Analysis Of Robert Nozick's 'Experience Machine'

1545 Words 7 Pages
Experience Machine The theory that pleasure is the only thing worth pursuing; the highest and most important goal in life is derived from Hedonism. The moral of Hedonism explains that pleasure brings happiness, it is good, and that of the opposite brings pain, which is bad. Those that we desire are desirable because it brings us some kind of pleasure (Mill, p. 20). Pleasure comes from an object. Because of this theory Robert Nozick shared with us in his book, the experience machine; a machine that we can just simply hook up to. He asks us to think about life in this machine that is able to replicate and give off to us the experiences of what we find most pleasurable in life. He argues though, that this type of life cannot be the ideal life. …show more content…
Robert Crisp gives an example of this by comparing a person P that is a brave person who wrote a great book and made great discoveries regarding science, and a person Q that is connected to an experience machine. Person P would have all the qualities that Nozick said also matters to us in order to live such a wonderful, fulfilling life. The same experiences person P have will also be transferred to person Q. Although person Q gets to make his own decisions and actually get to be someone and do something, both P and Q’s lives would be equally pleasurable. Person Q would not know or realize he is hooked up to a machine and would consciously not be able to tell the difference (Crisp p. 636). There really is no big difference between actually doing something. When you are in the experience machine, you will be given experiences you want to experience. If you wanted to feel the wind in your face while riding a horse, you can. The experience machine would be great for someone who is afraid of doing something; yet, really want the experience of it. Thus, two people’s lives can be so different yet, feel the same. Their quality of life would be the same because quality of life is based on …show more content…
Nozick makes his objections against the experience machine and says that Hedonism is not correct. Again, Hedonism is the belief that happiness and pleasure is the only thing worth pursuing for; it measures our wellbeing. Nozick states his objections by explaining the experience machine; a machine that you can hook up to by electrodes to give you any experience of your choice. By doing this he opens us up to his criticism. He believes being in an experiment machine is not the ideal life. He states his reasons. He says that we want to “be a certain way” to have our own identity, to actually be able to do something and that being connected to this machine will restrict us to a “man-made reality.” (Nozick). Yet, he is not entirely right. Everything in life leads to pleasure. According to Sheldon, all of our actions and things that we want in life are wanted because we get a sensation of pleasure and happiness from it. Also, someone who is connected to the machine will still live the same quality life. Crisp gives an example of this by explaining the lives of two people, person P who lives a normal life and person Q who is connected to the machine. Their quality of life will be the same. Person Q will not know he is attached to the machine. Lastly, hooking up to this experience machine Nozick is talking about is not entirely suicide. Euthanasia is considered suicide to some but it brings happiness and

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