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On What Matters: Volume Two par [Parfit, Derek]
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Description du produit

Revue de presse

It is finally here. . . there is no doubt that On What Matters is an epochal work . . . a remarkable achievement, giving us a truly comprehensive picture of the moral outlook . . . of one of the greatest moral thinkers of our time. . . . Parfit's intellectual personality radiates throughout On What Matters, which as a whole presents a gripping and illuminating picture of a single, comprehensive view of the projects of both normative and metaethical inquiry. (Mark Schroeder, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)

[On What Matters] stands as a grand and dedicated attempt to elaborate a fundamentally misguided perspective. Its diligence and its honesty command respect. Perhaps these real virtues will set standards for a very different ventures in academic ethics. Naturalist or otherwise--for a return to the tradition of attempts to understand and improve everyday judgment, and to provide resources for people and policymakers everywhere. In the end, that is what matters. (Philip Kitcher, The New Republic)

the most significant work in ethics since Sidgwick's masterpiece was published in 1873 ... a work of epic proportions and ambitions (Peter Singer, Times Literary Supplement)

the most eagerly awaited book in philosophy since Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations... Should the book become as influential as the stars guiding its arrival suggest, it could seriously alter the way that ethics is thought about and taught. (Constantine Sandis, Times Higher Education)

represents many years of work by one of the most influential philosophers of our time (Simon Blackburn, Financial Times)

an epochal work... a remarkable achievement, giving us a truly comprehensive picture of the moral outlook - both normative and metaethical - of one of the greatest moral thinkers of our time (Mark Schroeder, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)

Parfits arguments are of extraordinary brilliance and clarity, and by any standards On What Matters is an immensely powerful achievement. . . Parfits intricate and beautifully lucid book is undoubtedly the work of a philosophical genius. (John Cottingham, The Tablet)

Présentation de l'éditeur

On What Matters is a major work in moral philosophy. It is the long-awaited follow-up to Derek Parfit's 1984 book Reasons and Persons, one of the landmarks of twentieth-century philosophy. Parfit now presents a powerful new treatment of reasons, rationality, and normativity, and a critical examination of three systematic moral theories - Kant's ethics, contractualism, and consequentialism - leading to his own ground-breaking synthetic conclusion.
Along the way he discusses a wide range of moral issues, such as the significance of consent, treating people as a means rather than an end, and free will and responsibility. On What Matters is already the most-discussed work in moral philosophy: its publication is likely to establish it as a modern classic which
everyone working on moral philosophy will have to read, and which many others will turn to for stimulation and illumination.
The second volume of Derek Parfit's magnum opus is in four parts. The first presents critiques of his work by four of the world's leading moral philosophers. The second contains his responses. The third and longest part is a self-contained monograph by Parfit on normativity. The final part comprises seven new essays by Parfit on Kant, reasons, irrationality, autonomy - and why the universe exists.

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  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2762 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 840 pages
  • Editeur : OUP Oxford; Édition : 1 (26 mai 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B005DKR40Q
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards) 3.8 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Five Stars 10 novembre 2015
Par C C YU - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Demystifying Moral Realism 15 juillet 2012
Par Jonathan Wolgin - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I highly recommend both volumes as they are extremely engaging, full of well-reasoned arguments and vivid thought-experiments.

Among the many highlights of this volume was Parfit's defense of a form of Moral Realism called Non-Naturalism, the view that moral properties cannot be identified with natural properties. Whereas lightning can be reduced to electrical discharge, for example, rightness cannot be reduced to pleasure maximization or any other feature of the physical world. At first, this moral theory seemed awfully mysterious to me. How can non-physical moral properties exist? And how could we come to know anything about them if they don't have any observable effects?

In response to the first question, Parfit makes a distinction between what there is and what exists. Just as there are intangible overdrafts, games, symphonies, explanations, logical rules and prime numbers, he argues that there are intangible moral rules and reasons. But it would be weird to say any of these things exist in spacetime like plants, rocks and chairs do. It would also make little sense to say they exist *in* some supernatural realm like Plato's World of the Forms. Properties like goodness and wrongness do not exist in these ontological senses, Parfit argues. Nonetheless, they are no more mysterious than the property of being a game, a symphony or a valid argument, for example. (Section 113) A similar analogy will go for our knowledge of such properties. (Section 115)

Parfit's defense of Ethical Non-Naturalism was more compelling for me than his attacks on Naturalism were. First he decides to call a normative claim "positive" only if it relates purely natural properties to a different (read: non-natural) normative property. Then he complains that Naturalism cannot make any positive normative claims! Unless I'm missing something here, he's basically arguing that Naturalism is not Non-Naturalism, therefore it's false. (p. 343)

That aside, there were many highlights of this volume: 1) Parfit showing that "Quasi-realists" like Gibbard and Blackburn can't have it both ways. 2) Refuting Sharon Street's arguments that evolution by natural selection has 'contaminated' our moral beliefs. 3) Hypothesizing that even Nietzsche would have accepted Moral Realism, if he didn't mistakenly think it required divine commands, and also if he didn't go mad!

In my opinion, Parfit presents his ideas with tremendous lucidity, originality and passionate determination. This book is very long but well worth it for anyone who is interested in metaethics or skeptical about Non-Naturalism.
11 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A work of genius 3 novembre 2011
Par A philosopher - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Most professional philosophers regard Derek Parfit as the greatest living moral philosopher. For most the past quarter of a century, Parfit has devoted his formidable philosophical abilities to developing the arguments for the two main claims of his new epic two-volume work. The first of these claims is that the three major traditions in ethical theory - Kantianism, Contractualism, and Consequentialism - ultimately converge. If this is true, much of what we have assumed to be deep and intractable moral disagreement is actually merely superficial, or merely apparent. The second claim is that there are moral truths that are irreducibly normative - that is, not mere expressions of emotions or attitudes, not reducible to natural facts, but not supernatural in origin either. These are conclusions that we have reason to hope are true. And there is a great deal more in these two volumes than just the rigorous arguments for these conclusions. Two major moral philosophers - Peter Singer and Brad Hooker - have both written in published reviews that On What Matters is the most important work in moral philosophy since Henry Sidgwick's Methods of Ethics, which was published in 1873. But that may be too modest, for it is arguable that Parfit has surpassed even Sidgwick. No one who is seriously interested in ethics can afford to not to read these two magisterial volumes.
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