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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 . .…

The Morality of Freedom/Morals by Agreement

It’s been thirty years since arguably the last great works of liberal political philosophy in the analytical tradition appeared, setting aside Rawls’ Political Liberalism from 1993. The Morality of Freedom is freely available  — click image. David GauthierJohn Rawlsjoseph razLiberalismmoral philosophyperfectionist liberalismPolitical philosophy

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…

Nagel reviews the posthumous Williams

Reprinted here in case paywall is reinstated. The View from Here and Now Thomas Nagel The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy by Bernard Williams, edited by Myles Burnyeat Princeton, 393 pp, £26.95, March 2006, ISBN 0 691 12477 9 In the Beginning Was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political…

Indulgent Sympathy and the Impartial Spectator

The into to Joshua Rust’s chapter: Cognitive neuroscience is in the midst of what has been called an “affective revolution,” which places empathy at the center of a core set of moral competencies. While empathy has not been without its critics (Bloom, 2013; Prinz, 2011), both the radicals and the reactionaries routinely cite Adam Smith’s…

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…