On Whether To Prefer Pain to Pass

Ethics 121 (3):521-537 (2011)
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Abstract
Most of us are “time-biased” in preferring pains to be past rather than future and pleasures to be future rather than past. However, it turns out that if you are risk averse and time-biased, then you can be turned into a “pain pump”—in order to insure yourself against misfortune, you will take a series of pills which leaves you with more pain and better off in no respect. Since this vulnerability seems rationally impermissible, while time-bias and risk aversion seem rationally permissible, we are left with a puzzle.
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Archival date: 2013-12-08
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