Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit

New York, NY: Oxford University Press (2022)
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Abstract

Derek Parfit, who died in 2017, is widely believed to have been the best moral philosopher in well over a century. The twenty new essays in this book were written in his honour and have all been inspired by his work - in particular, his work in an area of moral philosophy known as 'population ethics', which is concerned with moral issues raised by causing people to exist. Until Parfit began writing about these issues in the 1970s, there was almost no discussion of them in the entire history of philosophy. But his monumental book 'Reasons and Persons' (1984) revealed that population ethics abounds in deep and intractable problems and paradoxes that not only challenge all the major moral theories but also threaten to undermine many important common-sense moral beliefs.

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Author Profiles

Ketan Ramakrishnan
Yale University
Jimmy Goodrich
University of Wisconsin, Madison

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