We typically make decisions based on a projection of their likely outcome with respect to the things we value. We seek to maximize of enhance the things we think are good, and minimize what we think is bad. But sometimes we are faced with a decision where we must choose whether to undergo an experience that will likely transform us in fundamental ways, perhaps even change our sense of what's valuable or important. Indeed, sometimes we must choose whether to in effect become a different kind of person
. How should decisions like these be made?
In Transformative Experience
(Oxford University Press, 2014), L. A. Paul
examines a range of cases where agents must choose whether or not be transformed in fundamental ways that they, the agents, cannot grasp in advance of the transformation. As it turns out, choices of this transformative kind are far more common than one might think.