- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (February 20, 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 019824908X
- ISBN-13: 978-0198249085
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1 x 5.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reasons and Persons
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"Very few works in the subject can compare with Parfit's in scope, fertility, imaginative resource, and cogency of reasoning."--P.F. Strawson, The New York Review of Books
"Complex, brilliant, and entertaining....This book is chock-full of impressive arguments, many of which seem destined to become part of the standard analytic repertory....It is an understatement to say that it is well worth reading."--International Studies in Philosophy
"Extraordinary...Brilliant...Astonishingly rich in ideas...A major contribution to philosophy: it will be read, honoured, and argued about for many years to come."--Samuel Scheffler, Times Literary Supplement
"A brilliantly clever and imaginative book...Strange and excitingly intense."--Alan Ryan, Sunday Times (London)
"Not many books reset the philosophical agenda in the way that this one does....Western philosophy, especially systematic ethics, will not be the same again."--Philosophical Books
From the Back Cover
Reasons and persons challenges, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first part of the book is a technical dissection of the ethical behavior theories of self interest and collective utility. It ties together with the rest of the book, but if that is not your bag I think you can pretty safely skip it.
One stand out, for me, was the thorough destruction of theories of the Cartesian ego. It opened my eyes to the problems that idea has caused throughout history. (That is my realization, it is not in the book.)
It did not seem long. An excellent read overall.
The Kindle edition has about 10 typos, but in addition there is a fairly confusing typographical error in one of the appendices: a capital T is used instead of I in single quotes ('I'). Now you are warned, all of you who read 6 or 7 appendices in philosophy books. :)
One of the most interesting studies in the theory of rational choice and of the theory of personal identity AND the relations between the two..
In any case, as my friend Jen said, "this is what philosophy should always be like".
There is plenty of interesting content on nearly every page. The main limitation might be that the concern is ostensibly primarily with moral and social questions, meaning that the logical importance of the text is not direct.
However, it is clear that Parfit is not lying when he says that he has communicated with many of the famous philosophers of today.
Although this is not my favorite book, it does things right, and I only regret that I did not acquire it sooner. Earlier in my process it would have been an invaluable asset in my thinking process. As it is now, I have already committed to a certain methodology, and had little confidence that anyone had done anything remotely similar.
Highly recommended, inspired, idiosyncratic book that rarely slips up. And, as an added notation, the book dates from the 1980's, meaning it was ahead of its time, and in terms of quality, it is still.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, I have to agree with other readers about the physical quality of the book. It's bad.Read more
I am very pleased.Read more