Top positive review
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A life-changing work of moral philosophy
on 23 November 2001
... I concentrated mainly on the 'persons' side of the book.
I first read it in 1992, while studying philosophy at university and finding the entire subject frustrating. So much philosophy in the anglo-german tradition is a game of semantics. Reasons and Persons is different - it is a well reasoned argument that can have life-changing consequences.
His discussion of personal identity - what makes a person the same person across a spatio-termporal path - was revelatory. By explaining that, frankly, we do not have a consistent identity over time the implications for ethics become explosive.
I don't want to make it sound like some drippy self-help book, it certainly isn't, but it had a profound and life-changing effect on me and my notions of justice, punishment and my own identity.