Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Ultimate Experience Machine

Is there something wrong with putting ourselves in a Nozickian "pleasant experience machine?"


Mike Darus said...

This machinge exists in various forms now. We "plug in" to a video game, a movie, a TV show, a good novel, a vacation, a day dream, a spa treatment, etc. We move along the reality/fantasy continuum. We are annoyed when real life tries to interupt our favorite show or when we have to chose between family obligations and a rented movie. Sometimes we chose between a historical biography and a trashy mystery. I think we know that the closer we are to reality, the healthier we are and the more useful we become to those around us.

Gordon Knight said...

A utilitarian would say: "plug in!" only if everyone else does. If I plug in to such a machine, I would be causing much suffering to my children, for example.

But suppose we all pluged into such a machine. What would be wrong with it? My intuition is that in personal relationships, what matters is not just the appearance of love, but actual love-a real relationship to another person.

On the other hand, if we suppose th machine is matrix-like, with actual relationships with others.. then I don't see the problem.

Victor Reppert said...

Actually, when I looked up information on this I googled "ultimate pleasure machine." When I did I got a number of sites that had nothing to do with Nozick.