Transformative Experience, Awareness Growth, and the Limits of Rational Planning

Philosophy of Science 89 (5):939-948 (2022)
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Laurie Paul argues that, when it comes to many of your most significant life-changing decisions, the principles of rational choice are silent. That is because, in these cases, you anticipate that one of your choice options would yield a transformative experience. We argue that such decisions are best seen as ones in which you anticipate awareness growth. You do not merely lack knowledge about which possible outcome will arise from a transformative option; you lack knowledge about what are the possible outcomes. We show how principles of rational choice can be extended to cases of anticipated awareness growth.

Author Profiles

H. Orri Stefansson
Stockholm University
Katie Steele
Australian National University


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