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Forget What Might Have Been

Forget What Might Have Been

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Published by David Velleman
On the irrationality of regret
On the irrationality of regret

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: David Velleman on Apr 28, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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07/15/2014

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HBQ@JY PCNY LK@CY CNXJ AJJE M. Invki Xjffjlne
 mivjffjlneOeyu.jiu
 Qj`rjt nei Turvkvnf
Kt ks ebt must prndtkdnffy usjfjss tb cnvj rj`rjts nabut wcnt lk`ct cnvj ajje7 kt‛s ljtnpcyskdnffy dbehusji. Kt‛s prndtkdnffy usjfjss ajdnusj wj dne‛t ib neytcke` nabut cbw tcke`s cnvj `bej= wj dne‛t lngj tcjl `b ikhhjrjetfy. Aut rj`rjts nabut wcnt lk`ct cnvj  ajje nrj nfsb ljtnpcyskdnffy dbehusji, ajdnusj tcbsj nftjrentkvj pbsskakfktkjs ib ebt kedfuij neybej hbr wcbl wj dne cnvj hkrst-pjrsbenf dbedjre. Pj dne pjrcnps jevy tcj  pjbpfj hbr wcbl tcke`s lk`ct cnvj `bej ikhhjrjetfy, ns wj jevy ney btcjr pjrsbe. Aut wj dneebt tckeg bh tcjl ns bur lbrj hbrtuentj sjfvjs, ajdnusj tcjy nrje‛t sjfvjs bh burs ke tcj rjfjvnet sjesj, nei sb wj dneebt rj`nri wcnt tcjy cnvj ns sbljtcke` tcnt wj bursjfvjs lk`ct cnvj cni. Nt kssuj cjrj ks befy n pnrtkdufnr gkei bh rj`rjt, enljfy, rj`rjt nabut wcnt lk`ct cnvj  ajje. Nebtcjr gkei bh rj`rjt, bhtje dnffji n`jet-rj`rjt, ks nabut wcnt bur ndtunf sjfvjs iki ke tcj pnst. Ycjrj ks eb dbehuskbe ke rj`rjt bvjr pnst lkstngjs7 tcj dbehuskbe aj`kes wcje wj rj`rjt ebt cnvke` wcnt wj lk`ct cnvj cni kh wj cnie‛t lnij tcjl. Ke brijr tb jxpfnke tcj dbehuskbe kevbfvji ke sudc rj`rjt, K wkff cnvj tb jxpfbrj tcjbry bh pjrsbenf kijetkty ’ br, ns K prjhjr tb dnff kt, tcj tcjbry bh sjfvjs. Pcnt lngjs kt tcj dnsj tcnt n pnst br huturj pjrsbe ks n pnst br huturj sjfh bh lkej2 Pcnt ks tcj rjfntkbe bh sjfhcbbi2 Ly jxpfbrntkbe bh tcks qujstkbe aj`kes wktc tcj dfbsjst tcke` yjt tb tcj trutc nabut kt, Ijrjg _nrhkt‛s tcjbry bh wcnt lnttjrs ke survkvnf. Ly cbpj ks tb arke` cks tcjbry jvje dfbsjr tb tcj trutc. Nddbrike` tb _nrhkt, wcnt lnttjrs ke survkvnf ks n rjfntkbe bh psydcbfb`kdnf dbeejdtjiejss nei dbetkeukty ajtwjje prjsjet nei huturj pjrsbes. _nrhkt‛s ijhkektkbe bh psydcbfb`kdnf dbeejdtjiejss aj`kes wktc Fbdgj‛s ljlbry-tcjbry bh pjrsbenf kijetkty= ‖Fjt us sny tcnt,
 
1
 Hbr`jt Pcnt Lk`ct Cnvj Ajje ~ M. Invki Xjffjlne ~ >8 Nu`ust 1?>>
 ajtwjje S tbiny nei [ twjety yjnrs n`b, tcjrj nrj
ikrjdt ljlbry dbeejdtkbes
kh S dne ebw rjljlajr cnvke` sblj bh tcj jxpjrkjedjs tcnt [ cni twjety yjnrs n`b.“
>
 _nrhkt tcje jxpneis be Fbdgj‛s tcjbry fkgj tcks=
Pj scbufi . . . rjvksj tcj vkjw sb tcnt kt nppjnfs tb btcjr hndts. Ajskijs ikrjdt ljlbrkjs, tcjrj nrj sjvjrnf btcjr gkeis bh ikrjdt psydcbfb`kdnf dbeejdtkbe. Bej sudc dbeejdtkbe ks tcnt wckdc cbfis  ajtwjje ne ketjetkbe nei tcj fntjr ndt ke wckdc tcks ketjetkbe ks dnrrkji but. Btcjr sudc ikrjdt dbeejdtkbes nrj tcbsj wckdc cbfi wcje n ajfkjh br n ijskrj, br ney btcjr psydcbfb`kdnf hjnturj, dbetkeujs tb aj cni.
_nrhkt ijhkejs psydcbfb`kdnf dbetkeukty ns tcj nedjstrnf bh dbeejdtjiejss. Ycnt ks, S‛s  ajke` psydcbfb`kdnffy dbetkeubus wktc [ dbesksts ke tcjrj ajke` sblj (pbsskafy jlpty) sjrkjs bh suamjdts T>, T1, … sudc tcnt S ks ikrjdtfy dbeejdtji tb T>, wcb ks ikrjdtfy dbeejdtji tb T1, . . . wcb ks ikrjdtfy dbeejdtji tb [. _nrhkt ijsdrkajs tcks rjfntkbe ajtwjje S nei [ ns dbeskstke` ke ‖dcnkes bh psydcbfb`kdnf dbeejdtjiejss“, wckdc lny bvjrfnp. Kektknffy, _nrhkt snys tcnt wcnt lnttjrs ke survkvnf ks n rjfntkbe fnajfji Q, wckdc ks n dblakentkbe bh psydcbfb`kdnf dbeejdtjiejss nei dbetkeukty. _nrhkt suasjqujetfy qunfkhkjs cks vkjw, ay dfnklke` tcnt sblj psydcbfb`kdnf dbeejdtkbes nrj lbrj klpbrtnet tcne btcjrs. Ycj lbrj klpbrtnet dbeejdtkbes, cj dfnkls, nrj tcj bejs tcnt kevbfvj hjnturjs tcnt nrj ikstkedtkvj bh tcj keikvkiunf, br hjnturjs tcnt tcj keikvkiunf vnfujs ke cklsjfh.
1
 K suspjdt tcnt _nrhkt ketrbiudjs tcjsj qunfkhkdntkbes pnrtfy ajdnusj cj jqukvbdntjs be tcj  pcrnsj ‖wcnt lnttjrs ke survkvnf“.
4
 Tbljtkljs _nrhkt ketjrprjts tcj qujstkbe ‖Pcnt
>
 
 Qjnsbes nei _jrsbes,
 p. 1?:. _nrhkt lbikhkjs tcks ijhkektkbe ay nibptke` Tcbjlngjr‛s dbedjpt bh ‖^ ljlbry“ tb dnedjf tcj pbsskafj klpfkdntkbe tcnt S‛s rjljlajrke` [‛s jxpjrkjedjs nfrjniy jetnkfs ay ijhkektkbe tcnt S ks tcj snlj pjrsbe ns [ (pp. 1>;-114). K wkff nssulj tcnt ‖ljlbry“ ljnes ‖^ ljlbry“.
1
 Hbr tcj klpbrtnedj bh n hjnturj‛s ikstkedtkvjejss, sjj p. 4??-4?> nei ebtj 8 be p. :>:. Hbr tcj klpbrtnedj bh n hjnturj‛s vnfuj tb tcj suamjdt, sjj p. 1;;. Tjj nfsb tcj iksdusskbe bh ‖Ycj Ekejtjjetc Djetury Qusskne“ be pp. 410-41;.
4
 Ycks pbket wns lnij ay _nuf Ybrjg ke ne uepuafkscji pnpjr nei ke cks _c.I. ikssjrtntkbe,
Tbljtcke` tb fbbg hbrwnri tb= _jrsbenf kijetkty, pruijedj, nei jtckds
, Zekvjrskty bh Lkdck`ne, >;;:. Hbr tcj kijn tcnt ‖wcnt lnttjrs ke survkvnf“ ks nlak`ubus ke _nrhkt‛s usn`j, sjj nfsb Ynlnr Tznaô @jeifjr, ‖_jrsbenf Kijetkty nei Ycbu`ct Jxpjrkljets“,
 _ckfbsbpckdnf ^unrtjrfy
 :1 (1??1), 49 - :9. K nfsb suspjdt tcnt _nrhkt jqukvbdntjs be tcj tjrl –dbetkeukty‛. Ke sblj dbetjxts, cj usjs –dbetkeukty‛ hbr tcj nedjstrnf bh dbeejdtjiejss. Aut ajdnusj cj jlpcnskzjs tcj dbeejdtkbes tcnt dbeskst ke tcj ljrj  pjrskstjedj bh n trnkt br nttktuij, cj sbljtkljs ueijrstneis –dbetkeukty‛ tb ljne ‖qunfktntkvj dbetkeukty“, ke tcj sjesj tcnt ijebtjs tcj nasjedj bh narupt qunfktntkvj dcne`js. Tjj, j.`., p. 4?> bh
 Qjnsbes nei _jrsbes.
 
4
 Hbr`jt Pcnt Lk`ct Cnvj Ajje ~ M. Invki Xjffjlne ~ >8 Nu`ust 1?>>
lnttjrs ke survkvnf2“ tb ljne ‖Pcy scbufi bej cnvj n hkrst-pjrsbenf ketjrjst ke survkvke`2“
9
 Tbljtkljs cj tngjs tcj qujstkbe tb ljne ‖Pcy scbufi bej cnvj ney hkrst- pjrsbenf dbedjre hbr tcj sjfh wcb wkff survkvj2“
:
 Ycjsj twb qujstkbes jxcnust _nrhkt‛s bstjeskafj tbpkd, aut cj basdurjs tcks tbpkd wktc btcjr rjnike`s bh tcj qujstkbe ‖Pcnt lnttjrs ke survkvnf2“ Tbljtkljs cj tngjs tcj qujstkbe tb ljne ‖Pcnt ks kt nabut bej‛s  prjsjet sjfh wcbsj survkvnf ke huturj sjfvjs ks wbrtc wnetke`2“
8
 Tbljtkljs cj jvje tngjs kt tb ljne ‖Pcnt gkei bh survkvnf ks wbrtc wnetke`2“
0
 Ycj fnttjr rjnike`s bh tcj qujstkbe nrj ebt jqukvnfjet tb tcj hbrljr. Bej‛s `rbueis hbr tngke` n hkrst-pjsbenf ketjrjst ke huturj pjrsbes lny ebt ijpjei be tcjkr cnvke` hjnturjs bh bejsjfh tcnt bej cns ne ketjrjst ke prjsjrvke`, br tcjkr fkvke` fkvjs tcnt bej cns ne ketjrjst ke fkvke`. Dbehfntkbe bh tcjsj kssujs drudknffy nhhjdts _nrhkt‛s iksdusskbe bh  prbafjl dnsjs ’ ke pnrtkdufnr, tcj bej tcnt cj dnffs tcj ‖Arnedc-Fkej dnsj“.
3
 Ke tcj arnedc-fkej dnsj, _nrhkt kln`kejs n ‖sdneejr“ tcnt, nt tcj prjss bh n `rjje auttbe, ijstrbys nei nenfyzjs cks jetkrj abiy, kedfuike` cks arnke. Ycj sdneejr ks fkegji tb n ‖rjpfkdntbr“ tcnt nssjlafjs n lbfjdufj-ay-lbfjdufj dbpy bh ckl be Lnrs. Cj tcje kln`kejs tcnt tcj sdneejr ks up`rniji tb n lbijf tcnt fjnvjs cks brk`kenf abiy ketndt, sb tcnt tcjrj nrj iupfkdntj vjrskbes bh ckl, bej be jndc pfnejt. Hkenffy, cj kln`kejs tcnt tcj up`rniji sdneejr cns inln`ji cks cjnrt nei tcnt cj wkff dbesjqujetfy ikj wktcke n hjw inys. Cnvke` rjdjkvji tcks ikrj prb`ebsks, cj spjngs wktc cks rjpfkdn be Lnrs ay ketjrpfnejtnry vkijbpcbej=
;
 
. . .Tkedj ly Qjpfkdn gebws tcnt K nl nabut tb ikj, cj trkjs tb dbesbfj lj wktc tcj snlj tcbu`cts wktc wckdc K trkji tb dbesbfj n iyke` hrkjei. Kt ks sni tb fjnre, be tcj rjdjkvke` jei, cbw uedbesbfke` tcjsj tcbu`cts nrj. Ly Qjpfkdn tcje nssurjs lj tcnt cj wkff tngj up ly fkhj wcjrj K
9
 Tjj, j.`., p. 18?.
:
 Tjj, j.`. pp. 131-134.
8
 Tjj, j.`., p. 139, p. 4;9, p. 4;1.
0
 Tjj p. 4?>.
3
 Ycks dnsj ks hkrst ketrbiudji be pp. >;;-1?>. Kt ks iksdussji n`nke be pp. 130-13;.
;
 _. 1?>.

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