Subjectivism and moral authority

(Content warning: descriptions of cruelty) Lots of people I know think that what you should do depends, ultimately, on your contingent patterns of care and concern (suitably idealized), as opposed to some sort of objective “normative reality.” And I find various views in this vicinity pretty plausible, too. To others, though, such views seem like… Continue reading Subjectivism and moral authority

Two types of deference

This post distinguishes between two different ways of deferring to future humans who understand a lot more about the world than we do. I. Some futuristic minds Consider a futuristic version of human civilization, in which human-like capacities for cognition and understanding have dramatically improved. Let’s say, in particular, that humans have figured out how… Continue reading Two types of deference

Contact with reality

In thought experiments descended from Nozick’s classic “experience machine,” you consider how being plugged into a machine that generates the experience of a certain kind of life (generally, a very pleasant one) compares with some alternative. Such comparisons are meant to tease apart the purely experiential aspect of life from other factors — in particular,… Continue reading Contact with reality