Principles and Persons: The Legacy of Derek Parfit

ISBN : 9780192893994

Jeff McMahan; Tim Campbell; James Goodrich; Ketan Ramakrishnan
480 ページ
153 x 234 mm

Derek Parfit, who died in 2017, is widely believed to have been the most significant moral philosopher in well over a century. The twenty-one new essays in this book have all been inspired by his work. They address issues with which he was concerned in his writing, particularly in his seminal contribution to moral philosophy, Reasons and Persons (OUP, 1984). Rather than simply commenting on his work, these essays attempt to make further progress with issues, both moral and prudential, that Parfit believed matter to our lives: issues concerned with how we ought to live, and what we have most reason to do. Topics covered in the book include the nature of personal identity, the basis of self-interested concern about the future, the rationality of our attitudes toward time, what it is for a life to go well or badly, how to evaluate moral theories, the nature of reasons for action, the aggregation of value, how benefits and harms should be distributed among people, and what degree of sacrifice morality requires us to make for the sake of others. These include some of the most important questions of normative ethical theory, as well as fundamental questions about the metaphysics of personhood and personal identity, and the ways in which the answers to these questions bear on what it is rational and moral for us to do.


Jeff McMahan: Introduction
1 Personal Identity, Prudence, and Ethics
1 David O. Brink: Special Concern and Personal Identity
2 James Goodrich: Separating Persons
3 Tim Campbell: Personal Identity and Impersonal Ethics
4 Samuel Scheffler: Temporal Neutrality and the Bias toward the Future
5 Shelly Kagan: What is the Opposite of Well-Being?
6 Roger Crisp: Parfit on Love and Partiality
2 Normative Ethical Theory
7 Elizabeth Ashford: Individualist Utilitarianism and Converging Theories of Rights
8 Ingmar Persson: Parfit s Reorientation: From Revisionism to Conciliationism
9 Brad Hooker: Parfit s Final Arguments in Normative Ethics
10 Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer: Parfit on Act Consequentialism
11 Liam Murphy: Nonlegislative Justification: Against Legalist Moral Theory
3 Reasons
12 Stephen Darwall: Doing Right by Wrong
13 John Broome: Giving Reasons and Given Reasons
4 Moral Mathematics: Aggregation, Overdetermination, and Harm
14 John Taurek: Reply to Parfit's Innumerate Ethics
15 Jeff McMahan: Defence Against Parfit's Torturers
16 Victor Tadros: Overdetermination and Obligation
17 Molly Gardner: What is Harming?
5 Egalitarianism and Prioritarianism
18 Nils Holtug: Prioritarianism, Risk, and the Gap Between Prudence and Morality
19 Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen: Relational Egalitarianism: Telic and Deontic
6 Supererogation
20 F. M. Kamm: Duties That Become Supererogatory or Forbidden?
21 Thomas Hurka and Evangeline Tsagarakis: More Supererogatory


Jeff McMahan is White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He is the author of The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life (OUP, 2002) and Killing in War (OUP, 2009).; Tim Campbell is a researcher at the Institute for Future Studies at the University of Stockholm.; James Goodrich is a PhD student in philosophy at Rutgers and Stockholm University, working on moral and political philosophy.; Ketan Ramakrishnan is a JD candidate at Yale Law School and a DPhil candidate in philosophy at the University of Oxford.