Nozick's Arguments To The Experience Machine

1990 Words 8 Pages
In his 1974 book ‘Anarchy, State, and Utopia’, Nozick proposes a famous thought experiment known as the ‘Experience Machine’. This hypothetical machine aims to argue against moral hedonism by proposing that there are more intrinsically important elements to one 's existence than pleasure, namely experience. This essay aims to firstly outline Nozick’s argument, illustrate how it can be seen as a counter-argument to hedonism and finally provide a critique of the conditions of the argument.
Nozick introduces his readers to the ‘Experience Machine’ by describing the elements such a machine that 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” (292). Nozick also believes that if pleasure were the only intrinsic value, people would have an overriding reason to be hooked up to an "experience machine," which would produce favourable sensations. However, we can imagine this is not the case. There are multiple concerns that people can have when proposed with the idea of the experience machine. This indicates that authenticity and
…show more content…
P2: We will experience more pleasure if we plug into the experience machine than if we do not plug into the experience machine.
C1: If all that matters to us is that we experience as much pleasure as we can then we have no reason not to plug into the experience machine. (P1&P2)
P3: We have reason not to plug into the experience machine.
C2: Experiencing as much pleasure as we can is not all that matters to us.
1. If all we value is (subjective, personal, sensuous) experience, then we’re willing to spend our lives in an experience machine.
2. We are not willing to spend our lives in an experience machine.
3. Therefore, experience is not the only thing we

Related Documents