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Hedonism Challenged.doc

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Joseph Boyle

Hedonism Challenged Robert Nozick 612-614 The Experience Machine • argues against the view that pleasure and only pleasure matters to us • if it were true, we would want to be hooked up to a pleasure machine all the time but few would actually want this • “experience machine” • if something independent of pleasure matters to people then pleasure is not the only good • experience machine: gives you any experience you desire • you can preprogramme the experiences you want to have • you won’t know it’s a tank, you will think it is actually happening • what are the reasons for not plugging in? • we desire to BE a certain way, or a sort of person • can’t tell whether or not someone is witty, intelligent, caring, generous—they are no longer any of these things • what we ARE is important to us • cannot just be concerned with how our time is filled • we are limited to a man-made reality • there is no contact with a deeper reality than that which is constructed by humans • many people desire to be open to a deeper significance • transformation machine + experience machine? • if answer is no, something else matters • to make a difference in the world • + result machine? • no: we want to live an active life in contact with reality • reality matters to us W.D. Ross 659-664- What Things Are Good? • we have a variety of moral duties • a variety of things are intrinsically good • virtue, pleasure, the matching of the two, knowledge • compares two worlds, unequal in pleasure, unequal in virtue and concludes that because we would choose the one with virtuous pleasure that it is intrinsically goo
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