Machine Experience- Hedonist Theory

Should You Get in the Experience Machine?

Nozick’s The Experience Machine What does it mean to say that some lives are better than others? One proposed theory of a good life is based on hedonism. Hedonism is the doctrine that the only intrinsic good (good in itself) is pleasure and the absence of pain. All other things (money, friends, freedom, etc.) are valuable only insofar as they bring about pleasure. Of course, hedonists make a distinction between higher and lower pleasures – higher pleasures are of the intellect and include art, music, poetry, conversation, and the like. The lower pleasures are associated with mere desire satisfaction and include things like food, drink, and sex. So the good life is that life which maximizes higher pleasures.

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A hedonist theory of the good life, then, holds that a life is good. To the extent that it is filled with pleasure and without pain. Robert Nozick developed a thought experiment testing whether people really believed that the only thing that matters is the experience of pleasure. It is called The Experience Machine Watch the following video about the experience machine. Some points of importance. In philosophy thought experiments you should engage with the scenario as it is. You are testing what your intuitions tell you about this particular case and so trying to avoid changing the scenario means you are no longer testing those same intuitions.

There isn’t a right answer, but there are wrong answers – if you try to wiggle out of the scenario or fail to engage with the scenario as it is The experience machine is such that you will not remember being plugged in once you are in there – you will not know it is a fake simulation All of the people you know and care about will be perfectly simulated as well It will not break or malfunction in any way (it is a perfect simulation

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