On What Matters: Volume Three by Derek Parfit

On What Matters: Volume Three

byDerek Parfit

Hardcover | February 18, 2017

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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 resolutionof 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 DerekParfit 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 truthsare 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 thatthis 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 withNon-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 theview that these meta-ethical theories are true. Parfit also discusses the views of several other philosophers, and some other meta-ethical and normative questions.

About The Author

Derek Parfit is one of the leading philosophers of our time. He is a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, Global Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at New York University, and a Fellow of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of Reasons and Persons (OUP, 1984), one of ...
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Title:On What Matters: Volume ThreeFormat:HardcoverDimensions:404 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.03 inPublished:February 18, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198778600

ISBN - 13:9780198778608

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Table of Contents

PrefaceSummaryPart Seven: Irreducibly Normative Truths37. How Things Might Matter38. Normative and Natural Truths39. Gibbard's Offer to Non-Naturalists40. Railton's Defence of Soft Naturalism41. Railton's Resolution of our Disagreements42. Jackson's Non-Empirical Normative Truths43. Schroeder's Conservative Reductive ThesisPart Eight: Expressivist Truths44. Quasi-Realist Expressivism45. Gibbard's Resolution of our Disagreements46. Another Triple TheoryPart Nine: Normative and Psychological Reasons47. Expressivist Reasons48. Subjectivist Reasons49. Street's Meta-Ethical Constructivism50. Morality, Blame, and Internal Reasons51. Nietzsche's Mountain52. What Matters and Universal Reasons53. Act Consequentialism, Reasons, and Morality