Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit

Reasons and Persons

Challenging, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity, Derek Parfit claims that we have a false view about our own nature. It is often rational to act against our own best interests, he argues, and most of us have moral views that are self-defeating. We often act wrongly, although we know there will be...

Title:Reasons and Persons
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Edition Language:English

Reasons and Persons Reviews

  • laura
    this book reoriented me philosophically, changed my sense of what i can do with philosophy, and named clearly some things i felt strongly but hazily. parfit, by this book, equipped me with new tools, finer ones. i use it as reference material. i keep it at hand....
  • David
    My deep love of this book is counterintuitive; I generally prefer a very different intellectual style to my reflections on the nature of personal identity. Also, I generally tend to get annoyed with excessive use of wildly implausible hypotheticals, which this book uses in droves. Nevertheless, this...
  • Randy
    philosophy for the future...
  • kaelan
    Reasons and Persons is unquestionably one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century, although its conspicuous absence from bookstore shelves might suggest otherwise. But for those planning to read Parfit's masterwork of moral philosophy, I would like to offer two words of warning...
  • Anders
    Reviewing (and even more so, star rating) Reasons and Persons is difficult. Having some basic understanding of utilitarianism, I felt that I could follow Parfit's arguments reasonably well, but this is by no means an easy read. There are four parts to the book, each building on the former. The first...
  • Joshua Stein
    Derek Parfit's Reasons and Persons is considered a must read in contemporary ethics. The problem is that it is basically only accessible for those who are already experienced with ethics, and particularly the dense work of many of his predecessors, particularly Henry Sidgwick, to whom Parfit is ofte...
  • Peter Mcloughlin
    This book is a treatise on the nature of individuals and various philosophical foundations of rational (non-religious) ethics. The author describes three moral principles on which to derive ethical rules, common sense morality, self interest theory, present aim theory. All three lead to paradoxical...
  • Taylor Pearson
    This book was recommended by Patrick Collison (@patrickc) and Sam Harris is the densest, most difficult book I've ever read.Derek Parfit was a British philosopher who specialised in personal identity, rationality, and ethics. He is widely considered one of the most important and influential moral ph...
  • Andrei Khrapavitski
    Just finished reading “Reasons and Persons” by Derek Parfit, a British moral philosopher who passed away on January 1, 2017. It’s been a while since I enjoyed reading a philosophy book so much! It almost feels like the author was some superhuman, Buddha-like impersonal being. This is ...

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