Derek Parfit

@ Philosopher at All Souls College, University of Oxford

Derek Parfit is something of a philosophy legend. He has spent most of his career at All Souls College, Oxford, developing radically insightful theories on a wide range of topics. He received the 2014 Rolf Schock Prize, the philosophical equivalent of the Nobel Prize, “for his groundbreaking contributions concerning personal identity, regard for future generations, and analysis of the structure of moral theories.” Among other things, Parfit has argued – at once daringly and persuasively – that our ordinary notion of a personal identity persisting through time is fundamentally mistaken, and that our values and morals can be objectively true, and not just matters of subjective agreement. His seminal works include “Reasons and Persons” (1984) and “On What Matters” (2011).
Parfit is also a visiting professor at Harvard University, Rutgers University and New York University.