In 1974, philosopher Robert Nozick introduced his famous "experience machine" thought experiment:
"Imagine you live in a world where you have access to an ‘experience machine’ that generates every imaginable sensation. There are no limits to the experiences you can have, from eating a favourite dish, going on an exotic holiday, having a chat with an old friend or famous person, or happily falling in love. By plugging into this machine, you can experience everything you desire. Such machines could evidently generate immense pleasure for the person plugged in, creating a degree of happiness rarely, if ever, lived in the real world. And since you’re made to forget that you’ve been plugged in, this happiness can be without even realising that the experiences producing it are not of a real world. The only moment when the person is aware of plugging in is when making the choice to connect to the machine. After that, blissful ignorance sets in and the subject forgets it ever happened. Everything from that moment onwards feels as real as it possibly could. The only catch is that you would have to stay plugged in."
This article from Philosophy Now questions Nozick's claim -- and our claims -- that we wouldn't want to plug into the experience machine.
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