Against Time Bias*

  title={Against Time Bias*},
  author={Preston Greene and Meghan Sullivan},
  pages={947 - 970}
Most of us display a bias toward the near: we prefer pleasurable experiences to be in our near future and painful experiences to be in our distant future. We also display a bias toward the future: we prefer pleasurable experiences to be in our future and painful experiences to be in our past. While philosophers have tended to think that near bias is a rational defect, almost no one finds future bias objectionable. In this essay, we argue that this hybrid position is untenable. We conclude that… 

Future bias in action: does the past matter more when you can affect it?

It is found that participants exhibit significantly less future bias when asked to consider scenarios where they can affect their own past experiences, which supports the “practical irrelevance” explanation of future bias and suggests that future bias is not an inflexible preference hardwired by evolution, but results from a more general disposition to "accept the things the authors cannot change".

On Preferring that Overall, Things are Worse: Future‐Bias and Unequal Payoffs

Philosophers vigorously debate the rationality of hedonic bias toward the future : a systematic preference for pleasurable experiences to be future and painful experiences to be past. The debate over

What Time-Travel Teaches Us about Future-Bias

Future-biased individuals systematically prefer positively valenced events to be in the future (positive future-bias) and negatively valenced events to be in the past (negative future-bias). The most

Agency, Experience, and Future Bias

In Reasons and Persons, Derek Parfit (1984) observed that most people are biased towards the future at least when it comes to pain and pleasure. That is, they regard a given amount of pain as less

Hedonic and Non-Hedonic Bias toward the Future

ABSTRACT It has widely been assumed, by philosophers, that our first-person preferences regarding pleasurable and painful experiences exhibit a bias toward the future (positive and negative hedonic

How Much Do We Discount Past Pleasures?

Future-biased individuals systematically prefer pleasures to be in the future (positive future-bias) and pains to be in the past (negative future-bias). Empirical research shows that negative

Robust passage phenomenology probably does not explain future-bias

People are ‘biased toward the future’: all else being equal, we typically prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. Several explanations have been

Prudence and past selves

An important platitude about prudential rationality is that I should not refuse to sacrifice a smaller amount of present welfare for the sake of larger future benefits. I ought, in other words, to

Capacity for simulation and mitigation drives hedonic and non-hedonic time biases

ABSTRACT Until recently, philosophers have supposed that people exhibit a first-person hedonic bias toward the future, but that their non-hedonic and third-person preferences are time-neutral. Recent

Why Future-Bias Isn’t Rationally Evaluable

Future-bias is preferring some lesser future good to a greater past good because it is in the future, or preferring some greater past pain to some lesser future pain because it is in the past. Most



On Whether to Prefer Pain to Pass*

Most of us are “time-biased” in preferring pains to be past rather than future and pleasures to be future rather than past. However, it turns out that if you are risk averse and time-biased, then you

Self-Bias, Time-Bias, and the Metaphysics of Self and Time

1: Self-Bias It is common to have a slightly exaggerated sense of the significance of your own joys and miseries, but grand self-importance is rare. Louis XIV was grandly selfimportant. He believed

Reasons and Persons

This book challenges, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity. The author claims that we have a false view of our own nature;

Passions Within Reason: The Strategic Role of the Emotions

The "Me" generation has justified itself by appealing to social scientists who see selfishness as the only rational basis for action. But what are we to make of selfless acts in business, personal

A Wrinkle in Time

It is suggested that the TVA, the gain-loss asymmetry, and hyperbolic time discounting can be unified in a three-dimensional value function that describes how people value gains and losses of different magnitudes at different moments in time.

Prospects for Temporal Neutrality

This paper focuses on normative questions about intertemporal distribution that might seem parallel to more familiar questions about interpersonal distribution. Temporal neutrality is the claim that

Thank Goodness that's Over

In a pair of very important papers, namely “Space, Time and Individuals” (STI) in the Journal of Philosophy for October 1955 and “The Indestructibility and Immutability of Substances” (IIS) in

Decision-Theoretic Paradoxes as Voting Paradoxes

It is a platitude among decision theorists that agents should choose their actions so as to maximize expected value. But exactly how to define expected value is contentious. Evidential decision

On the Plurality of Worlds.

Preface. 1. A Philosopher's Paradise. The Thesis of Pluraliry of Worlds. Modal Realism at Work: Modality. Modal Realism at Work: Closeness. Modal Realism at Work: Content. Modal Realism at Work:

Regret Theory: An alternative theory of rational choice under uncertainty Review of Economic Studies

The main body of current economic analysis of choice under uncertainty is built upon a small number of basic axioms, formulated in slightly different ways by von Neumann and Morgenstern (I 947),