[SydPhil] Notification: Meghan Sullivan @ Thu 5 Mar 2015 15:00 - 16:30 (Current Projects)

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Wed Mar 4 15:00:00 AEDT 2015

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Title: Meghan Sullivan
Time Biases and Non-Hedonic Value

An important part of the value we place in many of our activities comes  
from our assumptions about how these activities relate to those of people  
existing at different times. In this sense, we value something non-hedonic,  
since what we value does not depend directly on feelings of pleasure that  
we experience as a result of the activities.  How, exactly, is what we  
value affected by the temporal locations of other people? In his recent  
book, Death and the Afterlife, Samuel Scheffler argues that in this regard  
we are both near and future biased: what matters to us crucially depends on  
our confidence in the existence of people living in the near future, and  
less so---or even not at all--- on the existence of people living in the  
past or distant future. He endorses what we call a time-biased attitudinal  
dependency thesis. In this essay we present thought experiments aimed to  
show that this thesis is false: the temporal location of another person, by  
itself, does not change their effect on what we value. We argue instead for  
a time-neutral attitudinal dependency thesis. We'll also tackle a difficult  
question that has come to be known as the "Alvy Singer problem": If one day  
humanity will end and all will be forgotten, why do our lives matter? We  
argue that this point of view is generated by an inconsistent application  
of both time-neutral and time-biased theories of non-hedonic value. Once  
the inconsistency is removed, the problem disappears.
When: Thu 5 Mar 2015 15:00 - 16:30 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Calendar: Current Projects
     * Kristie Miller- creator

Event details:  

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