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On What Matters (2 Volume Set)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  6 reviews
On What Matters is a major work in moral philosophy. It is the long-awaited follow-up to Derek Parfit's 1984 book Reasons and Persons, one of the landmarks of twentieth-century philosophy. Parfit now presents a powerful new treatment of reasons, rationality, and normativity, and a critical examination of three systematic moral theories - Kant's ethics, contractualism, and ...more
Hardcover, 1440 pages
Published June 20th 2011 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published May 2011)
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Jeff
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: philosophical mountaineers
Recommended to Jeff by: my egotistical belief that i could ascend this summit
Shelves: deep-thought
Who am i kidding? I didn't read this whole thing but i'm still giving myself credit (in Goodreads terms) for another book read in 2017.

I hope to be be able to follow the entirety of this work's ideas, but the references and bibliography convince me the minimum requirements for a 50/50 chance of that are (a) true dedication to the study of moral philosophy, (b) surviving for another 30 years, and (c) retaining full physical and mental function for the duration.

A book that attempts to synthesize
...more
Ryan Soucy
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Since my review is so extensive I have posted here my introduction and conclusion, for the rest of the review, please follow this link:

Why On What Matters Matters


Introduction

This is a lengthy review for a lengthy book, and much of what is covered in it will not be discussed here. This is not because these themes are unimportant, but because they do not concern me personally. This may seem to be a somewhat self-serving approach, but I think it is significantly justified by the sheer size of the
...more
Andrei Khrapavitski
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Derek Parfit is without doubt one of those thinkers who returned my interest in philosophy. His seminal work "Reasons and Persons" is one of my favorite books of all time. If you haven't read Parfit, read that book. It's unbelievable!

"On What Matters" is a much longer read. Some of it may be uninteresting to those of you who are not into philosophy. Some parts can, in fact, be skipped as Parfit himself noted. But if you enjoy his style, it's hard to put that book down.

There are many reviews of
...more
Felix Hayman
Parfit now presents a powerful new treatment of reasons, rationality, and normativity, and a critical examination of three systematic moral theories - Kant's ethics, contractualism, and consequentialism - leading to his own ground-breaking synthetic conclusion. Along the way he discusses a wide range of moral issues, such as the significance of consent, treating people as a means rather than an end, and free will and responsibility
Karl Georg
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Used it as introduction to ethics and moral philosophy. Very effective for that purpose.
Carl
Oct 23, 2011 marked it as discontinued-reading
Discontinued reading. For now.
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171 followers
Derek Parfit was a British Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University specializing in personal identity, rationality, ethics, and the relations between them.
“What am I more than elaborate sentience?” 12 likes
“Criticizing himself again, Sidgwick writes: I am not an original man: and I think less of my own thoughts every day.” 7 likes
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