Sophia 58 (3):525-533 (2019)

Christopher Donald Cordner
University of Melbourne
This essay is prompted by the recent publication of a volume of critical essays on Derek Parfit’s On What Matters, along with a third volume of On What Matters responding to those essays. Parfit and his interlocutors often end up either barely engaging with one another, or engaging on terms that are often questionable. As others have done, I question Parfit’s radical bifurcation of a merely ‘psychological’ sense of caring, of what it is for a thing or creature to matter, and a ‘purely normative reason-implying sense’ of those things. But I question it in a distinctive way, by emphasising its moral as well as its philosophical implications. I argue that what Parfit gives us with his ‘normative, reason-implying sense’ of caring and mattering is not an account of genuine moral-normative responsiveness but a morally impoverishing rationalistic distortion of it. In the last part of the essay, I briefly undertake to put my specific criticisms on a wider canvas.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11841-019-0713-x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,163
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

On What Matters: Volume Three.Derek Parfit - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
Does Anything Really Matter?: Parfit on Objectivity.Peter Singer (ed.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
Not Knowing Everything That Matters.Jonathan Dancy & Daniel Muñoz - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine (66):94-99.
Parfit’s Mountain. [REVIEW]Jussi Suikkanen - 2011 - The Philosophers' Magazine 54 (54):102-103.
Go Tell It on the Mountain.James Bohman - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (2):233-251.
Does Indeterminacy Matter?Christopher T. Buford - 2013 - Theoria 79 (2):155-166.


Added to PP index

Total views
27 ( #423,198 of 2,506,852 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,791 of 2,506,852 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes