Philosophical Review 123 (1):79-105 (2014)

Authors
Stephen Darwall
Yale University
Abstract
Derek Parfit's Reasons and Persons (1984) mounted a striking defense of Act Consequentialism against a Rawls-inspired Kantian orthodoxy in moral philosophy. On What Matters (2011) is notable for its serious engagement with Kant's ethics and for its arguments in support of the “Triple Theory,” which allies Rule Consequentialism with Kantian and Scanlonian Contractualism against Act Consequentialism as a theory of moral right. This critical notice argues that what underlies this change is a view of the deontic concept of moral rightness that ties it closely to blameworthiness and accountability in a way that effectively concedes a Rawlsian publicity condition. It is also argued that Parfit's arguments that Kantian and Scanlonian Contractualism entail Rule Consequentialism can be resisted. Two elements of Parfit's metaethics are critically discussed. First, concerning Parfit's arguments against subjectivist theories of practical reason, it is argued that a form of subjectivist theory exists that is not only consistent with Parfit's claim that all reasons for acting are object rather than state given, but that can support that claim. Second, it is argued that Parfit's arguments against identifying normative with natural statements and facts do not transfer seamlessly to identifying normative with natural properties.
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DOI 10.1215/00318108-2366495
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Freedom and Resentment.Peter Strawson - 1962 - Proceedings of the British Academy 48:187-211.

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Citations of this work BETA

Parfit the Perfectionist.Roger Scruton - 2014 - Philosophy 89 (4):621-634.
In Search of the Trinity: A Dilemma for Parfit’s Conciliatory Project.Marius Baumann - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (4):999-1018.
Solving the Ideal Worlds Problem.Caleb Perl - 2021 - Ethics 132 (1):89-126.
Parfit über Konvergenz und moralischen Fortschritt.David Roth-Isigkeit - 2016 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 3 (2):255-286.

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Parfit on What Matters in Survival.Anthony Brueckner - 1993 - Philosophical Studies 70 (1):1-22.

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