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On What MattersVolume One$
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Derek Parfit

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572809

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199572809.001.0001

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Objective Theories

Objective Theories

(p.43) 2 Objective Theories
On What Matters

Derek Parfit

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines philosophical arguments about objective theories. It first considers subjective theory as opposed to objective theory and argues that we ought to accept some value-based objective theory. It then looks at how we respond to reasons, suggesting that when we are aware of facts that give us strong reasons to have particular desires, our response to these reasons is seldom voluntary. Nor can we choose how we respond to most of our reasons to have particular beliefs. Our rationality consists in part in our non-voluntary responses to these reasons. In terms of state-given reasons, when it would be good if we had certain beliefs or desires, that may seem to give us reasons to have these beliefs or desires. But such reasons would have no importance. The chapter also discusses hedonic reasons and irrational preferences.

Keywords:   objective theory, subjective theory, reasons, desires, beliefs, rationality, state-given reasons, hedonic reasons, irrational preferences

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