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Derek Parfit

(b. 1942)


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(1942– )

English philosopher. Parfit was born in China, and educated at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1967 he gained a Fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, and has subsequently worked at Oxford, New York University, and Harvard. Parfit's interest is in those metaphysical questions that have moral and emotional significance. His book Reasons and Persons (1984) is a fertile exploration of both moral and metaphysical problems concerned with the nature of the self, arguing, like Buddhism and Hume that its identity through time is an illusion, and discussing the impact of such a metaphysics of the self on problems of rational agency and ethics.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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