Personal Identity and Practical Reason

This essay examines and criticizes a set of Kantian objections to Parfit’s attempt in Reasons and Persons to connect his theory of personal identity to practical rationality and moral philosophy. Several of Parfit’s critics have tried to sever the link he forges between his metaphysical and practical conclusions by invoking the Kantian thought that even if we accept his metaphysical theory of personal identity, we still have good practical grounds for rejecting that theory when deliberating about what to do. The argument between Parfit and his opponents illuminates broader questions about the relationship between our metaphysical beliefs and our practical reasons.

Published in: Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review
2008 Pages 331-50