Reasons and Persons

Front Cover
Clarendon Press, 1984 - Philosophy - 543 pages
22 Reviews
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 no one with serious grounds for complaint, and when we consider future generations it is very hard to avoid conclusions that most of us will find very disturbing.

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Review: Reasons and Persons

User Review  - Jonathan - Goodreads

I read the 'Reasons' part of this book years ago and was blown away by his utterly clear style of writing. Although the subject is complex I seem to remember that he does everything possible to make ... Read full review

Review: Reasons and Persons

User Review  - David - Goodreads

Reasons and Persons richly deserves its reputation as a classic in contemporary philosophy. Addressing some of the most profound philosophical questions such as the nature of personal identity and our ... Read full review

References to this book

On Ethics and Economics
Amartya Sen
No preview available - 1991
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About the author (1984)


Derek Parfit is a research fellow at All Souls College.

Bibliographic information