Reasons and Persons

  title={Reasons and Persons},
  author={Derek Parfit},
This book challenges, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity. The author claims that we have a false view of our own nature; that it is often rational to act against our own best interests; that most of us have moral views that are directly self-defeating; and that, when we consider future generations the conclusions will often be disturbing. He concludes that moral non-religious moral philosophy is a young subject, with a… 
Self: Personal Identity
Who Cares About Identity
This paper argues that transworld identity is both morally (or at least “welfare axiologically”) and prudentially insignificant. To clarify, it does not in itself morally or prudentially matter, when
Virtue Ethics and Repugnant Conclusions
Both utilitarian and deontological moral theories locate the source of our moral beliefs in the wrong sorts of considerations. One way this failure manifests itself, we argue, is in the ways these
Personal Identity, Reductionism and the Necessity of Origins
A thought that we all entertain at some time or other is that the course of our lives might have been very different from the way they in fact have been, with the consequence that we might have been
Are There Distinctively Moral Reasons?
A dogma of contemporary normative theorizing holds that some reasons are distinctively moral while others are not. Call this view Reasons Pluralism. This essay looks at four approaches to vindicating
Personal Identity and Practical Reason: The Failure of Kantian Replies to Parfit
  • Philosophy
  • 2008
ABSTRACT This essay examines and criticizes a set of Kantian objections to Parfit's attempt in Reasons and Persons to connect his theory of personal identity to practical rationality and moral
Moral Realism, Normative Reasons, and Rational Intelligibility
This paper concerns a prima facie tension between the claims that (a) agents have normative reasons obtaining in virtue of the nature of the options that confront them, and (b) there is a non-trivial
Self Torture and Group Beneficence
Moral puzzles about actions which bring about very small or what are said to be imperceptible harms or benefits for each of a large number of people are well known. Less well known is an argument by
Personhood and the practical
This paper argues that consideration of this issue suffers from an overly narrow conception of the practical concerns associated with persons that focuses on higher-order capacities and fails to appreciate basic practical concerns more directly connected to the authors' animality.
The Ethics of Inarticulacy
In his impressive and wide‐ranging new book, Sources of the Self, Charles Taylor argues that modern moral philosophy, at least within the Anglo‐American tradition, . offers a ‘cramped’ view of