Derek Parfit the Photographs

Derek Parfit (1942-2017) was one of the most influential philosophers of our time. His thought challenged our understanding of ethics, rationality, and identity, and his two books, Reasons and Persons and On What Matters, are widely regarded as among the most important works of moral philosophy in the past century. He held teaching positions at Harvard, New York University, and Rutgers, and was a Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. In 2014 he was awarded the Rolf Schock Prize in Logic, modern philosophy's highest honor.

Parfit was also a prolific and sophisticated photographer, returning each year to St. Petersburg and Venice to capture images of architecture, water, fog, and light. With a painterly sensibility and an uncommon feeling for color, Parfit's photographs provide compelling new insights into his philosophical work, and reveal a sensitive and finely developed aesthetic which was neither published nor exhibited during his lifetime.

Derek Parfit: The Photographs will be the first exhibition and publication of Parfit's artistic practice - a rare and beautiful epilogue to the life of one of this century's most original minds.

Olivier Berggruen is a German-American art historian and curator, described by The Wall Street Journal as holding a "pivotal role in the art world." He was formerly curator at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and is now writing a history of art collecting. He lives in New York City.

Jeff McMahan is White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford, and previously taught at Rutgers University and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He works on the ethics of war, and was a close friend, student, and colleague of Derek Parfit.

Samuel Sokolsky-Tifft is an American essayist and doctoral student in intellectual history at the University of Cambridge, working on 20th-century theories of art and involuntary memory. He won the Bowdoin Prize at Harvard University, where he was a student of Derek Parfit.

Owen Laub is a researcher and curator based in New York City. Owen has a degree in history from Harvard University and was a student of Derek Parfit.

Garrett Lam is a Rhodes Scholar and graduate student in philosophy at Oxford University, where he works on free will and moral responsibility. He won the Sophia Freund Prize at Harvard University, where he was a student of Derek Parfit.


Derek Parfit

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