On What Matters

Volume Three

Author: Derek Parfit

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191084379

Category: Philosophy

Page: 360

View: 7928

Derek Parfit presents the third volume of On What Matters, his landmark work of moral philosophy. Parfit develops further his influential treatment of reasons, normativity, the meaning of moral discourse, and the status of morality. He engages with his critics, and shows the way to resolution of their differences. This volume is partly about what it is for things to matter, in the sense that we all have reasons to care about these things. Much of the book discusses three of the main kinds of meta-ethical theory: Normative Naturalism, Quasi-Realist Expressivism, and Non-Metaphysical Non-Naturalism, which Derek Parfit now calls Non-Realist Cognitivism. This third theory claims that, if we use the word 'reality' in an ontologically weighty sense, irreducibly normative truths have no mysterious or incredible ontological implications. If instead we use 'reality' in a wide sense, according to which all truths are truths about reality, this theory claims that some non-empirically discoverable truths-such as logical, mathematical, modal, and some normative truths-raise no difficult ontological questions. Parfit discusses these theories partly by commenting on the views of some of the contributors to Peter Singer's collection Does Anything Really Matter? Parfit on Objectivity. Though Peter Railton is a Naturalist, he has widened his view by accepting some further claims, and he has suggested that this wider version of Naturalism could be combined with Non-Realist Cognitivism. Parfit argues that Railton is right, since these theories no longer deeply disagree. Though Allan Gibbard is a Quasi-Realist Expressivist, he has suggested that the best version of his view could be combined with Non-Realist Cognitivism. Parfit argues that Gibbard is right, since Gibbard and he now accept the other's main meta-ethical claim. It is rare for three such different philosophical theories to be able to be widened in ways that resolve their deepest disagreements. This happy convergence supports the view that these meta-ethical theories are true. Parfit also discusses the views of several other philosophers, and some other meta-ethical and normative questions.

On What Matters

Volume Two

Author: Derek Parfit

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019968104X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 825

View: 2559

This is the second volume of a major new work in moral philosophy. It starts with critiques of Derek Parfit's work by four eminent moral philosophers, and his responses. The largest part of the volume is a self-contained monograph on normativity. The final part comprises seven new essays on Kant, reasons, and why the universe exists.

Does Anything Really Matter?

Essays on Parfit on Objectivity

Author: Peter Singer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191084395

Category: Philosophy

Page: 288

View: 1839

In the first two volumes of On What Matters Derek Parfit argues that there are objective moral truths, and other normative truths about what we have reasons to believe, and to want, and to do. He thus challenges a view of the role of reason in action that can be traced back to David Hume, and is widely assumed to be correct, not only by philosophers but also by economists. In defending his view, Parfit argues that if there are no objective normative truths, nihilism follows, and nothing matters. He criticizes, often forcefully, many leading contemporary philosophers working on the nature of ethics, including Simon Blackburn, Stephen Darwall, Allen Gibbard, Frank Jackson, Peter Railton, Mark Schroeder, Michael Smith, and Sharon Street. Does Anything Really Matter? gives these philosophers an opportunity to respond to Parfit's criticisms, and includes essays on Parfit's views by Richard Chappell, Andrew Huddleston, Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer, Bruce Russell, and Larry Temkin. A third volume of On What Matters, in which Parfit engages with his critics and breaks new ground in finding significant agreement between his own views and theirs, is appearing as a separate companion volume.

Reasons and Persons

Author: Derek Parfit

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019824908X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 543

View: 1542

This book challenges, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity. The author claims that we have a false view of our own nature; that it is often rational to act against our own best interests; that most of us have moral views that are directly self-defeating; and that, when we consider future generations the conclusions will often be disturbing. He concludes that moral non-religious moralphilosophy is a young subject, with a promising but unpredictable future.

Reading Parfit

On What Matters

Author: Simon Kirchin

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 135184718X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 242

View: 6036

Derek Parfit was one of the world’s leading philosophers. His On What Matters was the most eagerly awaited book in philosophy for many years. Reading Parfit: On What Matters is an essential overview and assessment of volumes 1 and 2 of Parfit’s monumental work by a team of international contributors, and includes responses by Parfit himself. It discusses central features of Parfit’s book, including the structure and nature of reasons; the ideas underlying moral principles; Parfit’s discussions of consequentialism, contractualism and Kantian deontology; and his metaethical ideas and arguments. Reading Parfit will be central reading for students of ethics and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of one of the most important works of philosophy published in the last fifty years.

Ethics and the A Priori

Selected Essays on Moral Psychology and Meta-Ethics

Author: Michael Smith

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521007733

Category: Philosophy

Page: 388

View: 8993

Michael Smith has written a series of seminal essays about the nature of belief and desire, the status of normative judgment, and the relevance of the views we take on both these topics to the accounts we give of our nature as free and responsible agents. This long awaited collection comprises some of the most influential of Smith's essays. Among the topics covered are: the Humean theory of motivating reasons, the nature of normative reasons, Williams and Korsgaard on internal and external reasons, the nature of self-control, weakness of will, compulsion, freedom, responsibility, the analysis of our rational capacities, moral realism, the dispositional theory of value, the supervenience of the normative on the non-normative, the error theory, rationalist treatments of moral judgment, the practicality requirement on moral judgment and non-cognivist. This collection will be of interest to students in philosophy and psychology.

Reasons and the Good

Author: Roger Crisp

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0199290334

Category: Philosophy

Page: 178

View: 7442

This work offers answers to some of the questions in moral philosophy, including: What reasons do we have for acting in one way or another? Are there moral reasons? What are reasons anyway? How can we know about them? What makes for a good human life? How should we weigh the well-being of others against our own?

Essays on Derek Parfit's On What Matters

Author: Jussi Suikkanen,John Cottingham

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9781444322897

Category: Philosophy

Page: 168

View: 5754

In Essays on Derek Parfit's On What Matters, seven leading moral philosophers offer critical evaluations of the central ideas presented in a greatly anticipated new work by world-renowned moral philosopher Derek Parfit. Presents critical assessments of what promises to be one of the key moral philosophy texts of our time Features essays by a team of leading philosophers including Princeton's Michael Smith, one of the world's leading meta-ethicists Addresses Parfit's central thesis - that the main ethical theories can agree on what matters - as well as his defense of moral realism

No Time to Spare

Thinking about what Matters

Author: Ursula K. Le Guin

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 1328661598

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 240

View: 7060

From acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin, a collection of thoughts--always adroit, often acerbic--on aging, belief, the state of literature, and the state of the nation

Being Mortal

Medicine and What Matters in the End

Author: Atul Gawande

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 1627790551

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 1803

In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering. Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified. Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

The Limits of Moral Authority

Author: Dale Dorsey

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191044717

Category: Philosophy

Page: 240

View: 5005

Dale Dorsey considers one of the most fundamental questions in philosophical ethics: to what extent do the demands of morality have normative authority over us and our lives? Must we conform to moral requirements? Most who have addressed this question have treated the normative significance of morality as simply a fact to be explained. But Dorsey argues that this traditional assumption is misguided. According to Dorsey, not only are we not required to conform to moral demands, conforming to morality's demands will not always even be normatively permissible—-moral behavior can be (quite literally) wrong. This view is significant not only for understanding the content and force of the moral point of view, but also for understanding the basic elements of how one ought to live.

What Matters

Author: Alison Hughes

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

ISBN: 1459809122

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 32

View: 6096

What happens when one small boy picks up one small piece of litter? He doesn't know it, but his tiny act has big consequences. From the miniscule to the universal, What Matters sensitively explores nature's connections and traces the ripple effects of one child’s good deed to show how we can all make a big difference.

Constructivism in Ethics

Author: Carla Bagnoli

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107276551

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 8763

Are there such things as moral truths? How do we know what we should do? And does it matter? Constructivism states that moral truths are neither invented nor discovered, but rather are constructed by rational agents in order to solve practical problems. While constructivism has become the focus of many philosophical debates in normative ethics, meta-ethics and action theory, its importance is still to be fully appreciated. These new essays written by leading scholars define and assess this new approach in ethics, addressing such questions as the nature of constructivism, how constructivism improves our understanding of moral obligations, how it accounts for the development of normative practices, whether moral truths change over time, and many other topics. The volume will be valuable for advanced students and scholars of ethics and all who are interested in questions about the foundation of morality.

The Geometry of Desert

Author: Shelly Kagan

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190233729

Category: Philosophy

Page: 676

View: 9794

People differ in terms of how morally deserving they are. And it is a good thing if people get what they deserve. Accordingly, it is important to work out an adequate theory of moral desert. But while certain aspects of such a theory have been frequently discussed in the philosophical literature, many others have been surprisingly neglected. For example, if it is indeed true that it is morally good for people to get what they deserve, does it always do the same amount of good when someone gets what they deserve? Or does it matter how deserving the person is? If we cannot give someone exactly what they deserve, is it better to give too much-or better to give too little? Does being twice as virtuous make you twice as deserving? And how are we to take into account the thought that what you deserve depends in part on how others are doing? The Geometry of Desert explores a number of these less familiar questions, using graphs to illustrate the various possible answers. The result is a more careful investigation into the nature of moral desert than has ever previously been offered, one that reveals desert to have a hidden complexity that most of us have failed to recognize.

The Undergraduate Experience

Focusing Institutions on What Matters Most

Author: Peter Felten,John N. Gardner,Charles C. Schroeder,Leo M. Lambert,Betsy O. Barefoot,Freeman A. Hrabowski

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 111905074X

Category: Education

Page: 272

View: 610

A clear, practical framework for getting higher education back on track The Undergraduate Experience is a guide for significantly improving student learning and institutional performance in the rapidly changing world of higher education. Written by recognized experts in undergraduate education, this book encourages college and university leaders to rethink current practices that fragment the student experience, and to focus on creating powerful, integrated undergraduate learning for all students. Drawing from their own deep experience and the latest research, the authors reveal key principles that enable institutional change and enhance student outcomes in any higher education setting. Coverage includes high-impact practices for engagement, the importance of strategic leadership, the necessity of setting and maintaining high expectations, and insight on fostering excellence through systematic planning. Through its core themes and action principles, this book can be a valuable resource for faculty, staff, administrators, and governing boards at all types of postsecondary institutions. The book provides a practical framework for achieving excellence in undergraduate education by focusing on: Learning Relationships Expectations Alignment Improvement Leadership The value of an undergraduate education is under greater scrutiny than ever before, and campus leaders must be able to convey the value of their institutions to students, boards, donors, and legislators. Is a college or university degree worth the increasing cost? Are today's students academically adrift? What's the difference between a degree and an education? Responding to these questions requires focused action by individuals and institutions. The Undergraduate Experience offers practical guidance for creating and sustaining excellence in the face of disruption and change in higher education.

Being Realistic about Reasons

Author: T. M. Scanlon

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 019100314X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 3981

T. M. Scanlon offers a qualified defense of normative cognitivism—the view that there are irreducibly normative truths about reasons for action. He responds to three familiar objections: that such truths would have troubling metaphysical implications; that we would have no way of knowing what they are; and that the role of reasons in motivating and explaining action could not be explained if accepting a conclusion about reasons for action were a kind of belief. Scanlon answers the first of these objections within a general account of ontological commitment, applying to mathematics as well as normative judgments. He argues that the method of reflective equilibrium, properly understood, provides an adequate account of how we come to know both normative truths and mathematical truths, and that the idea of a rational agent explains the link between an agent's normative beliefs and his or her actions. Whether every statement about reasons for action has a determinate truth value is a question to be answered by an overall account of reasons for action, in normative terms. Since it seems unlikely that there is such an account, the defense of normative cognitivism offered here is qualified: statements about reasons for action can have determinate truth values, but it is not clear that all of them do. Along the way, Scanlon offers an interpretation of the distinction between normative and non-normative claims, a new account of the supervenience of the normative on the non-normative, an interpretation of the idea of the relative strength of reasons, and a defense of the method of reflective equilibrium.

Your Life on Purpose

How to Find What Matters and Create the Life You Want

Author: Matthew McKay,John P. Forsyth,Georg H. Eifert

Publisher: New Harbinger Publications

ISBN: 1608821420

Category: Self-Help

Page: 224

View: 7656

So many of us postpone pursuing our goals and dreams because we think we'll get to them later, when we have more time or feel we're worthy of them. As a result, many of us go through life feeling weighed down by daily responsibilities and our own self-doubts, entirely disconnected from a sense of real purpose. Based in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and powerful mindfulness practices,Your Life on Purpose is about doing what matters to you every day instead of waiting for the perfect time to feel fulfilled and alive. With this book as your guide, you'll learn to move past daily distractions, fear of failure, and self-judgment, and zero in on the passions that connect you with your true self. You deserve to live a life of purpose, aligned with your deepest values. It's time. With this book, you'll discover how to: • Find and do what you are passionate about • Keep mental obstacles, fears, and daily demands from blocking your path to fulfillment • Find your way when values conflict • Focus on what truly matters to make your dreams a reality • Make a lasting impact on the world So what are you waiting for? Start changing your life today.

What Matters

The World's Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time

Author: David Cohen

Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.

ISBN: 9781402758348

Category: Photography

Page: 335

View: 2282

Addresses the essential issues of the modern day in a collection of photographs by the world's most renowned photojournalists, accompanied by commentary by experts in the appropriate field, documenting such issues as global warming, the search for clean water, poverty, child labor, and more.