This chapter begins by discussing the nature of self-interested reasons themselves, agreeing with Derek Parfit that what matters is not personal identity. It suggests that what matters to each of us is the hedonic quality of the experiences realized by the exercise of any capacity for conscious experience we now have or any such capacity in future which emerges from our present capacity (thus allowing for division of capacities, between which other things being equal we should be impartial). It argues that the well-being of others can ground reasons for each of us to act, sometimes to the detriment of our own individual well-being. The well-being of others is to be assessed impartially in the sense that no intrinsic weight is to be attached to relationships with others. This view may be described as a version of the ‘dualism of practical reason’.
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