What Justifies Our Bias Toward the Future?

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 101 (4):876-889 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


A person is biased toward the future when she prefers, other things being equal, bad events to be in her past rather than her future or good ones to be in her future rather than her past. In this paper, I explain why both critics and defenders of future bias have failed to consider the best version of the view. I distinguish external time from personal time, and show that future bias is best construed in terms of the latter. This understanding of future bias avoids several standard objections. I then consider a new justification of future bias which is consistent with that construal. My discussion points to a new position regarding the basic relation that grounds rational egoistic concern over time, according to which that relation is asymmetric between person-stages. I also explain how this way of justifying future bias would resolve the apparent tension between the future bias we display in our own case and our relative indifference toward the timing of the good and bad things that happen to other people.

Author's Profile

Todd Karhu
King's College London


Added to PP

875 (#17,766)

6 months
269 (#9,445)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?