The Experience Machine: A Survey
In collaboration with the BBC’s Radio 4 show ‘The Philosopher’s Arms‘, we are running a series of short opinion surveys on the Practical Ethics blog as a way of promoting discussion on issues in practical ethics.
This week The Philosopher’s Arms discussed the problem of the Experience Machine, Robert Nozick’s hypothetical scenario about the machine that could simulate a happy life:
Suppose there were an experience machine that would give you any experience you desired. Superduper neuropsychologists could stimulate your brain so that you would think and feel you were writing a great novel, or making a friend, or reading an interesting book. All the time you would be floating in a tank, with electrodes attached to your brain.
The following survey explores some of the ethical themes raised by the Experience Machine.
To all our visitors from the BBC Website: if you found ‘The Philosopher’s Arms’ interesting, you may be interested in reading other posts on this blog, the Practical Ethics blog hosted at Oxford University’s Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics. Blog posts are contributed by philosophers and philosophy students from Oxford and other major universities around the world.
Some recent highlights: