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Nozick's 'experience machine' Options
rmberwin
Posted: Saturday, May 6, 2017 7:01:54 PM

Rank: Member

Joined: 5/30/2012
Posts: 93
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The philosopher Robert Nozick has attempted to refute utilitarian and hedonist philosophies of life with his hypothetical 'experience machine'.

"Nozick asks us to imagine a machine that could give us whatever desirable or pleasurable experiences we could want. Psychologists have figured out a way to stimulate a person's brain to induce pleasurable experiences that the subject could not distinguish from those he would have apart from the machine. He then asks, if given the choice, would we prefer the machine to real life?" (Wiki)

Nozick claims that the machine represents a mere escape from reality and is not in keeping with the good life.

But what if someone used it to escape overwhelming suffering? There is a Star Trek episode in which Mr. Spock risks his career in order to transport his disabled previous captain to a planet where aliens would provide a pleasurable, realistic fantasy life.

"Great art should never be mushed up!!"
almo 1
Posted: Sunday, May 7, 2017 12:01:01 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/16/2016
Posts: 1,253
Neurons: 5,715
Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan


That reminds me of A Dream of Wessex ( by Christopher Priest )



"The western democracies are disintegrating, scarred by violence and gripped with fear of terrorist attacks. Trying to find solutions to today's problems, Julia Stretton and other specialists at the Wessex Project have created a virtual reality projection of a utopian future where all current issues have been resolved - how did they achieve it? But on entering Wessex, they lose all memory of their 'real' lives outside, and as they move back and forth the lines between dream and reality become obscured. When Julia's ex-lover, the sadistic Paul Mason, joins the project, he has a sinister plan to take the Wessex projection to a new and terrifying level . . . "



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