Monday, August 31, 2009

My chocolate dream

I had a dream some years ago. I was in a candy store with a couple dollars in my pocket, deciding whether to buy another piece of chocolate. I decided to buy it, and ate it. It was yummy!

Then I woke up. As I thought about my dream, I felt happy about making the right decision, insofar as I made a decision at all. Sometimes dream decisions are real decisions, and sometimes they're not. Dream pleasure, however, is always real pleasure. Dream money is never real money.

9 comments:

Jonathan Ichikawa said...

I think it's not obvious that dream pleasure is real pleasure. I'm in print defending the view that dream beliefs are not real beliefs, and dream desires are not real desires. I'm not sure about pleasure.

Michael Drake said...

But sometimes real money is dream money. (Hence the current global recession.)

Neil Sinhababu said...

Jonathan, I'd be interested in seeing this paper!

When beliefs arise in a way that's responsive to the dream-experiences in something like the way that our beliefs are responsive to our experiences, I'm especially gripped by the view that they're real beliefs. (BTW, does your view solve skeptical problems? It sounds like the kind of thing that could...)

Jonathan Ichikawa said...

My "dreaming doesn't involve belief" paper is Dreaming and Imagination. My "does this view solve skeptical problems?" paper is Scepticism and the Imagination Model of Dreaming -- I argue that it does not, although I agree with you that it sounds like the kind of thing that could. (Ernest Sosa argues in chapter 1 of his A Virtue Epistemology that it does.)

opit said...

There are a couple of memories I deliberately filed for long-term musing at age 5 - which might illustrate that I must have been a 'challenging' kid. One involved having a rock heaved at me by a bully - which goes nicely with the sheriff's son routinely shooting me with a BB gun years later when I wore a leatherette jacket which worked as a kind of armour : the other was a reflection on the incomprehensibility of adults to a young mind.
I couldn't understand what kept adults from spending all their free money on candy! ( As an adult I'm unsure that they don't )
Real money is dream money. Sounds like a sound comment about Fiat Currency to me!

Amod Lele said...

I like this post, Neil. It made me think of a question: is it an obligation for ethical hedonists to attempt lucid dreaming? (More specifically, for egoistic hedonists to attempt it themselves and altruistic hedonists to encourage others to attempt it?) Considering the number of hours we spend dreaming every day, surely one of the most effective ways to produce more pleasurable states of mind is to learn to control our dreams - so that we can make the right decision to get dream pleasure, and not the wrong decision to get dream money?

Neil Sinhababu said...

Definitely, lucid dreaming is a good thing for hedonists to learn how to do!

I'm inclined towards scalar consequentialism, which talks about acts being better or worse than other acts rather than about obligation, so I don't what to say about obligation here.

Amod Lele said...

Understandable - I struggle with the concept of obligation a lot. Scalar consequentialism, as you describe it, is an idea that I used to embrace wholeheartedly, although lately I've been moving back to the idea that obligation has a significant place in a good and happy life (this post details some of my reasoning, if you're interested.) Can you recommend a good article on scalar consequentialism?

Neil Sinhababu said...

I think this might be the article you're looking for, Amod. I haven't read it though.