Derek Parfit (1942-2017)

Mercurial

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The death has occurred of Derek Parfit, a British philosopher who specialized in questions of personal identity and ethics, and whose book Reasons and Persons remains one of the most important contributions to contemporary analytic philosophy.

Parfit will be remembered in particular for his extraordinary dedication to his work as well as the support he provided to legions of younger philosophers who went on to make their own important contributions to the field of philosophy.

You can read an interesting profile of his life here: How To Be Good - The New Yorker

[video=youtube;uS-46k0ncIs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uS-46k0ncIs[/video]
 
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Mercurial

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"When I believed that my existence was such a further fact, I seemed imprisoned in myself. My life seemed like a glass tunnel, through which I was moving faster every year, and at the end of which there was darkness. When I changed my view, the walls of my glass tunnel disappeared. I now live in the open air. There is still a difference between my life and the lives of other people. But the difference is less. Other people are closer. I am less concerned about the rest of my own life, and more concerned about the lives of others.

My death will break the more direct relations between my present experiences and future experiences, but it will not break various other relations. This is all there is to the fact that there will be no one living who will be me. Now that I have seen this, my death seems to me less bad."
 

Mercurial

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"After my death, there will be no one living who will be me. I can now redescribe this fact. Though there will later be many experiences, none of these experiences will be connected to my present experiences by chains of such direct connections as those involved in experience-memory, or in the carrying out of an earlier intention…

Instead of saying, 'I shall be dead', I should say, 'There will be no future experiences that will be related, in certain ways, to these present experiences'. Because it reminds me of what this fact involves, this redescription makes this fact less depressing. Suppose next that I must undergo some ordeal. Instead of saying, 'The person suffering will be me', I should say 'There will be suffering that will be related, in certain ways, to these present experiences'. Once again, the redescribed fact seems to me less bad."
 

tsarbomb

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I remember reading about his 'repugnant conclusion' a few years ago and thought that it was a pretty interesting idea. It is a pity he has died.
 

GDPR

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"After my death, there will be no one living who will be me." and now never will be.

A very eloquently put sentiment and with my add on I'm sure something every aborted life would like to have voiced.
 

Half Nelson

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I haven't read him.
He seems to have struggled to define the concept of 'me', while rejecting or overlooking what many poor and humble people have grasped. Perhaps he needed to get out more.

RIP
 


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