Reasons and Persons

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Apr 12, 1984 - Philosophy - 560 pages
1 Review
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 promising but unpredictable future.
 

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User Review  - dono421846 - LibraryThing

I've often felt this book has not received the attention that it deserves. While not exactly what one would call an easy read, the arguments overwhelm the reader and, perhaps, permanently change one's views. Read full review

Contents

I
1
II
3
III
53
IV
67
V
87
VI
111
VII
115
VIII
117
XIV
219
XV
245
XVI
281
XVII
307
XVIII
321
XIX
349
XX
351
XXI
381

IX
137
X
149
XI
187
XII
197
XIII
199
XXII
391
XXIII
419
XXIV
443
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About the author (1984)

Derek Antony Parfit was born in Chengdu, China on December 11, 1942 to parents who were doctors teaching preventive medicine at Christian missions. He received a degree in modern history in 1964 from Balliol College, Oxford. While on a Harkness Fellowship at Harvard University and Columbia University after graduation, he began attending lectures on philosophy and changed course. He was elected to a prize fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, and had become a senior research fellow by 1984. He wrote several books during his lifetime including Reasons and Persons and On What Matters. In 2014, he was awarded the Rolf Schock Prize by the Royal Swedish Academy. He died on January 2, 2017 at the age of 74.

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