more from Derek Parfit

Single Idea 9762

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / E. Utilitarianism / 1. Utilitarianism]

Full Idea

It becomes more plausible, when thinking morally, to focus less upon the person, the subject of experiences, and instead to focus more upon the experiences themselves.

Gist of Idea

We should focus less on subjects of experience, and more on the experiences themselves


Derek Parfit (Reasons and Persons [1984], 116)

Book Reference

Parfit,Derek: 'Reasons and Persons' [OUP 1985], p.341

A Reaction

This pinpoints how Parfit moves from a view of persons in terms of continuity of consciousness to a utilitarian morality. It brings out nicely what is wrong with utilitarianism - the reductio of a great ball of nice experiences, with no one having them.