Future-Bias and Practical Reason

Philosophers' Imprint 15 (2015)
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Abstract

Nearly everyone prefers pain to be in the past rather than the future. This seems like a rationally permissible preference. But I argue that appearances are misleading, and that future-biased preferences are in fact irrational. My argument appeals to trade-offs between hedonic experiences and other goods. I argue that we are rationally required to adopt an exchange rate between a hedonic experience and another type of good that stays fixed, regardless of whether the hedonic experience is in the past or future

Author's Profile

Tom Dougherty
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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