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Res Philosophica

Volume 92, Issue 2, April 2015

Transformative Experiences

Rachael Briggs
Pages 189-216
DOI: 10.11612/resphil.2015.92.2.7

Transformative Experience and Interpersonal Utility Comparisons

I consider an old problem for preference satisfaction theories of wellbeing: that they have trouble answering questions about interpersonal comparisons, such as whether I am better off than you are, or whether a particular policy benefits me more than it benefits you. I argue that a similar problem arises for intrapersonal comparisons in cases of transformative experience. I survey possible solutions to the problem, and point out some subtle disanalogies between the problem involving interpersonal comparisons and the problem involving transformative experience.