New Reflections on the Mirror: the Interests Proximity Bias Solution

Philosophia 48 (4):1527-1542 (2020)
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Abstract

We worry about becoming non-existent, but not about coming into being. But both events are similarly bad according to Deprivationism; hence, it seems that we should display symmetric attitudes towards both. This entails the implausible conclusion that we should display negative attitudes towards the time of our birth. In a series of articles Brueckner and Fischer offered one of the most prominent attempts to block this conclusion by appealing to a temporal bias towards future pleasures. Inspired by Yi’s criticism of their view, we argue that there is an appropriate sense of deprivation in which late birth can deprive of future pleasures. Hence, Brueckner and Fischer’s Temporal Bias does not explain the attitudinal asymmetry. In addition, to make sure that one picks out the appropriate sense of deprivation, we offer a restriction, the Historical Condition, that prevents us from considering that every value one would otherwise have is value that one was deprived of due to one’s actual birth/death. Finally, we present a novel account for the attitudinal asymmetry that relies on what we call ‘Interests Proximity Bias’.

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Author Profiles

Ricardo Miguel
Universidade de Lisboa
Diogo Santos
Universidade de Lisboa

References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Death.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Noûs 4 (1):73-80.
Some puzzles about the evil of death.Fred Feldman - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (2):205-227.

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