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
• 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