Reasons and Persons. Derek Parfit.

Reasons and Persons

Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984. First edition. Hardcover. 8vo. [7], viii-xv, [4], 4-543, [1] pp. Navy cloth with gold lettering on the spine. Illustrated by a few in-text diagrams. Inscribed by Parfit to Tony Honoré, formerly the longest serving Professor of Law at Oxford. Provenance: From Honoré's personal collection. Honderich 645; Parfit, Reasons and Persons; SEP "Personal Identity and Ethics". Parfit's magnum opus, a masterful exploration of the issue of personal identity and its implications for moral theory. Parfit espoused the "psychological continuity" view of personal identity: in order for a person P at a time t1 to be identical to a person Q at a time t2, P must be uniquely psychologically continuous with Q, that is, P's memories, intentions, beliefs, and desires at t1 must be in "an overlapping chain of strong psychological connectedness" with Q's memories, intentions, beliefs, and desires at t2. The great significance and influence of this book rests upon Parfit's further claim that, in effect, identity doesn't matter, what matters is psychological continuity or connectedness (without any uniqueness requirement); in particular, Parfit contends that our survival is dependent only upon this psychological continuity or connectedness, not on personal identity. Parfit then explores the consequences of this view for moral theory and argues that this conception of the self has a significant impact on the concept of self-interest and prudence in regard to decision making about our later selves, with the latter becoming a matter of morality. The influence of this book cannot be overstated, and it has generated a vast literature since its publication. A nice copy of this landmark work in personal identity and ethics, exceedingly difficult to find. Near Fine / Very Good+. Item #00009800

A Near Fine book with a small separation between the backstrip and the textblock and a faint crease to the front flyleaf; jacket is Very Good or better with a bit of toning to the flaps and two tiny nicks to the rear panel.

Price: $1,500.00

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