Me and My Life by Shelly Kagan Essay

Me and My Life by Shelly Kagan Essay

Length: 1066 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

An individual’s welfare can be explained as their state of contentment that can be achieved throughout one’s life. Increasing this state of well-being can be obtained by pursuing and gaining what is intrinsically good for the individual. Experientialism states that subjective experiences are the sole things which are intrinsically good and capable of promoting welfare in individuals. The plausibility of this view arises from the fact that we desire experiences not just for their instrumental benefits, but because they are good ‘in and of themselves’. This view has faced some fervent opposition though, most strongly in the form of Nozick’s Experience Machine. Robert Nozick conveys that experiences are not the only things that are intrinsically good and that we desire genuine connections to reality as well. In response to this, I will present Shelly Kagan’s argument that genuine connections to reality are unrelated to an individual’s welfare and therefore, cannot contribute to the well-being of an individual and Experientialism remains standing as a strong philosophical theory.
What would be left of your life after it has been stripped of all experiences? Just your physical body, the ground you’re standing on, and the duration for which you have been existing is a plausible hypothesis. Our hearts would beat, our eyes would blink, and our neurons will fire but a ginormous component of life seems to be missing from this scenario. Life and experiences are definitely related and it seems relatively easy to accept that a life void of experiences cannot be considered a life that has satisfied anybody’s well-being. However, that does not necessarily mean that experiences are intrinsically good for an individual as Experientialism proposes....

... middle of paper ...

... declare that they are not well-off plugging into the machine. (If one is mentally unaware of the deception, the deception cannot affect their mental states).
Though plugging into the Experience Machine may not bestow a good life for an individual, it does not decrease their welfare because the deception cannot be considered to have an intrinsic effect and that is the sole thing welfare must be altered by. Hence, genuine connections to reality that are lacking in the Experience Machine are not intrinsic desires affecting an individual’s welfare and objections to Experientialism have been effectively addressed and rebuked.

Works Cited

Kagan, Shelly. "Me and My Life." Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society. 94. (1994): 309-324. Web. 7 Feb. 2014. .
Nozick, Robert. Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Basis Books, 1974. 118-119. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Permissibility on Lying

- The works of Shelly Kagan and Charles Fried will be studied in determining the wrongness of lying. The definition of lying will first be presented followed by the arguments as to why lying is perceived as wrong. It will then be argued that lying is not necessary wrong. Lying involves asserting a claim that one knows as false to the other with the intention to mislead the listener. There is generally a widely accepted constraint against lying. Constraint against lying should not be mistaken with a requirement to tell the truth since no such requirement exists....   [tags: Shelly Kagan, Charles Fried, Wrongness of Lying]

Strong Essays
1342 words (3.8 pages)

Understanding The Anxious Mind By Jerome Kagan Essay

- In “Understanding the Anxious Mind” we are introduced to Jerome Kagan, a Yale Ph.D. graduate and psychology professor at Harvard University. In 1979 he conducts his first longitudinal study at the school to challenge the idea that children are more than just “difficult” or “easy” based on temperament, and recorded the findings and analyzations of over 400 preschoolers exposed to new stimuli and their reactions. Over the years 107 returned to be reexamined in which he found that very few showed signs of change over a period of 5 years and therefore, not much could be determined due to nature vs....   [tags: Anxiety, Psychology, Emotion, Jerome Kagan]

Strong Essays
1309 words (3.7 pages)

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly Essays

- Authors often use stories as their journals. They use characters to represent multiple people in their lives or major events that affected them psychologically. Authors use the unconscious mind that manifests in actions and Mary Shelley is no exception. In her famous novel about a creation and his creator, the unconscious transformation through adolescents in her life is visible. Some of her own adolescent issues were infused into the creature’s character. People could look at Frankenstein as a dramatic journal entry, allowing Shelley to be able to write about personal issues as she was navigating the tricky waters between being a teenager and adulthood....   [tags: Mary Shelly, Author]

Strong Essays
1158 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Peer Rejection in Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly

- The novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly brings the serious topic of social prejudice to the limelight. Frankenstein shows a great example of how continued rejection from ones family or peers can cause one to revert from a virtuous being into a murderer or cause one to become suicidal. People today, as in Frankenstein, are still first judged on their physical appearance and not on their benevolence. Babies have been abandoned because of physical defects; children and adults are teased, bullied, ridiculed, and ignored because of their clothes, hair, face, body, etc....   [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelly]

Strong Essays
920 words (2.6 pages)

A Monstrous Transformation in "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly Essay

- In the novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelly conveys evidence that strongly supports the fact that one's surroundings and experiences help shape them. However, at the same time, the novel also shows that if one experiences a "normal" or "all American life", their mind may wander, as a result they may have many urges to experience something supernatural or abnormal. Furthermore, it seems that the novel is trying to convey a point that maybe in the long run a truly sheltered childhood or lifestyle may cause a certain curiosity and longing that could lead to destruction and mayhem later in life....   [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelly, ]

Strong Essays
938 words (2.7 pages)

An Analytical Essay of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein

- Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, is written by Mary Shelly in 1818. It is a science fiction describing a brilliant scientist intends to create life as human but a monster is created instead. Themes such as ugliness of the Creature, wrong attitude towards science of Victor Frankenstein, and the support of feminism will be discussed in the essay. To begin with, the ugliness of the being created by Frankenstein is a kind of excess, rather than lack (Gigant, 2000). It can be interpreted that it is more than enough and different from ordinary....   [tags: Feminism, Shelly, Frankenstein]

Strong Essays
911 words (2.6 pages)

Human Companionship in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein Essay

- Human companionship is one of the most basic needs of humans that can be seen in the Creation story. It is tricky for any human to find the perfect companion especially if one is one of a kind. In Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein two characters exemplify this need. Dr. Victor Frankenstein and The Creature are in search of companionship, and they will go to great lengths to achieve it. The classic theme of perversion of family is a major component in Frankenstein. Dr. Frankenstein comes from a good family but in his adult life he longs for a new companion this is mainly found in the Creature and Elizabeth....   [tags: Mary Shelly, Frankenstein]

Free Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Mary Shelly 's ' Frankenstein ' Essay

- In Lisa Nocks article appropriately titled “Frankenstein, in a better light,” she takes us through a view of the characters in the eyes of the author Mary Shelly. The name Frankenstein conjures up feeling of monsters and horror however, the monster could be a metaphor for the time period of which the book was written according to Nocks. The article implies that the book was geared more towards science because scientific treatises were popular readings among the educated classes, of which Shelley was a member of....   [tags: Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Universe]

Strong Essays
767 words (2.2 pages)

Essay about Frankenstein, By Mary Shelly

- When the term Frankenstein is said, what comes to mind is the bulky, square headed, green character seen around Halloween. Until watching the array of films and reading the original novel by Mary Shelly, this is all Frankenstein was to me. Reading the origin of this staple character and seeing the film adaptions shows that there is much more to Frankenstein than being a creature for a Holiday. The story of Frankensteins opens many cans of worms in regards to spiritual believes and who the true monster is in this story....   [tags: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley, Boris Karloff]

Strong Essays
1072 words (3.1 pages)

Book Review: Robert Kagan Paradise and Power- America and Europe in the New World Order

- Book Review: Robert Kagan Paradise and Power- America and Europe in the New World Order Robert Kagan's book ‘Paradise and Power' was a break through in writing concerning the new world order, which has especially developed during and after the Cold War. In the first part of this review, I shall endeavour to summarise the book, focusing on the difference between America and Europe's worldview's, and the historical reasoning behind the readjusting of the power balance between Europe and America....   [tags: Kagan Book Review]

Free Essays
1226 words (3.5 pages)