Bernard Williams on on Gilbert Ryle

William review of Ryle’s posthumously published On Thinking. I paste in the text below image in case the free access is withdrawn. BTW, Ryle was born on this day in 1900. He was an exceptionally nice man, friendly, generous, uncondescending, unpretentious, and, for a well-known professional philosopher, startlingly free from vanity. . . . he conveyed a…

Some Bernard Williams Quotes

Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire. Utilitarians are often immensely conscientious people, who work for humanity and give up meat for the sake of the animals. They think this is what they morally ought to do and feel guilty if they do not live up to their own standard. They do not, and…

A Mistrustful Animal: An Interview with Bernard Williams

THE HARVARD REVIEW OF PHILOSOPHY vol.XII no.1 I particularly learned from his criticism of dividing philosophy into what he called ‘isms’ and schools of philosophy. He believed there were many philosophical questions and ways of arguing about them, but that attaching labels like ‘physicalism’ or ‘idealism’ to any particular way of answering philosophical questions was…

Bernard Williams: Why Philosophy Needs History

Bernard Williams’ piece originally from the LRB and reprinted in Essays and Reviews: 1959-2002 along with Colin Koopman’s commentary. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ‘Lack of a historical sense is the hereditary defect of philosophers . . . So what is needed from now on is historical philosophising, and with it the virtue of modesty.’ Nietzsche wrote this in 1878, but it…

Interview with Bernard Williams

This from Cogito, Volume 8, Issue 1, 1994, pp. 3-19 Cogito: Perhaps you could start by telling us something about your own philosophical background. How did you come to study philosophy, and what have been the main influences that have helped to shape your thought? Williams: I started learning philosophy formally at Oxford, where I went, in the…

Bernard Williams

It’s been about 18 months since my last posting on Bernard Williams. Having worked my way through Bryan Magee’s excellent series (Men of Ideas and The Great Philosophers) my original perception that BW was the best performer of both series, remains in tact 25 years on (Searle being the other good performer though I think BW…

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 . .…