Journal article

What Matters in Caring: Some Reflections on Derek Parfit’s On What Matters

CD Cordner

Sophia | Springer Nature | Published : 2019


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 ‘normativ..

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Awarded by European Regional Development Fund

Funding Acknowledgements

The publication was supported within the project of Operational Programme Research, Development and Education (OP VVV/OP RDE), 'Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value', registration No. CZ. 02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000425, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the state budget of the Czech Republic.