Markets in everything, philosophers’ edition

by on October 5, 2009 at 2:17 pm in Books, Philosophy | Permalink

Essays on Derek Parfit's On What Matters, edited by Juissi Suikkanen and John Cottingham.  This book is due out shortly in late October.

The Amazon description reads, aptly:

In Essays on Derek Parfit's On What Matters, seven leading moral philosophers offer critical evaluations of the central ideas presented in a greatly anticipated new work by world-renowned moral philosopher Derek Parfit.

An search, or for that matter a Google search, reveals no pending release date for On What Matters.  Perhaps the editors have dabbled in the Newcomb problem?  Or have they simply read too much David Lewis?

For the pointer I thank Alex T., a loyal MR blogger.

1 John S October 5, 2009 at 2:24 pm

The truth is more prosaic than that, sadly — it’s posted online for comment, all 600+ pages of it:

2 Wza October 5, 2009 at 3:02 pm
3 Ryan Muldoon October 5, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Derek Parfit is well known for writing manuscripts of great depth and intelligence, and passing them around for many years before actually publishing them. He’s under no particular pressure to publish. The same was true of his _Climbing The Mountain_: it was used in courses, and numerous reading groups were held on the book prior to its publication. His most famous book, _Reasons and Persons_, had an even longer lag time prior to publication. As I understand it, he doesn’t particularly like to deal with the last bits of finishing a book, and so prefers to write new manuscripts and get feedback from other philosophers.

4 John S October 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Tyler — I share your bemusement, and I certainly didn’t mean to imply that I thought On What Matters would actually be out before this essay collection is released. Getting more in the spirit — is it too early to leave a trackback on the future blog post that you will write to commemorate the occasion of the release of the essay collection that’s still anticipating the book? Is there a form for that?

5 Rama October 5, 2009 at 6:50 pm

“On what matters”

What is matter?
Never mind.
What is mind ?
Doesn’t matter.

(Old “Punch” joke)

6 Henrico Otto October 5, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Perhaps Ryan inhabits a possible world where “Climbing the Mountain” is a separate (and “published”) work from “On What Matters” and not simply a prior version of the same thing.

Or perhaps following Parfit believes that that identity is arbitrary, i.e., the two could be thought of as distinct books bearing a certain relationship to each other (though in the actual world, CtM is not “published” in a traditional sense).

7 Anderson October 6, 2009 at 11:42 am

Thanks to John S for the link to the draft book — I enjoyed the preface, and would very much like to have time to read the draft.

I think well of Parfit for posting the draft — one can only publish a stronger book after making it available for criticism. If I were a philosophy prof, I’d have a seminar on the new book, with the aim of sending critiques to Parfit.

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Looking forward to seeing it come out!

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