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  1. On What Matters: Volume Three by Derek Parfit. [REVIEW]Farbod Akhlaghi - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.
  2. Reasons and Conscious Persons.Christian Coseru - forthcoming - In Andrea Sauchelli (ed.), Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons: An Introduction and Critical Inquiry. London: Routledge. pp. 160-186.
    What justifies holding the person that we are today morally responsible for something we did a year ago? And why are we justified in showing prudential concern for the future welfare of the person we will be a year from now? These questions cannot be systematically pursued without addressing the problem of personal identity. This essay considers whether Buddhist Reductionism, a philosophical project grounded on the idea that persons reduce to a set of bodily, sensory, perceptual, dispositional, and conscious elements, (...)
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  3. Strangers to Ourselves: A Nietzschean Challenge to the Badness of Suffering.Nicolas Delon - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Is suffering really bad? The late Derek Parfit argued that we all have reasons to want to avoid future agony and that suffering is in itself bad both for the one who suffers and impersonally. Nietzsche denied that suffering was intrinsically bad and that its value could even be impersonal. This paper has two aims. It argues against what I call ‘Realism about the Value of Suffering’ by drawing from a broadly Nietzschean debunking of our evaluative attitudes, showing that a (...)
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  4. Path Independence and a Persistent Paradox of Population Ethics.Rush T. Stewart - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    In the face of an impossibility result, some assumption must be relaxed. The Mere Addition Paradox is an impossibility result in population ethics. Here, I explore substantially weakening the decision-theoretic assumptions involved. The central finding is that the Mere Addition Paradox persists even in the general framework of choice functions when we assume Path Independence as a minimal decision-theoretic constraint. Choice functions can be thought of either as generalizing the standard axiological assumption of a binary “betterness” relation, or as providing (...)
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  5. Non-Realist Cognitivism, Truthmaking, and Ontological Cheating.Farbod Akhlaghi - 2022 - Ethics 132 (2):291-321.
    Derek Parfit defended Non-Realist Cognitivism. It is an open secret that this metaethical theory is often thought at best puzzling and at worst objectionably unclear. Employing truthmaker theory, I provide an account of Non-Realist Cognitivism that dispels charges of objectionable unclarity, clarifies how to assess it, and explains why, if plausible, it would be an attractive theory. I develop concerns that the theory involves cheating into an objection that ultimately reveals Non-Realist Cognitivism faces a dilemma. Whether it can escape demands (...)
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  6. Can Thought Experiments Solve Problems of Personal Identity?Lukas J. Meier - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-23.
    Good physical experiments conform to the basic methodological standards of experimental design: they are objective, reliable, and valid. But is this also true of thought experiments? Especially problems of personal identity have engendered hypothetical scenarios that are very distant from the actual world. These imagined situations have been conspicuously ineffective at resolving conflicting intuitions and deciding between the different accounts of personal identity. Using prominent examples from the literature, I argue that this is due to many of these thought experiments (...)
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  7. Sorites On What Matters.Theron Pummer - 2022 - In Jeff McMahan, Timothy Campbell, Ketan Ramakrishnan & Jimmy Goodrich (eds.), Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 498–523.
    Ethics in the tradition of Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons is riddled with sorites-like arguments, which lead us by what seem innocent steps to seemingly false conclusions. Take, for example, spectrum arguments for the Repugnant Conclusion that appeal to slight differences in quality of life. Several authors have taken the view that, since spectrum arguments are structurally analogous to sorites arguments, the correct response to spectrum arguments is structurally analogous to the correct response to sorites arguments. This sorites analogy is (...)
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  8. On Evaluative Imprecision.Teruji Thomas - 2022 - In Jeff McMahan, Timothy Campbell, Ketan Ramakrishnan & Jimmy Goodrich (eds.), Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 478-497.
    This chapter presents several arguments related to Parfit's notion of evaluative imprecision and his imprecisionist lexical view of population ethics. After sketching Parfit's view, it argues that, contrary to Parfit, imprecision and lexicality are both compatible with thinking about goodness in terms of positions on a scale of value. Then, by examining the role that imprecision is meant to play in defusing spectrum argument, it suggests that imprecision should be identified with vagueness. Next, it argues that there is space for (...)
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  9. Reasons to Genome Edit and Metaphysical Essentialism About Human Identity.Tomasz Żuradzki & Vilius Dranseika - 2022 - American Journal of Bioethics 22 (9):34-36.
    In this commentary paper, we are taking one step further in questioning the central assumptions in the bioethical debates about reproductive technologies. We argue that the very distinction between “person affecting” and “identity affecting” interventions is based on a questionable form of material-origin essentialism. Questioning of this form of essentialist approach to human identity allows treating genome editing and genetic selection as more similar than they are taken to be in the standard approaches. It would also challenge the idea that (...)
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  10. Is Psychology What Matters in Survival?Johan E. Gustafsson - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (3):504-516.
    According to the Psychological-Continuity Account of What Matters, you are justified in having special concern for the well-being of a person at a future time if and only if that person will be psychologically continuous with you as you are now. On some versions of the account, the psychological continuity is required be temporally ordered, whereas, on other versions, it is allowed to be temporally unordered. In this paper, I argue that the account is implausible if the psychological continuity is (...)
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  11. An Opinionated Guide to “What Makes Someone’s Life Go Best”.Chris Heathwood - 2020 - In Andrea Sauchelli (ed.), Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons: An Introduction and Critical Inquiry. Routledge. pp. 94-113.
    Derek Parfit's monumental 1984 book Reasons and Persons contains a little appendix called "What Makes Someone's Life Go Best," a mini-essay on well-being that has taken on a life of its own apart from the body to which it is attached. This paper serves as a critical guide to that appendix. Topics include: the nature of pleasure and pain and its relation to theories of well-being; the unrestricted desire-fulfillment theory and the problem of remote desires; whether a person's actual preferences (...)
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  12. Moral Realism and the Existence of God: Improving Parfit’s Metaethics.Martin Jakobsen - 2020 - Leuven, Belgia: Peeters.
    Can there be an objective morality without God? Derek Parfit argues that it can and offers a theory of morality that is neither theistic nor naturalistic. This book provides a critical assessment of Parfit's metaethical theory. Jakobsen identifies some problems in Parfit’s theory – problems concerning moral normativity, the ontological status of morality, and evolutionary influence on our moral beliefs – and argues that theological resources can help solve them. By showing how Parfit’s theory may be improved by the help (...)
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  13. The Non-Identity Objection to Intergenerational Harm: A Critical Re-Examination.Fausto Corvino - 2019 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (2):165-185.
    In this article I analyse those that I consider the most powerful counterarguments that have been advanced against the non-identity objection to the idea of intergenerational harm, according to which an action cannot cause harm to a given agent if her biological identity does actually depend—in a partial but still determinant way—on the performance of this action. In doing this, I firstly go through the deontological criticisms to the person-affecting view of harm, before moving on to sufficientarian and communitarian accounts (...)
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  14. Persons, Reasons, and What Matters: The Philosophy of Derek Parfit.Fabio Patrone - 2019 - Argumenta 1 (5):9-10.
    Derek Parfit played a crucial role in the XX century philosophical debate. His masterpiece, Reasons and Persons, has been highly influential both in moral philosophy, and personal identity. It is hard to overlook the fact that Parfit’s ideas gave the main contribution to the contemporary philosophy of persons. He reformulates a debate stuck in the classical contraposition between psychological and physical criteria of personal identity, by introducing his most famous idea: identity doesn’t matter in survival. This thesis, and its moral (...)
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  15. The Unimportance of Being Any Future Person.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):745-750.
    Derek Parfit’s argument against the platitude that identity is what matters in survival does not work given his intended reading of the platitude, namely, that what matters in survival to some future time is being identical with someone who is alive at that time. I develop Parfit’s argument so that it works against the platitude on this intended reading.
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  16. Personal Identity and Persisting as Many.Sara Weaver & John Turri - 2018 - In Tania Lombrozo, Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, volume 2. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 213-242.
    Many philosophers hypothesize that our concept of personal identity is partly constituted by the one-person-one-place rule, which states that a person can only be in one place at a time. This hypothesis has been assumed by the most influential contemporary work on personal identity. In this paper, we report a series of studies testing whether the hypothesis is true. In these studies, people consistently judged that the same person existed in two different places at the same time. This result undermines (...)
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  17. Advice for Non-Analytical Naturalists.Janice Dowell, J. L. & David Sobel - 2017 - In Simon Kirchin (ed.), Reading Parfit. Routledge. pp. 153-171.
    We argue that Parfit's "Triviality Objection" against some naturalistic views of normativity is not compelling. We think that once one accepts, as one should, that identity statements can be informative in virtue of their pragmatics and not only in virtue of their semantics, Parfit's case against naturalism can be overcome.
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  18. Population Ethics and Different-Number-Based Imprecision.Gustaf Arrhenius - 2016 - Theoria 82 (2):166-181.
    Recently, in his Rolf Schock Prize Lecture, Derek Parfit has suggested a novel way of avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion by introducing what he calls “imprecision” in value comparisons. He suggests that in a range of important cases, populations of different sizes are only imprecisely comparable. Parfit suggests that this feature of value comparisons opens up a way of avoiding the Repugnant Conclusion without implying other counterintuitive conclusions, and thus solves one of the major challenges in ethics. In this article, I (...)
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  19. Immoral Realism.Max Khan Hayward - 1977 - Philosophical Studies 176 (4):897-914.
    Non-naturalist realists are committed to the belief, famously voiced by Parfit, that if there are no non-natural facts then nothing matters. But it is morally objectionable to conditionalise all our moral commitments on the question of whether there are non-natural facts. Non-natural facts are causally inefficacious, and so make no difference to the world of our experience. And to be a realist about such facts is to hold that they are mind-independent. It is compatible with our experiences that there are (...)
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