Williams on Ethics, Knowledge, and Reflection

This conclusion is disappointing for those who hoped that we could argue somebody into morality. But Williams is adamant that this was always an ill-conceived hope.

The very excellent A. W. Moore taking on the devastating brilliance of Bernard Williams.

Williams wants to challenge the idea that moral notions are through and through pure . . . This purity, Williams argues, is an illusion, except at a level which those who think in this way would themselves regard as hopelessly superficial.

Among the most important of these are the ancient Greek ideas of selfhood, freedom, and shame. Williams argues that we have not, contrary to popular belief, advanced from these to a more refined conception.