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Reference Class: Vampire

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Reference Class: Vampire

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Why would anyone want to become a vampire? And why would that be such a hard decision? It may sound silly, but this is the basis of a serious thought experiment at the heart of this episode. Host Russ Roberts welcomed philosopher L.A. Paul to discuss her book, Transformative Experience; choosing to become a vampire would certainly qualify as one example.

Reference Class: Vampire 2

 

What’s wrong with the way we make our most important life decisions? Does Paul have some wisdom to help you with your next life-changing choice? Share your reactions to this episode; we love to hear from you.

 

1- What does Paul mean by diachronic decisions and act-state independence? How do these concepts help explain Roberts’s complaint that using expected utility in decision-making is a stupid idea?

 

2- What does Paul mean by being a member of a “reference class?” What are some ways in which you can better imagine being a part of one?

 

3- Which do you think is more influential in decision-making- epistemic revelation or epistemic humility? Explain.

 

4- What are some ways in which Paul suggests we might build decision-making models based on epistemic humility? How might such practices improve our lives? What role should morality play in such decision-making?

 

5- What is the purpose of the story of the Mediocre Chess Player? To what extent does this analogy explain the way you have made significant life decisions in the past?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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