Back story: In class this past week, we discussed something called “The Experience Machine”, a thought experiment originally conceived of by Harvard Philosophy professor Robert Nozick. As he originally described it in his text, Anarchy, State, and Utopia, we are given the following scenario:
“Suppose there were an experience machine that would give you any experience you desired. Superduper neuropsychologists could stimulate your brain so that you would think and feel you were writing a great novel, or making a friend, or reading an interesting book. All the time you would be floating in a tank, with electrodes attached to your brain. Should you plug into this machine for life, preprogramming your life’s desires?…Of course, while in the tank you won’t know that you’re there; you’ll think it’s all actually happening. Others can also plug in to have the experiences they want, so there’s no need to stay unplugged to serve them. (Ignore problems such as who will service the machines if everyone plugs in.) Would you plug in? What else can matter to us, other than how our lives feel from the inside?” (43)
Challenge: Would you plug in? Why or why not? What circumstances would/could change your original response?
Length: 7+ sentences