Lunchtime talk: Rebecca Chan


Location: 220 Malloy Hall

The Problem of Self-Transformation


From the standpoint of self-interest, is it rational for me to prefer to become someone who is radically different from my current self rather than someone who feels connected to who I currently am? Should my answer to this question depend on value considerations associated with the potential ways my life might go? These questions—which constitute what I call the problem of self-transformation—are the focus of my paper. In attempting to answer these questions, I hope to show (i) that value considerations underdetermine what preferences agents ought to have in decisions involving self-transformation, (ii) that considerations grounded in the will of an agent are needed to determine rational preferences in these decisions, and (iii) that there is a distinction between who agents are practically and who they are metaphysically with the former being what matters for self-interest.