Agency, Experience, and Future Bias

Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (4):237-245 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Most of us are hedonically future-biased: other things being equal, we prefer pains to be in the past and pleasures to be in the future. Recently, various authors have argued that future bias is irrational, and that we should be temporally neutral instead. I argue that instead of temporal neutrality, the putative counterexamples and the rationales offered for them only motivate a more narrow principle I call Only Action Fixes Utility: it is only when you act on the basis of assigning a utility to an outcome that rationality requires you to give it the same value retrospectively and prospectively, other things being equal. When hedonic experiences are untethered from action, hedonic future bias is rationally permissible. I support this principle by appeal to additional scenarios and more general asymmetries between agential and experiential goods.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-08-16
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Against Time Bias.Greene, Preston & Sullivan, Meghan
The Narrative Calculus.Kauppinen, Antti

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
95 ( #22,277 of 38,007 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
59 ( #6,197 of 38,007 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.