Single Idea 20585

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 2. Ideal of Pleasure]

Full Idea

Suppose there were an experience machine that would give you any experience you desired ...such as writing a great novel, or making a friend, or reading an interesting book. ...Should you plug into this machine for life?

Gist of Idea

If an experience machine gives you any experience you want, should you hook up for life?


Robert Nozick (Anarchy,State, and Utopia [1974], 3 'Experience')

Book Reference

Nozick,Robert: 'Anarchy,State, and Utopia' [Blackwell 1980], p.42

A Reaction

A classic though experiment which crystalises a major problem with hedonistic utilitarianism. My addition is a machine which maximises the pleasure of my family and friends, to save me the bother of doing it.