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Principles and Persons – The Legacy of Derek Parfit - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Principles and Persons: The Legacy of Derek Parfit

Jeff McMahan, Tim Campbell, James Goodrich, and Ketan Ramakrishnan


This book is a collection of essays, most of which appear here for the first time, that were written in honour of the legendary moral philosopher, Derek Parfit. The essays are mainly concerned with issues that Parfit addressed in his book, Reasons and Persons. They include the relevance of personal identity to ethics, the rationality of different attitudes to time, the nature of well-being, the varieties of consequentialism, reasons for action, aggregation in ethics, causal overdetermination, egalitarianism, prioritarianism, and supererogation.

Keywords: Derek Parfit, personal identity, psychological continuity, time bias, ill-being, partiality, rule consequentialism, reasons, aggregation in ethics, overdetermination, egalitarianism, prioritarianism, supererogation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780192893994
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780192893994.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jeff McMahan, editor
University of Oxford

Tim Campbell, editor
Institute for Futures Studies, Stockholm

James Goodrich, editor
Rutgers University and University of Stockholm

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Front Matter


Jeff McMahan

Part I Personal Identity, Prudence, and Ethics

2 Separating Persons

James Goodrich

Part II Normative Ethical Theory

10 Parfit on Act Consequentialism

Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer

Part III Reasons

12 Doing Right by Wrong

Stephen Darwall

Part IV Moral Mathematics

17 What Is Harming?

Molly Gardner

Part V Egalitarianism and Prioritarianism

19 Relational Egalitarianism

Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen

Part VI Supererogation

21 More Supererogatory

Thomas Hurka and Evangeline Tsagarakis

End Matter