"Very few works in the subject can compare with Parfit's in scope, fertility, imaginative resource, and cogency of reasoning."P.F. Strawson, The New York Review of Books. "Extraordinary...Brilliant...Astonishingly rich in ideas...Reasons and Persons is a major contribution to philosophy: it will be read, honoured, and argued about for many years to come."Samuel Scheffler, Times Literary Supplement. "A brilliantly clever and imaginative book...Strange and excitingly intense."Alan Ryan, Sunday Times (London). "Not many books reset the philosophical agenda in the way that his one does...Western philosophy, especially systematic ethics, will not be the same again."Annette Baier, Philosophical Books.
Challenging, with several powerful arguments, some of our deepest beliefs about rationality, morality, and personal identity, Parfit claims that we have a false view about our own nature. It is often rational to act against our own best interersts, he argues, and most of us have moral views that are self-defeating. We often act wrongly, although we know there will be no one with serious grounds for complaint, and when we consider future generations it is very hard to avoid conclusions that most of us will find very disturbing.