Chapter

THE IRRATIONALITY OF THE BIAS TOWARDS THE FUTURE

Ingmar Persson

in The Retreat of Reason

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199276905
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603198 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199276900.003.0017
 							THE IRRATIONALITY OF THE BIAS TOWARDS THE FUTURE

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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

Chapter.  6979 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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