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Reasons and Persons

by Derek Parfit

Challenging, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity, Parfit claims that we have a false view about our own nature. It is often rational to act against our own best interests, he argues, and most of us have moral views that are self-defeating. We often act wrongly, although we know there will be no one with serious grounds for complaint, and when we consider future generations it is very hard to avoid conclusions that most of us will find very disturbing.

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Recommendations: 2

Categories: Philosophy

Reading time: 2123 hours


Yeah. So we talked a bit about the Moral Philosophy. That was Peter Singer and Derek Parfit. So I’d definitely give them.

Sam Harris
Neuroscientist, Philosopher, Author and Podcaster

I also recommend Derek Parfit’s book, “Reasons and Persons,” which is just brilliant and written as though by an alien intelligence. It’s a deeply strange book filled with thought experiments that bend your intuitions left and right. It’s just a truly strange and unique document and incredibly insightful about morality and questions of identity and well worth reading if you are of a philosophical cast of mind.