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The Retreat of ReasonA dilemma in the philosophy of life$
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Ingmar Persson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276905

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199276900.001.0001

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THE IRRATIONALITY OF THE BIAS TOWARDS THE FUTURE

THE IRRATIONALITY OF THE BIAS TOWARDS THE FUTURE

Chapter:
(p.211) 16 THE IRRATIONALITY OF THE BIAS TOWARDS THE FUTURE
Source:
The Retreat of Reason
Author(s):

Ingmar Persson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199276900.003.0017

This chapter argues that the irrationality of the bias towards the future, i.e., the tendency to be more concerned about the future than the past, should be understood in roughly the same way as the irrationality of the bias towards the near. That is, it is due to representational distortions resulting from the bias towards the perceived, the mechanism of spontaneous induction and the general future-directedness of our imagination which reflects our experience of temporal succession. As opposed to what Derek Parfit suggests, it cannot be based in how we conceive of time, for in that case there would not be an ‘asymmetry’ he himself notes, that while the bias towards the future is very strong when we consider our own future, it is more or less non-existent when we consider the future of other people, even those close to us.

Keywords:   bias, future, perceived, temporal succession, irrationality, Derek Parfit

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