Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Derek Parfit 1942 - 2017

Derek Parfit passed away on the 1st January. I have mentioned his work on the blog on several occasions (here here here here). He is one of the most influential philosophers of the last century. His work Reasons and Persons is a key work in moral philosophy and has had impacts on many other literatures, including starting a number of discussions in behavioural and welfare economics about the nature of intertemporal choice and altruism. This New Yorker profile of him and his work is well worth reading. Shane Frederick's work applied Parfit's ideas to the behavioural economics of intertemporal choice, and these papers are very interesting.The Daily Nous blogpost on Parfit's death contains several links to obituaries and other relevant links. From my part, I cannot recommend Reasons and Persons more highly to people working in behavioural literatures who want to connect areas such as the study of decision making and intertemporal preference to issues of justice and moral philosophy.

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