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Reasons and Persons.

Author: Derek Parfit
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, UK, 1984.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Supplement. "A brilliantly clever and imaginative book ... Strange and excitingly intense."--Alan Ryan, Sunday Times (London). "Not many books reset the philosophical agenda in the way that his one does ... Western philosophy, especially systematic ethics, will not be the same again."--Annette Baier, Philosophical Books. Challenging, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Parfit, Derek.
Reasons and Persons.
Oxford : Oxford University Press, UK, ©1984
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Derek Parfit
ISBN: 9780191519840 0191519847
OCLC Number: 1027509397
Notes: 60 Desires that Depend on Value Judgements or Ideals.
Description: 1 online resource (560 pages)
Contents: Part One: SELF-DEFEATING THEORIES --
Chapter 1 THEORIES THAT ARE INDIRECTLY SELF-DEFEATING --
1 The Self-interest Theory --
2 How S Can Be Indirectly Self-defeating --
3 Does S Tell Us to Be Never Self-denying? --
4 Why S Does Not Fail in Its Own Terms --
5 Could It Be Rational to Cause Oneself to Act Irrationally? --
6 How S Implies that We Cannot Avoid Acting Irrationally --
7 An Argument for Rejecting S When It Conflicts with Morality --
8 Why This Argument Fails --
9 How S Might Be Self-Effacing --
10 How Consequentialism Is Indirectly Self-defeating. 11 Why C Does Not Fail in Its Own Terms --
12 The Ethics of Fantasy --
13 Collective Consequentialism --
14 Blameless Wrongdoing --
15 Could It Be Impossible to Avoid Acting Wrongly? --
16 Could It Be Right to Cause Oneself to Act Wrongly? --
17 How C Might Be Self-Effacing --
18 The Objection that Assumes Inflexibility --
19 Can Being Rational or Moral Be a Mere Means? --
20 Conclusions --
Chapter 2 PRACTICAL DILEMMAS --
21 Why C Cannot Be Directly Self-defeating --
22 How Theories Can Be Directly Self-defeating --
23 Prisoner's Dilemmas and Public Goods. 24 The Practical Problem and its Solutions --
Chapter 3 FIVE MISTAKES IN MORAL MATHEMATICS --
25 The Share-of-the-Total View --
26 Ignoring the Effects of Sets of Acts --
27 Ignoring Small Chances --
28 Ignoring Small or Imperceptible Effects --
29 Can There Be Imperceptible Harms and Benefits? --
30 Overdetermination --
31 Rational Altruism --
Chapter 4 THEORIES THAT ARE DIRECTLY SELF-DEFEATING --
32 In Prisoner's Dilemmas, Does S Fail in Its Own Terms? --
33 Another Weak Defence of Morality --
34 Intertemporal Dilemmas --
35 A Weak Defence of S. 36 How Common-Sense Morality Is Directly Self-Defeating --
37 The Five Parts of a Moral Theory --
38 How We Can Revise Common-Sense Morality so that It Would Not Be Self-Defeating --
39 Why We Ought to Revise Common-Sense Morality --
40 A Simpler Revision --
Chapter 5 CONCLUSIONS --
41 Reducing the Distance between M and C --
42 Towards a Unified Theory --
43 Work to be Done --
44 Another Possibility --
Part Two: RATIONALITY AND TIME --
Chapter 6 THE BEST OBJECTION TO THE SELF-INTEREST THEORY --
45 The Present-aim Theory --
46 Can Desires Be Intrinsically Irrational, or Rationally Required? 47 Three Competing Theories --
48 Psychological Egoism --
49 The Self-interest Theory and Morality --
50 My First Argument --
51 The S-Theorist's First Reply --
52 Why Temporal Neutrality Is Not the Issue Between S and P --
Chapter 7 THE APPEAL TO FULL RELATIVITY --
53 The S-Theorist's Second Reply --
54 Sidgwick's Suggestions --
55 How S Is Incompletely Relative --
56 How Sidgwick Went Astray --
57 The Appeal Applied at a Formal Level --
58 The Appeal Applied to Other Claims --
Chapter 8 DIFFERENT ATTITUDES TO TIME --
59 Is It Irrational to Give No Weight to One's Past Desires?

Abstract:

Supplement. "A brilliantly clever and imaginative book ... Strange and excitingly intense."--Alan Ryan, Sunday Times (London). "Not many books reset the philosophical agenda in the way that his one does ... Western philosophy, especially systematic ethics, will not be the same again."--Annette Baier, Philosophical Books. Challenging, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity, Parfit claims that we have a false view about our own nature. It is often rational to act against our own best interersts, 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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