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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. In this first volume Parfit presents a powerful new treatment of reasons and rationality, 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. On What Matters is already the most-discussed work in moral philosophy: its publication is likely to establish it as a modern classic which everyone working on moral philosophy will have to read, and which many others will turn to for stimulation and illumination.
Derek Parfit is one of the leading philosophers of our time. He is a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, Global Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at New York University, and a Fellow of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of Reasons and Persons (OUP, 1984), one of the most influential books in philosophy of the last several decades.
Table of Contents
PART FOUR: COMMENTARIES
HIKING THE RANGE, SUSAN WOLF
HUMANITY AS AN END IN ITSELF, ALLEN WOOD
A MISMATCH OF METHODS, BARBARA HERMAN
HOW I AM NOT A KANTIAN, T. M. SCANLON
PART FIVE: RESPONSES
ON HIKING THE RANGE
ON HUMANITY AS AN END IN ITSELF
ON A MISMATCH OF METHODS
HOW THE NUMBERS COUNT
THE TRIPLE THEORY
PART SIX: NORMATIVITY
ANALYTICAL NATURALISM AND SUBJECTIVISM
THE TRIVIALITY OBJECTION
NATURALISM AND NIHILISM
NON-COGNITIVISM AND QUASI-REALISM
WHAT MATTERS MOST
WHY ANYTHING? WHY THIS?
THE FAIR WARNING VIEW
SOME OF KANT'S ARGUMENTS FOR HIS FORMULA OF UNIVERSAL LAW
KANT'S CLAIMS ABOUT THE GOOD
AUTONOMY AND CATEGORICAL IMPERATIVES
KANT'S MOTIVATIONAL ARGUMENT
ON WHAT THERE IS
Notes to Volume Two