Updating my utilitarianism for regression to the mean?

Utilitarianism, prioritarianism and other varieties of consequentialism.
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Ruairi
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Location: Ireland

Re: Updating my utilitarianism for regression to the mean?

Post by Ruairi » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:42 pm

I think one fundamental question is, which do you think is more likely:

1. Your terminal exchange rate is closer to the mean exchange rate than your belief of your terminal of exchange rate.

Or,

2. Your terminal exchange rate is closer to your belief of your terminal of exchange rate than the mean exchange rate.


If 1 is true, regress, if 2, don't?

:)

Sören Mind
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:24 pm

Re: Updating my utilitarianism for regression to the mean?

Post by Sören Mind » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:18 pm

Ruairi wrote:I think one fundamental question is, which do you think is more likely:

1. Your terminal exchange rate is closer to the mean exchange rate than your belief of your terminal of exchange rate.

Or,

2. Your terminal exchange rate is closer to your belief of your terminal of exchange rate than the mean exchange rate.


If 1 is true, regress, if 2, don't?

:)
Thanks I think this describes pretty well why I find this confusing from a moral anti-realist perspective. Hits it on the spot.

I would add that what I wrote in the original post is not a very accurate respresentation of what I think now anymore. My best guess is that morally its a question of which computations you care about how much. And that empirically one could be off in the way you describe in point 1), for example when you over- or underestimate more or less extreme hedonic states. That could be corrected on the basis of research we'll hopefully have in the future or perhaps even by regression to the mean. But whether 'the mean' is a reliable place to regress to is unclear so I'm not sure if what I wrote has any practical relevance.

Btw I'd be interested to hear more anecdotes or preferably evidence about how painful extreme suffering really is compared to say the day to day suffering of humans, farmed and wild animals.

One of Kahneman's studies concluded that we underestimate the relevance of duration, so that could be a reason to update one's intensity-duration exchange rate.

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