Reddit Reddit reviews Reasons and Persons

We found 6 Reddit comments about Reasons and Persons. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Philosophy of Ethics & Morality
Politics & Social Sciences
Reasons and Persons
Oxford University Press, USA
Check price on Amazon

6 Reddit comments about Reasons and Persons:

u/Mauss22 · 3 pointsr/askphilosophy

You might find some inspiration in this David Chalmers' interview. It's a success story of a math whiz who would, late in his education, switch to philosophy.

>It had always seemed my destiny to be a mathematician and for the most part I didn't question it.  I've always loved computers and I suppose the obvious alternative was something in that area....  I did keep thinking about philosophical problems, though mostly for fun on the side rather than as a serious career possibility. 
>...I had still hardly read any analytic philosophy.  I had come across a few things in Hofstadter and Dennett's collection The Mind's I -- notably Dennett's "Where am I?", which I loved, Searle's "Minds, Brains, and Programs,” which was interesting and infuriating, and Nagel's "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?,” which I found difficult to read but which must have had some influence.  Later on that year I encountered Derek Parfit's Reasons and Persons, which I loved and gave me a sense of how powerful analytic philosophy can be when done clearly and accessibly.  I also read Pat Churchland's Neurophilosophy, which gave a nice overview of contemporary philosophy of mind as well as neuroscience, and provided a lot to disagree with.
>Around this point I thought that I needed a proper education in philosophy, and I started thinking seriously about switching programs...

You might consider advice from Eric Schwitzgebel regarding MA/PhD:

> Some, including very good, PhD programs will consider non-philosophy majors if they have strong undergraduate records and have background in areas related to philosophy, for example, math, linguistics or psychology. However, even if a PhD program is willing to consider such students, it is often difficult for them to evaluate the student’s philosophical abilities from their undergrad records, letters, etc.

>In general, I think it most advisable for students who fall into this first category to consider seriously the MA route.

u/Quince · 2 pointsr/books

The Master and His Emissary, Iain McGilchrist

A Secular Age, Charles Taylor

Reasons and Persons, Derik Parfit

u/bunker_man · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Fechner is known as one of the most positive writers of all time. He wrote a book called The little book of life after death which explains why people shouldn't fear death even in a more materialistic light. Since what we should be looking at isn't total preservation of distinct bodily identity, but like parfit says, continuation from it in the right way. And so there's reason to think that this is preserved. Its hard to describe exactly, but it involves a global perspective, where individual people are like the thoughts of the world. And are like waves in the ocean. Individual identity is lost on death, but their data is preserved in the world at large.

Even though he is not super well known, his writings about this became inspirations for both process theism, and the pantheistic writings of the fathers of quantum mechanics, and likewise through them, the modern philosophical discussion on open individualism. So to provide more context for where his ideas go, one would want to also read some of those, and parfit. Maybe schopenauer also, since he is contrasted with fechner sometimes as someone who thinks something similar, but was super depressed instead of positive.

Mind you, schrodinger's book refuses to talk about the science of what he's getting at, since he was worried at the time that people wouldn't take their new science as seriously if he related them together. So through the lens of modern understanding, learning about some of that helps explain why him and the other founders of qm followed in this same vein.

But yeah. You don't need to read anything else, but fechner's own book to get an idea. Its short and to the point. And written a little poetically, to make it easier to follow. The later books of course provide better argumentation and context for the idea, but they're not really necessary to understand it. Though part of fechner's own book gets a little too poetic at times, so you're not sure whether he means something in a metaphorical or literal sense. Meaning a modern lens is needed to ensure its following the latest understandings. Which some of the other writers provide. But even so.

u/KrazyA1pha · 1 pointr/news

You're still wrong about how "experts" view this problem. If you want an "expert" to explain it to you, instead of reading it on the internet, then read this book:

Again, I wish you the best of luck.

u/seanstickle · 1 pointr/CGPGrey

The go-to text on this whole idea is Derek Parfit's Reasons and Persons, a book-long analysis of the ethical implications of this line of thought. It is both brilliant and disturbing, and his analysis ends with a problem he calls the "Repugnant Conclusion," a feature of his utilitarian calculus that I leave to the reader to discover and delight (or despair) in.

Representative selection:

> There are two kinds of sameness, or identity. I and my Replica are qualitatively identical, or exactly alike. But we may not be numerically identical, or one and the same person. Similarly, two white billiard balls are not numerically identical but may be qualitatively identical. If I paint one of these balls red, it will cease to be qualitatively identical with itself as it was. But the red ball that I later see and the white ball that I painted red are numerically identical. They are one and the same ball.
> Though our chief concern is our numerical identity, psychological changes matter. Indeed, on one view, certain kinds of qualitative change destroy numerical identity. If certain things happen to me, the truth might not be that I become a very different person. The truth might be that I cease to exist — that the resulting person is someone else.

u/Wisdom_Bodhisattva · 1 pointr/Frozen

This is a deep question, and not one that can be easily answered in a Reddit post, but one place to start might be to consider what is necessary, though perhaps not sufficient, for a life to have a chance at being meaningful. Barring extreme views on the matter, I think that any meaningful life would need to include a sufficient amount of "well being." But what constitutes well being? There are three classical positions here.

The first is the hedonistic view, which basically states that pleasure is what matters for well-being. Egoist Hedonists would say that pleasurable experiences for oneself is what matters most, while Utilitarian Hedonists would say that maximizing the pleasurable experiences for everyone is what should be done.

Desire satisfaction theory states that pleasure alone is not sufficient. Rather, fulfilling one's aim's or central life projects is what is really matters for a person's well being, and this could involve what someone desires to see in the life of another. This is easily seen in the example of parenting, or creating great works of literature. Perhaps putting in a little less effort and relaxing a bit more would lead the parent or writer to be happier, but because their central life project would suffer, desire satisfaction theory would say that they are "less well off." It would only be the case that they could be better off if they cared less about their projects. So long as they value them greatly, then achieving these aims trumps happiness or pleasurable experiences.

Lastly, there is Objective List Theory. This is the doctrine that there are some things that are objectively good, regardless of whether any individual aims at them or not. The exact goods on the list will vary, but common items include things like "true friendship, skill mastery, knowledge, virtue, etc." An objective list theorist who puts true friendship on the list will say that someone who's life lacks this element is less well off, even if they do not feel that way themselves, because true friendship is objectively good whether or not the individual in question realizes it.

So all these are theories of well being. Understanding how they work and shape our thinking is probably good groundwork for being able to go on to construct ideas about what it is to live a life that is "meaningful." Well being and meaning are not identical properties. Could it be possible to have a life that is less well off but more meaningful? I'm not sure. It's interesting to think about. Right now I'm currently reading about theories of personal identity, and how our understanding of what it means to be a person can shape our ethical views. I'm currently reading Parfit's Reasons and Persons. His view is that there is no "deep further fact" about identity. Your relationship to your future self is similar to your relationship to your friend. You are different people. It's interesting to consider these ideas. There is no end to the rabbit hole, as I'm sure you know.

What is your area of interest?