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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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How Things Might Matter

How Things Might Matter

Chapter:
(p.41) 37 How Things Might Matter
Source:
On What Matters
Author(s):

Derek Parfit

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198778608.003.0002

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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