Transformative Choice: Discussion and Replies

Laurie Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


In “What You Can’t Expect When You’re Ex- pecting,” I argue that, if you don’t know what it’s like to be a parent, you cannot make this decision rationally—at least, not if your decision is based on what you think it would be like for you to become a parent. My argument hinges on the idea that becoming a parent is a transfor- mative experience. This unique type of experience often transforms people in a deep and personal sense, and in the process, changes their preferences.
In section 1, I will explain transformative experience in terms of radical first-personal epistemic and self change. In section 2, I’ll explain the notion of subjective value that I use to develop the decision problem. In section 3, I will discuss the way we ordinarily combine our introspective assessments with testimony and evidence. In section 4, I will discuss the problems for rational decision-making. In section 5, I will explore the problem of first-personally transformed future selves. In section 6, I will engage with the main themes and arguments and ideas of the authors of the papers contributed to this volume.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-545
Number of pages73
JournalRes Philosophica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


  • transformative experience
  • transformative choice
  • decision making


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