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Reasons and Persons de Derek Parfit
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Reasons and Persons (1984 original; edició 1986)

de Derek Parfit (Autor)

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583329,898 (4.24)6
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 moralphilosophy is a young subject, with a promising but unpredictable future.… (més)
Membre:euthyphro1
Títol:Reasons and Persons
Autors:Derek Parfit (Autor)
Informació:Oxford University Press (1986), 560 pages
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Reasons and Persons de Derek Parfit (1984)

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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 one, on self-defeating theories, is a technical and complicated review of theories of rationality and morality. This is my least favorite part of the book, and I would even say that for the "casual" reader, this part could be skipped without very much affecting the enjoyment of the following parts. What I found most interesting about Reasons and Persons is when Parfit starts laying out his arguments for a Reductionist view of personal identity (implying, among other things, that personal identity can be indeterminate, i.e. not all-or-nothing). Thinking about these questions is fairly mind warping and I enjoyed it quite a lot. Building on the Reductionist view, Parfit makes arguments about how we should think about ourselves and others, as well as future generations and our future selves. Most of Parfit's arguments later in the book are based on the Reductionist assumption, which by then is considered "true". As it is a counter-intuitive view, however, some conclusions are difficult to accept. Parfit mentions Nagel's claim that "even if the Reductionist View is true, it is psychologically impossible for us to believe this" (Section 94). Parfit also acknowledges that many may find his conclusions disturbing, while in the case of himself he has found them liberating. All in all, an excellent and thought-provoking, if at times very dense and technical, read. ( )
  backlund | Aug 25, 2014 |
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. ( )
  dono421846 | Jul 1, 2011 |
an essential book ( )
  m.a.harding | Jul 22, 2007 |
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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 moralphilosophy is a young subject, with a promising but unpredictable future.

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