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  1. Pain in the Past and Pleasure in the Future: The Development of Past–Future Preferences for Hedonic Goods.Ruth Lee, Christoph Hoerl, Patrick Burns, Alison Sutton Fernandes, Patrick A. O'Connor & Teresa McCormack - 2020 - Cognitive Science 44 (9):e12887.
    It seems self-evident that people prefer painful experiences to be in the past and pleasurable experiences to lie in the future. Indeed, it has been claimed that, for hedonic goods, this preference is absolute (Sullivan, 2018). Yet very little is known about the extent to which people demonstrate explicit preferences regarding the temporal location of hedonic experiences, about the developmental trajectory of such preferences, and about whether such preferences are impervious to differences in the quantity of envisaged past and future (...)
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  • Past-Future Preferences for Hedonic Goods and the Utility of Experiential Memories.Ruth Lee, Jack Shardlow, Patrick A. O'Connor, Lesley Hotson, Rebecca Hotson, Christoph Hoerl & Teresa McCormack - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-31.
    Recent studies have suggested that while both adults and children hold past-future hedonic preferences – preferring painful experiences to be in the past and pleasurable experiences to lie in the future – these preferences are abandoned when the quantity of pain or pleasure under consideration is greater in the past than in the future. We examined whether such preferences might be affected by the utility people assign to experiential memories, since the recollection of events can itself be pleasurable or aversive, (...)
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  • Capacity for Simulation and Mitigation Drives Hedonic and Non-Hedonic Time Biases.Preston Greene, Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (2):226-252.
    Until recently, philosophers debating the rationality of time-biases have supposed that people exhibit a first-person hedonic bias toward the future, but that their non-hedonic and third-person preferences are time-neutral. Recent empirical work, however, suggests that our preferences are more nuanced. First, there is evidence that our third-person preferences exhibit time-neutrality only when the individual with respect to whom we have preferences—the preference target—is a random stranger about whom we know nothing; given access to some information about the preference target, third-person (...)
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  • What Justifies Our Bias Toward the Future?Todd Karhu - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-14.
    A person is biased toward the future when she prefers, other things being equal, bad events to be in her past rather than her future or good ones to be in her future rather than her past. In this paper, I explain why both critics and defenders of future bias have failed to consider the best version of the view. I distinguish external time from personal time, and show that future bias is best construed in terms of the latter. This (...)
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  • Non-Additive Axiologies in Large Worlds.Christian Tarsney & Teruji Thomas - manuscript
    Is the overall value of a world just the sum of values contributed by each value-bearing entity in that world? Additively separable axiologies (like total utilitarianism, prioritarianism, and critical level views) say 'yes', but non-additive axiologies (like average utilitarianism, rank-discounted utilitarianism, and variable value views) say 'no'. This distinction is practically important: additive axiologies support 'arguments from astronomical scale' which suggest (among other things) that it is overwhelmingly important for humanity to avoid premature extinction and ensure the existence of a (...)
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  • Constraint-Free Meaning, Fearing Death, and Temporal Bias.Travis Timmerman - forthcoming - The Journal of Ethics:1-17.
    This paper focuses on three distinct issues in Fischer’s (2020) Death, Immortality, and Meaning in Life, viz. meaning in life, fearing death, and asymmetrical attitudes between our prenatal and postmortem non-existence. I first raise the possibility that life’s total meaning can be negative and argue that immoral or harmful acts are plausibly meaning-detracting acts, which could make the lives of historically impactful evil dictators anti-meaningful. After that, I review Fischer’s two necessary conditions for meaning in life (i.e. not being significantly (...)
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  • Belief in Robust Temporal Passage (Probably) Does Not Explain Future-Bias.Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller, Christian Tarsney & Hannah Tierney - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-23.
    Empirical work has lately confirmed what many philosophers have taken to be true: people are ‘biased toward the future’. All else being equal, we usually prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. According to one hypothesis, the temporal metaphysics hypothesis, future-bias is explained either by our (tacit) beliefs about temporal metaphysics—the temporal belief hypothesis—or alternatively by our temporal phenomenology—the temporal phenomenology hypothesis. We empirically investigate a particular version of the temporal belief hypothesis according (...)
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  • Robust Passage Phenomenology Probably Does Not Explain Future-Bias.Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller, Christian Tarsney & Hannah Tierney - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-23.
    People are ‘biased toward the future’: all else being equal, we typically prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. Several explanations have been suggested for this pattern of preferences. Adjudicating among these explanations can, among other things, shed light on the rationality of future-bias: For instance, if our preferences are explained by unjustified beliefs or an illusory phenomenology, we might conclude that they are irrational. This paper investigates one hypothesis, according to which future-bias (...)
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  • Why Future-Bias Isn't Rationally Evaluable.Callie K. Phillips - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (4):573-596.
    Future-bias is preferring some lesser future good to a greater past good because it is in the future, or preferring some greater past pain to some lesser future pain because it is in the past. Most of us think that this bias is rational. I argue that no agents have future-biased preferences that are rationally evaluable—that is, evaluable as rational or irrational. Given certain plausible assumptions about rational evaluability, either we must find a new conception of future-bias that avoids the (...)
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  • The Rationality of Near Bias toward both Future and Past Events.Preston Greene, Alex Holcombe, Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (4):905-922.
    In recent years, a disagreement has erupted between two camps of philosophers about the rationality of bias toward the near and bias toward the future. According to the traditional hybrid view, near bias is rationally impermissible, while future bias is either rationally permissible or obligatory. Time neutralists, meanwhile, argue that the hybrid view is untenable. They claim that those who reject near bias should reject both biases and embrace time neutrality. To date, experimental work has focused on future-directed near bias. (...)
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  • Future bias in action: does the past matter more when you can affect it?Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller, James Norton & Christian Tarsney - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11327-11349.
    Philosophers have long noted, and empirical psychology has lately confirmed, that most people are “biased toward the future”: we prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. At least two explanations have been offered for this bias: belief in temporal passage and the practical irrelevance of the past resulting from our inability to influence past events. We set out to test the latter explanation. In a large survey, we find that participants exhibit significantly less (...)
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  • Does the Temporal Asymmetry of Value Support a Tensed Metaphysics?Alison Fernandes - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):3999-4016.
    There are temporal asymmetries in our attitudes towards the past and future. For example, we judge that a given amount of work is worth twice as much if it is described as taking place in the future, compared to the past :796–801, 2008). Does this temporal value asymmetry support a tensed metaphysics? By getting clear on the asymmetry’s features, I’ll argue that it doesn’t. To support a tensed metaphysics, the value asymmetry would need to not vary with temporal distance, apply (...)
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  • What Time-Travel Teaches Us About Future-Bias.Kristie Miller - 2021 - Philosophies 6 (38):38.
    Future-biased individuals systematically prefer positively valenced events to be in the future (positive future-bias) and negatively valenced events to be in the past (negative future-bias). The most extreme form of future-bias is absolute future-bias, whereby we completely discount the value of past events when forming our preferences. Various authors have thought that we are absolutely future-biased (Sullivan (2018:58); Parfit (1984:173) and that future-bias (absolute or otherwise) is at least rationally permissible (Prior (1959), Hare (2007; 2008), Kauppinen (2018), Heathwood (2008)). The (...)
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  • What Matters in Psychological Continuity? Using Meditative Traditions to Identify Biases in Intuitions About Personal Persistence.Preston Greene & Meghan Sullivan - forthcoming - In Kevin Tobia (ed.), Experimental Philosophy of Identity and the Self. London: