Authors
Marc-Kevin Daoust
École de Technologie Supérieure
Abstract
How can we make rational decisions that involve transformative experiences, that is, experiences that can radically change our core preferences? L. A. Paul (2014) has argued that many decisions involving transformative experiences cannot be rational. However, Paul acknowledges that some traumatic events can be transformative experiences, but are nevertheless not an obstacle to rational decision-making. For instance, being attacked by hungry sharks would be a transformative experience, and yet, deciding not to swim with hungry sharks is rational. Paul has tried to explain why decisions involving ‘sharky’ outcomes are an exception to the rule. However, her putative explanation has been criticized by Campbell and Mosquera (2020). In this paper, I offer a different solution to this problem. Roughly, I argue that transformative experiences give rise a problem for rational decision-making only if the decision can lead to satisfying some of our (new) core preferences, but can also frustrate other (new) core preferences. I also argue that agents can partially project what traumatic transformative experiences are like.
Keywords transformative experience  rational choice  expected value maximization  preferences  the shark problem
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References found in this work BETA

First Personal Modes of Presentation and the Structure of Empathy.L. A. Paul - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (3):189-207.
Expecting the Unexpected.Tom Dougherty, Sophie Horowitz & Paulina Sliwa - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):301-321.
Transformative Experience and the Shark Problem.Tim Campbell & Julia Mosquera - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3549-3565.
Empathy and Transformative Experience Without the First Person Point of View.Herman Cappelen & Josh Dever - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (3):315-336.

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