Derek Parfit, English philosopher, Died at 74


Derek Parfit was born on December 11, 1942, and died on January 1, 2017.

He was a British philosopher.

Parfit specialized in problems of personal identity, rationality, ethics, and the relations among them.

Parfit’s 1984 book Reasons and Persons (described by Alan Ryan in The Sunday Times as “something close to a work of genius”) has been very influential.

Parfit’s last book, On What Matters (2011), was widely circulated and discussed for many years before its publication.

He worked at Oxford University for all of his academic career and was an Emeritus Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.

Derek Parfit was also a visiting professor of philosophy at New York University, Harvard University, and Rutgers University, and was awarded the 2014 Rolf Schock Prize “for his groundbreaking contributions concerning personal identity, regard for future generations, and analysis of the structure of moral theories.”

He was an experienced photographer and a poet.

Derek Parfit was married to the philosopher Janet Radcliffe Richards.

Derek Parfit passed away at 74 years old.