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On What MattersVolume Three$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198778608

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198778608.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2021

How Things Might Matter

How Things Might Matter

(p.41) 37 How Things Might Matter
On What Matters

Derek Parfit

Oxford University Press

This chapter contends with two arguments about how things matter. It first takes up an expressivist sense of how things matter, using suffering as a starting point for conceptions of caring. Here, the expressivist argument is a claim that, when we say that suffering matters, then we are telling people to care about suffering. The chapter then turns to a refutation of the nihilistic view that nothing matters, despite the fact that nihilists mean that nothing matters in any significant normative sense. From here, the chapter grapples with philosophical disagreements regarding how things matter, and discusses the resolutions to meta-ethical disagreements brought up in a previous publication by the author.

Keywords:   suffering, expressivism, nihilism, caring, reasons to care, philosophical disagreements, meta-ethical disagreements

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