New PDF release: Bernard Williams (Philosophy Now Series)

By Mark P. Jenkins

From his earliest paintings on own identification to his final at the worth of truthfulness, the information and arguments of Bernard Williams - within the metaphysics of personhood, within the background of philosophy, yet specially in ethics and ethical psychology - have proved occasionally arguable, frequently influential, and constantly worthy learning. This publication presents a accomplished account of Williams's many major contributions to modern philosophy. themes comprise own id, numerous evaluations of ethical thought, useful reasoning and ethical motivation, fact and objectivity, and the relevance of historic Greece to trendy existence. It not just positions Williams between those vital philosophical issues, but additionally in regards to the perspectives of alternative philosophers, together with popular forerunners equivalent to Hume and Nietzsche and modern thinkers reminiscent of, Nagel, McDowell, MacIntyre and Taylor. The fragmentary nature of Williams's paintings is addressed and routine subject matters and connections inside of his paintings are delivered to gentle.

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44), and it is this motive, Williams claims, that lies at the heart of the charge. : 45). Suppose Jim refuses to shoot an Indian. Whether or not his refusal amounts to self-indulgence depends upon whether he had substituted for a thought about what is needed, a thought which focuses disproportionately upon the expression of his own 37 Bernard Williams disposition, and that he derives pleasure from the thought that his disposition will have been expressed – rather than deriving pleasure, as the agent who is not self-indulgent may, from the thought of how things will be if he acts in a certain way, that way being (though he may not think this) the expression of a disposition.

Perhaps the presence or absence of rival candidates does affect perceptions of identity, but that fails to settle Williams’s issue of whether psychological or spatiotemporal considerations should be paramount in determining identity. Nozick appears to concede this point when he says “The closest continuer theory helps to sort out and structure the issues . . [I]t does not, by itself, tell which dimension or weighted sum of dimensions determines closeness; rather, it is a schema into which such details can be filled” (Nozick 1981: 33).

102) In one sense, then, attempting to impugn the feelings of the agent with a charge of moral squeamishness means attempting to manipulate the agent into a utilitarian deliberative framework, an attempt that may or may not succeed. For Williams, however, the real question is: are unpleasant feelings merely unpleasant experiences amenable to calculative appraisal or something more, something deeper? Suppose Jim refuses to shoot the Indian. The utilitarian maintains that Jim’s feelings are (or would be) just unpleasant experiences, certainly to be credited, but of no special account relative to considerations of overall welfare maximization, and that resisting the utilitarian conclusion in deference to those feelings displays self-indulgence.

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