Derek Parfit: a bibliography

What interests me most are the metaphysical questions whose answers can affect our emotions, and have rational and moral significance. Why does the Universe exist? What makes us the same person throughout our lives? Do we have free will? Is time’s passage an illusion?

With thanks to David Edmonds, Johan Gustafsson, and Matthew van der Merwe.

What now matters most is how we respond to various risks to the survival of humanity. We are creating some of these risks, and we are discovering how we could respond to these and other risks. If we reduce these risks, and humanity survives the next few centuries, our descendants or successors could end these risks by spreading through this galaxy.

Life can be wonderful as well as terrible, and we shall increasingly have the power to make life good. Since human history may be only just beginning, we can expect that future humans, or supra-humans, may achieve some great goods that we cannot now even imagine. In Nietzsche’s words, there has never been such a new dawn and clear horizon, and such an open sea.