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Journal Article

Against Time Bias

Preston Greene and Meghan Sullivan
Ethics
Vol. 125, No. 4 (July 2015), pp. 947-970
DOI: 10.1086/680910
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/680910
Page Count: 24

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Topics: Age discrimination, Cookies, Regret, Risk aversion, Scheduling, Rationality, Meals, Reason, Pills, Emotion
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Abstract

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 those who reject near bias should instead endorse complete temporal neutrality.
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