By Daniel Callcut
When Bernard Williams died in 2003, the days newspaper hailed him ‘as the best ethical thinker of his generation’. This awesome number of specifically commissioned new essays on Williams's work is crucial analyzing for an individual drawn to Williams, ethics and ethical philosophy and philosophy in general.
Reading Bernard Williams examines the incredible scope of his philosophy from metaphysics and philosophy of brain to ethics, political philosophy and the historical past of philosophy. a world line up of exceptional individuals talk about, among others, the subsequent relevant facets of Williams's work:
- Williams's problem to modern ethical philosophy and his criticisms of 'absolute' theories of morality
- reason and rationality
- the stable life
- the emotions
- Williams and the phenomenological tradition
- philosophical and political agency
- moral and political luck
- ethical relativism
Contributors : Simon Blackburn; John Cottingham; Frances Ferguson; Joshua Gert; Peter Goldie; Charles Guignon; Sharon Krause; Christopher Kutz; Daniel Markovits; Elijah Millgram; Martha Naussbaum; Carol Rovane
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Extra info for Reading Bernard Williams
Hardin, Colour for Philosophers (Indiana: Hackett, 1988). 18 Hilary Putnam, “Reply to Bernard Williams’s Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline”, Philosophy 76, 2001, p. 608. 19 Williams, Ethics and the Limits, p. 139. , p. 140. , pp. 137–8. S. Schiller, Studies in Humanism (London: Macmillan, 1907), p. 459. 23 David Lewis, “New Work for a Theory of Universals”, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61, 1983, 343–77. 24 Quentin Skinner, Visions of Politics, Vol. 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), Chapter 8.
Consider an individual inducted into a given ethical culture, in the way envisaged by Wiggins and Williams; let us assume that circumstances of her life are such as to provide all the basic biological and social preconditions for human ﬂourishing, such as being healthy, well nourished, emotionally nurtured, free from repression or exploitation, able to make her own decisions without interference, and so on. The social and ethical culture in which she ﬁnds herself allows, let us assume, for the ﬂowering of a signiﬁcant range of her talents and capacities, and also for the cultivation not just of a variety of enjoyable and satisfying activities, but also for the development of those moral sensibilities and dispositions that are indispensable for human beings if they are to live together in a stable and mutually fulﬁlling way.
To see this, it is worth opening our eyes to the variety of conceptions of the good life already to be found, not diachronically, by looking back over time, but synchronically, within our own contemporary culture. There are many lives we already count as good: the life of the scholar, the life of the craftsman, the life of the farmer, the life of the musician, the life of the teacher, the life of the doctor. Diﬀerent individual talents and circumstances call for diﬀerent models of virtue, and the contingency here seems entirely benign; for whoever supposed that talk of ‘the good for humankind’ demands a ‘one size ﬁts all’ account of excellence.
Reading Bernard Williams by Daniel Callcut