Natural Separateness: Why Parfit's Reductionist Account of Persons Fails to Support Consequentialism

Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (2):178-195 (2009)
Abstract
My goal in this essay will be to show, contra Parfit, that the separateness of human persons—although metaphysically shallow—has a moral significance that should not be overlooked. Parfit holds that his reductionist view of personal identity lends support to consequentialism; I reject this claim because it rests on the assumption that the separateness of human persons has an arbitrariness that renders it morally insignificant. This assumption is flawed because this separateness is grounded in our 'person practices', which reflect some of the morally relevant aspects of our nature: if we imagine a species of person whose members are not naturally separate from each other, it is reasonable to suppose that the morality of this different species of person would be drastically different from human morality. Thus, if consequentialists aim to offer a human moral theory, they overlook the separateness of human persons with peril
Keywords CONSEQUENTIALISM   SEPARATENESS   IDENTITY   REDUCTIONISM   PERSONS
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1163/174552409X402340
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,905
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rights, Duties and the Separateness of Persons.Timothy Hinton - 2009 - Philosophical Papers 38 (1):73-91.
Value Receptacles.Richard Yetter Chappell - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):322-332.
Parfit on Personal Identity.Deborah C. Smith - 2001 - Idealistic Studies 31 (2/3):169-181.
A Counterexample to Parfit's Rule Consequentialism.Jacob Nebel - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (2):1-10.
Personal Identity, Minimalism, and Madhyamaka.Roy W. Perrett - 2002 - Philosophy East and West 52 (3):373-385.
Utilitarianism and Personal Identity.David W. Shoemaker - 1999 - Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (2):183-199.
The Separateness of Persons and Liberal Theory.Matt Zwolinski - 2008 - Journal of Value Inquiry 42 (2):147-165.
Indirect Consequentialism, Suboptimality, and Friendship.Matthew Tedesco - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (4):567–577.
Parfit on Reasons and Rule Consequentialism.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - In Simon Kirchin (ed.), Reading Parfit. Routledge.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-09-14

Total downloads
64 ( #101,892 of 2,293,853 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #73,054 of 2,293,853 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature