Individual Time Bias and Social Discounting

When:19 Apr 2016, 12:30pm - 2pm
Venue:Morven Brown 209 (map ref C20)
Who:Brian Hedden
Brian Hedden

Philosophy Seminar


Consider two questions about appropriate attitudes to time: Within a single life, is it permissible to weight the well-being of one's near future selves more heavily than one's farther future selves? And as a society, is it permissible to weight the well-being of near-future people more heavily than farther future people? While many economics and philosophers have suggested that these two questions are independent, so that our answer to one does not tightly constraint our answer to the other, I argue that they should be treated in parallel, so that individual time-bias is permissible if and only if social discounting is permissible.

About Brian Hedden

Brian Hedden received his BA from Princeton University in 2006 and his PhD in Philosophy from MIT in 2012. His PhD dissertation was on epistemology and decision theory. From 2012 until 2014, he was a Junior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. Brian works primarily in epistemology and decision theory, with a particular interest in rationality and time. In addition to those main areas of research, he has strong interests in philosophy of language, ethics, and philosophy of science. He is the author of "Reasons Without Persons" (Oxford University Press) and numerous articles.

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