1st Edition

Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons An Introduction and Critical Inquiry

Edited By Andrea Sauchelli Copyright 2020
    280 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    280 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Derek Parfit (1942–2017) is widely considered to be one of the most important moral philosophers of the twentieth century. Reasons and Persons is arguably the most influential of the two books published in his lifetime and hailed as a classic work of ethics and personal identity.

    Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons: An Introduction and Critical Inquiry is an outstanding introduction to and assessment of Parfit’s book, with chapters by leading scholars of ethics, metaphysics and of Parfit’s work.

    Part I provides a much-needed introduction to key topics and themes in Reasons and Persons that will be useful for those new to Parfit’s complex work. These include Parfit’s idea of self-defeating theories, rationality and time, personal identity, future generations and well-being.

    Part II explores various debates generated by Reasons and Persons, including its connections with Buddhism, metaethics, theory of rationality, transformative choices and further developments in personal identity and metaphysics such as conativism.

    Combining clear exposition of the major topics and arguments in Reasons and Persons with scholarly perspectives on more advanced themes, this book is ideal for students of ethics, metaethics, metaphysics and anyone interested in Derek Parfit’s philosophy.

    Introduction to the Collection Andrea Sauchelli

    Part 1

    1. Toward a Unified Theory of Morality: An Introduction to Part One of Reasons and Persons Ben Eggleston

    2. Introduction to Part Two: Rationality and Time Brian Hedden

    3. Introduction to Part Three: Personal Identity Andrea Sauchelli

    4. Parfit, Population Ethics and Pareto Plus: Reasons and Persons Part Four Melinda Roberts

    5. An Opinionated Guide to "What Makes Someone’s Life Go Best" Chris Heathwood

    Part 2

    6. In a Different League: Intransitivity, Betterness, and League-Based Satisficing Chrisoula Andreou

    7. Conativism About Personal Identity David Braddon-Mitchell and Kristie Miller

    8. Reasons and Conscious Persons Christian Coseru

    9. Transformative Choice and the Non-Identity Problem Nilanjan Das and L.A. Paul

    10. Prudence and Self-Concern’Dale Dorsey, ‘

    11. Reductionism, Self-Constitution, and The Moral Significance of Personal Identity Carol Rovane

    12. Non-Identical and Impersonal J. David Velleman.



    Andrea Sauchelli is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. His book Personal Identity and Applied Ethics: A Historical and Philosophical Introduction is also available from Routledge.