What really matters

Synthese 162 (3):325 - 340 (2008)
Abstract
What really matters fundamentally in survival? That question—the one on which I focus—is not about what should matter or about metaphysics. Rather, it is a factual question the answer to which can be determined, if at all, only empirically. I argue that the answer to it is that in the case of many people it is not one’s own persistence, but continuing in ways that may involve one’s own cessation that really matters fundamentally in survival. Call this the surprising result. What are we to make of it? According to several philosophers, not much. I argue that these philosophers are wrong. What best explains the surprising result is that in the case of many people one’s special concern for oneself in the future is not fundamental, but derived. I explain what this means. Finally I explain why the task of explaining empirically what matters fundamentally in survival is in some ways more like a meditative quest than a traditional inquiry in western philosophy or social science and, as such, is best answered not by psychologists, but by philosophers.
Keywords Personal identity  What matters in survival  Empirical values
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,365
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
David Lewis (1976). Survival and Identity. In Amelie Oksenberg Rorty (ed.), The Identities of Persons. University of California Press. 17-40.
R. Martin (1995). Fission Rejuvenation. Philosophical Studies 80 (1):17-40.

View all 6 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

43 ( #39,811 of 1,102,731 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #296,833 of 1,102,731 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.