The experience machine and the expertise defense

Guido Löhr (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Recent evidence suggests that participants without extensive training in philosophy (so-called lay people) have difficulties responding consistently when confronted with Robert Nozick’s Experience Machine thought experiment. For example, some of the participants who reject the experience machine for themselves would still advise a stranger to enter the machine permanently. This and similar findings have been interpreted as evidence for implicit biases that prevent lay people from making rational decisions about whether the experience machine is preferable to real life, which might have consequences for one of the strongest objections to philosophical hedonism (the view that pleasure is the only intrinsic value). Against this consequence, it has been argued that expert philosophers are immune to such biases (the so-called expertise defense). In this paper, I report empirical evidence against this expertise defense.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-273
JournalPhilosophical Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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