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A Utilitarian Dilemma on Diachronic Preferences

Rosenqvist, Simon LU (2011) FPRK01 20102
Practical Philosophy
Abstract
When preferences from the past or future disagrees with present preferences about what to do now, it seems counterintuitive for preference utilitarianism to take these past and future diachronic preferences into account. In this thesis I discuss two different solutions to this problem. First, preference utilitarianism could solve the problem by becoming more sophisticated - by suggesting that we should give the diachronic preferences equal weight to other preferences, but that we in order to fulfil as many preferences as possible at all times should give the diachronic preferences less consideration in our daily lives. Second, preference utilitarianism could exclude or downgrade the weight of certain diachronic preferences. I argue that it... (More)
When preferences from the past or future disagrees with present preferences about what to do now, it seems counterintuitive for preference utilitarianism to take these past and future diachronic preferences into account. In this thesis I discuss two different solutions to this problem. First, preference utilitarianism could solve the problem by becoming more sophisticated - by suggesting that we should give the diachronic preferences equal weight to other preferences, but that we in order to fulfil as many preferences as possible at all times should give the diachronic preferences less consideration in our daily lives. Second, preference utilitarianism could exclude or downgrade the weight of certain diachronic preferences. I argue that it is not clear how the second solution could solve the problem of counterintuitiveness without becoming sophisticated to at least some degree. I conclude that, since we anyway need to become sophisticated, we could just as well accept the first view from the start – treating the problem of diachronic preferences no different than other similar allegations of utilitarianism being counterintuitive. (Less)
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author
Rosenqvist, Simon LU
supervisor
organization
course
FPRK01 20102
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Diachronic, preferences, sophisticated, utilitarianism
language
English
id
1764337
date added to LUP
2011-03-08 11:38:38
date last changed
2011-03-08 11:38:38
@misc{1764337,
  abstract     = {When preferences from the past or future disagrees with present preferences about what to do now, it seems counterintuitive for preference utilitarianism to take these past and future diachronic preferences into account. In this thesis I discuss two different solutions to this problem. First, preference utilitarianism could solve the problem by becoming more sophisticated - by suggesting that we should give the diachronic preferences equal weight to other preferences, but that we in order to fulfil as many preferences as possible at all times should give the diachronic preferences less consideration in our daily lives. Second, preference utilitarianism could exclude or downgrade the weight of certain diachronic preferences. I argue that it is not clear how the second solution could solve the problem of counterintuitiveness without becoming sophisticated to at least some degree. I conclude that, since we anyway need to become sophisticated, we could just as well accept the first view from the start – treating the problem of diachronic preferences no different than other similar allegations of utilitarianism being counterintuitive.},
  author       = {Rosenqvist, Simon},
  keyword      = {Diachronic,preferences,sophisticated,utilitarianism},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {A Utilitarian Dilemma on Diachronic Preferences},
  year         = {2011},
}