative Experience, Awareness Growth and the Limits of Rational Planning.Katie Steele & H. Orri Stefánsson - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-10.
    Laurie Paul (2014, 2015) argues that, when it comes to many of your most significant life-changing decisions, the principles of rational choice are silent. That is because, in these cases, you anticipate that one of your choice options would yield a transformative experience. We argue that the best way to make sense of transformative decisions is to see them as ones in which you anticipate awareness growth. You do not merely lack knowledge about which possible outcome will arise from a (...)
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  • The Role of Expectations in Transformative Experiences.Daniel Villiger - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-24.
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  • Transformative Moral Luck.Marcela Herdova - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):162-180.
    Midwest Studies In Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Transformative Experiences, Cognitive Modelling and Affective Forecasting.Marvin Mathony & Michael Messerli - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-23.
    In the last seven years, philosophers have discussed the topic of transformative experiences. In this paper, we contribute to a crucial issue that is currently under-researched: transformative experiences' influence on cognitive modelling. We argue that cognitive modelling can be operationalized as affective forecasting, and we compare transformative and non-transformative experiences with respect to the ability of affective forecasting. Our finding is that decision-makers’ performance in cognitively modelling transformative experiences does not systematically differ from decision-makers’ performance in cognitively modelling non-transformative experiences. (...)
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  • Transformative Choices and the Specter of Regret.Dana Howard - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (1):72-91.
    When people are making certain medical decisions – especially potentially transformative ones – the specter of regret may color their choices. In this paper, I ask: can predicting that we will regret a decision in the future serve any justificatory role in our present decision-making? And if so, what role? While there are many pitfalls to such reasoning, I ultimately conclude that considering future retrospective emotions like regret in our decisionmaking can be both rational and authentic. Rather than indicating that (...)
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  • A Rational Route to Transformative Decisions.Daniel Villiger - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14535-14553.
    According to Paul, transformative experiences pose a challenge to decision theory since their value cannot be anticipated. Building on Pettigrew’s Becoming someone new: essays on transformative experience, choice, and change, Oxford University Press, pp 100–121, 2020) redescription, this paper presents a new approach to how and when transformative decisions can nevertheless be made rationally. Thanks to fundamental higher-order facts that apply to any kind of experience, an agent always at least knows the general shape of the utility space. This in (...)
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  • Bad Apples and Broken Ladders: A Pragmatic Defence of Causal Decision Theory.Adam Bales - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (1):117-130.
    ABSTRACT While pragmatic arguments are traditionally seen as supporting decision theory, recent discussions suggest the possibility of pragmatic arguments against this theory. I respond to two such arguments, and clarify what it would take for arguments of this sort to succeed.
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  • Transformative Experience: Replies to Pettigrew, Barnes and Campbell.L. A. Paul - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):794-813.
    Summary of Transformative Experience by L.A. Paul and replies to symposiasts. Discussion of undefined values, preference change, authenticity, experiential value, collective minds, mind control.
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  • Expanding Transformative Experience.Havi Carel & Ian James Kidd - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (1):199-213.
    We develop a broader, more fine-grained taxonomy of forms of ‘transformative experience’ inspired by the work of L.A. Paul. Our vulnerability to such experiences arises, we argue, due to the vulnerability, dependence, and affliction intrinsic to the human condition. We use this trio to distinguish a variety of positively, negatively, and ambivalently valenced forms of epistemically and/or personally transformative experiences. Moreover, we argue that many transformative experiences can arise gradually and cumulatively, unfolding over the course of longer periods of time.
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  • Decision Theory with a Human Face. [REVIEW]David Strohmaier - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (3):432-435.
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  • Précis of Transformative Experience.L. A. Paul - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):760-765.
    I summarize the main argument of Transformative Experience (OUP 2014). The book develops familiar examples from classical philosophical debates, as well as original examples, to argue that an agent’s decision to undergo a transformative experience—an experience constituted by radical personal and epistemic change for the agent—must either be authentic or irrational, but not both. The Precis of Transformative Experience walks the reader through the main ideas involved in epistemically and personally transformative experiences, the problems they pose for rational decision-making, and (...)
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  • Rational Preference in Transformative Experiences.Saira Khan - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6715-6732.
    L. A. Paul’s Transformative Experience makes the claim that many important life decisions are epistemically and personally transformative in a way that does not allow us to assign subjective values to their outcomes. As a result, we cannot use normative decision theory to make such decisions rationally, or when we modify it to do so, decision theory leads us to choose in a way that is in tension with our authenticity. This paper examines Paul’s version of decision theory, and whether (...)
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  • The problems of transformative experience.Yoaav Isaacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):1065-1084.
    Laurie Paul has recently argued that transformative experiences pose a problem for decision theory. According to Paul, agents facing transformative experiences do not possess the states required for decision theory to formulate its prescriptions. Agents facing transformative experiences are impoverished relative to their decision problems, and decision theory doesn’t know what to do with impoverished agents. Richard Pettigrew takes Paul’s challenge seriously. He grants that decision theory cannot handle decision problems involving transformative experiences. To deal with the problems posed by (...)
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  • Uncertain Preferences in Rational Decision.Moritz Schulz - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (6):605-627.
    ABSTRACT Is uncertainty about preferences rationally possible? And if so, does it matter for rational decision? It is argued that uncertainty about preferences is possible and should play the same role in rational decision-making as uncertainty about worldly facts. The paper develops this hypothesis and defends it against various objections.
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  • Transformative Experience and the Shark Problem.Tim Campbell & Julia Mosquera - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3549-3565.
    In her ground-breaking and highly influential book Transformative Experience, L.A. Paul makes two claims: (1) one cannot evaluate and compare certain experiential outcomes (e.g. being a parent and being a non-parent) unless one can grasp what these outcomes are like; and (2) one can evaluate and compare certain intuitively horrible outcomes (e.g. being eaten alive by sharks) as bad and worse than certain other outcomes even if one cannot grasp what these intuitively horrible outcomes are like. We argue that the (...)
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  • Transformative Experience and the Knowledge Norms for Action: Moss on Paul’s Challenge to Decision Theory.Richard Pettigrew - 2020 - In Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change. New York, NY, USA:
    to appear in Lambert, E. and J. Schwenkler (eds.) Transformative Experience (OUP) -/- L. A. Paul (2014, 2015) argues that the possibility of epistemically transformative experiences poses serious and novel problems for the orthodox theory of rational choice, namely, expected utility theory — I call her argument the Utility Ignorance Objection. In a pair of earlier papers, I responded to Paul’s challenge (Pettigrew 2015, 2016), and a number of other philosophers have responded in similar ways (Dougherty, et al. 2015, Harman (...)
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  • Making Decisions About the Future: Regret and the Cognitive Function of Episodic Memory.Christoph Hoerl & Teresa McCormack - 2016 - In Kourken Michaelian, Stanley Klein & Karl Szpunar (eds.), Seeing the future: Theoretical perspectives on future-oriented mental time travel. Oxford University Press. pp. 241-266.
    In the recent literature on episodic memory, there has been increasing recognition of the need to provide an account of its adaptive function. In this context, it is sometimes argued that episodic memory is critical for certain forms of decision making about the future. We criticize existing accounts that try to give episodic memory a role in decision making, before giving a novel such account of our own. This turns on the thought of a link between episodic memory and the (...)
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  • Skeptizismus Und Negative Theologie: Endlichkeit Als Transformative Erfahrung.Rico Gutschmidt - 2019 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 67 (1):23-41.
    Scepticism and negative theology are best understood not as theoretical positions, but rather as forms of philosophical practice that performatively undermine our knowledge claims or our seeming understanding of God. In particular, I am arguing that both scepticism and negative theology invoke the failure of the attempt to understand the absolute, be it God or the notion of absolute objectivity. However, with reference to L. A. Paul’s notion of epistemically transformative experience, I am arguing that we still understand something about (...)
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  • Religious Experience, Voluntarist Reasons, and the Transformative Experience Puzzle.Rebecca Chan - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (1):269-287.
    Transformative experiences are epistemically and personally transformative: prior to having the experience, agents cannot predict the value of the experience and cannot anticipate how it will change their core values and preferences. Paul argues that these experiences pose a puzzle for standard decision-making procedures because values cannot be assigned to outcomes involving transformative experience. Responding philosophers are quick to point out that decision procedures are built to handle uncertainty, including the uncertainty generated by transformative experience. My paper enters here and (...)
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  • Transformative Choice: Discussion and Replies.L. A. Paul - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):473-545.
    In “What you can’t expect when you’re expecting,” I argue that, if you don’t know what it’s like to be a parent, you cannot make this decision rationally—at least, not if your decision is based on what you think it would be like for you to become a parent. My argument hinges on the idea that becoming a parent is a transformative experience. This unique type of experience often transforms people in a deep and personal sense, and in the process, (...)
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  • Modeling Authenticity.Daniel A. Wilkenfeld - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (1):245-268.
    In this paper, we explore the link between understanding and transformative decisions. Paul suggests that one important aspect of making some decisions is that we make them not just on the basis of what data from other people tell us, but based on our own acquaintance with how the decision affects us. In this paper, we draw out a parallel between the sort of reasoning that Paul argues is required for authentic decision making and the sort of epistemic grasp of (...)
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  • Transformed By Faith.Rebecca Chan - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy 36 (1):4-32.
    Appealing to self-interest is a common way of justifying the rationality of religious faith. For instance, Pascal’s wager relies upon the expected value of choosing the life of faith being infinite. Similarly, many contemporary arguments for the rationality of faith turn on whether it is better for an agent to have faith rather than lack it. In this paper, I argue, contra Pascal, that considerations of self-interest do not make choosing faith rational because they fail to take into account the (...)
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  • The Arbitrariness Objection Against Permissivism.Ru Ye - 2019 - Episteme:1-20.
    The debate between Uniqueness and Permissivism concerns whether a body of evidence sometimes allows multiple doxastic attitudes towards a proposition. An important motivation for Uniqueness is the so-called ‘arbitrariness argument,’ which says that Permissivism leads to some unacceptable arbitrariness with regard to one's beliefs. An influential response to the argument says that the arbitrariness in beliefs can be avoided by invoking epistemic standards. In this paper, I argue that such a response to the arbitrariness argument is unsuccessful. Then I defend (...)
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  • Can We Make Wise Decisions to Modify Ourselves?Rhonda Martens - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Emerging Technologies 29 (1):1-18.
    Much of the human enhancement literature focuses on the ethical, social, and political challenges we are likely to face in the future. I will focus instead on whether we can make decisions to modify ourselves that are known to be likely to satisfy our preferences. It seems plausible to suppose that, if a subject is deciding whether to select a reasonably safe and morally unproblematic enhancement, the decision will be an easy one. The subject will simply figure out her preferences (...)
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  • Intellectual Humility and Empathy by Analogy.Casey Johnson - 2019 - Topoi 38 (1):221-228.
    Empathy can be terribly important when we talk to people who are different from ourselves. And it can be terribly important that we talk to people who are different precisely about those things that make us different. If we’re to have productive conversations across differences, then, it seems we must develop empathy with people who are deeply different. But, as Laurie Paul and others point out, it can be impossible to imagine oneself as someone who is deeply different than oneself—something (...)
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  • Whose Preferences?L. A. Paul - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (8):65-66.
    Volume 20, Issue 8, August 2020, Page 65-66.
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  • Ignorance and Moral Obligation, by Michael J. Zimmerman.: Table 1.Holly M. Smith - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):935-942.
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  • Transformative Experience, by L. A. Paul.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):927-935.
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  • First Personal Modes of Presentation and the Structure of Empathy.L. A. Paul - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (3):189-207.
    I argue that we can understand the de se by employing the subjective mode of presentation or, if one’s ontology permits it, by defending an abundant ontology of perspectival personal properties or facts. I do this in the context of a discussion of Cappelen and Dever’s recent criticisms of the de se. Then, I discuss the distinctive role of the first personal perspective in discussions about empathy, rational deference, and self-understanding, and develop a way to frame the problem of lacking (...)
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  • Epistemic Transformation and Rational Choice.Krister Bykvist & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (1):125-138.
    L. A. Paul has recently argued that the epistemically transformative nature of certain experiences makes it impossible to rationally decide whether to have the experience or not. We start by explaining why, contrary to what Paul claims, epistemically transformative experiences do not pose a general problem for the possibility of rational choice. However, we show there is a particular type of agent for whom the problem identified by Paul does arise. With this agent in mind, we examine Paul’s own suggestion (...)
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  • Real World Problems.L. A. Paul & John Quiggin - 2018 - Episteme 15 (3):363-382.
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