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  • Krister Bykvist (a1) and H. Orri Stefánsson

Most people at some point in their lives face transformative decisions that could result in experiences that are radically different from any that they have had, and that could radically change their personalities and preferences. For instance, most people make the conscious decision to either become or not become parents. In a recent but already influential book, L. A. Paul (2014) argues that transformative choices cannot be rational – or, more precisely, that they cannot be rational if one assumes what Paul sees as a cultural paradigm for rational decision-making. Paul arrives at this surprising conclusion due to her understanding of transformative experience as being both epistemically and personally transformative. An experience is epistemically transformative if it ‘teaches [a person] something she could not have learned without having that kind of experience’ (11), but it is personally transformative if it changes the person's point of view and her fundamental preferences (16).

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P. Bricker 1980. Prudence. Journal of Philosophy 77: 381401.

K. Bykvist 2006. Prudence for changing selves. Utilitas 18: 264283.

R. Chang 2015. Transformative choices. Res Philosophica 92: 237282.

T. Dougherty , S. Horowitz and P. Sliwa . 2015. Expecting the unexpected. Res Philosophica 92: 301321.

J. Elster and J. Roemer (eds) 1991. Interpersonal Comparisons of Well-Being. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

E. Harman 2015. Transformative experiences and reliance on moral testimony. Res Philosophica 92: 323339.

F. Jackson 1982. Epiphenomenal qualia. Philosophical Quarterly 32: 127136.

A. Kauppinen 2015. What's so great about experience? Res Philosophica 92: 371388.

L. A. Paul 2014 Transformative Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

L. A. Paul 2015 a. What you can't expect when you're expecting. Res Philosophica 92: 149170.

L. A. Paul 2015 b. Transformative choice: discussion and replies. Res Philosophica 92: 473545.

R. Pettigrew 2015. Transformative experience and decision theory. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91: 766774.

N. Sharadin 2015. How you can reasonably form expectations when you're expecting. Res Philosophica 92: 112.

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Economics & Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0266-2671
  • EISSN: 1474-0028
  • URL: /core/journals/economics-and-philosophy
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