What's So Great about Experience?

Res Philosophica 92 (2):371-388 (2015)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Suppose that our life choices result in unpredictable experiences, as L.A. Paul has recently argued. What does this mean for the possibility of rational prudential choice? Not as much as Paul thinks. First, what’s valuable about experience is its broadly hedonic quality, and empirical studies suggest we tend to significantly overestimate the impact of our choices in this respect. Second, contrary to what Paul suggests, the value of finding out what an outcome is like for us does not suffice to rationalize life choices, because much more important values are at stake. Third, because these other prudential goods, such as achievement, personal relationships, and meaningfulness, are typically more important than the quality of our experience (which is in any case unlikely to be bad when we achieve non- experiential goods), life choices should be made on what I call a story- regarding rather than experience-regarding basis.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
KAUWSG
Revision history
Archival date: 2015-02-25
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Epiphenomenal Qualia.Jackson, Frank

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2015-02-25

Total views
468 ( #4,928 of 37,972 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
42 ( #8,991 of 37,972 )

How can I increase my downloads?

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