Utilitas

Research Article

Comments on Krister Bykvist ‘Prudence for Changing Selves’

DENNIS MCKERLIEa1

a1 University of Calgary

I very much enjoyed reading and thinking about Krister Bykvist's interesting and carefully written paper. My comments will not be criticisms. I will not challenge the conclusions the paper draws about the complicated examples of conflicts between preferences that it discusses. For example, I will not attempt to defend any of the views criticized in section IV of the paper. And I agree with the positive solution presented in section V, when that solution is characterized in the broadest possible way. In cases where a choice that I must make now will create one or the other of two possible future ‘selves’ whose preferences would conflict over the question of which choice I should make, prudence tells me to create the self that will experience a higher level of well-being or welfare.