Bernard Williams’ Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy is widely regarded as one of the most important works of moral philosophy in the last fifty years. Williams’s powerful sceptical critique of the "morality system" sent shockwaves through philosophy, the implications of which are still being reckoned with thirty years later.
In this outstanding collection of new essays, fourteen internationally-recognised philosophers examine the enduring contribution that Williams’s book continues to make to ethics. After a detailed topical summary of Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy by Adrian Moore, the full scope of the work is assessed, including the role of Aristotle and Hume in Williams’ thought and his arguments concerning the history of philosophy; the nature of virtue, the good life, practical reason, and deliberation; and the themes of duty, blame and inauthenticity.
Ethics Beyond the Limits is required reading for students and researchers in ethics, metaethics, and moral psychology, and highly recommended for anyone studying the work of Bernard Williams.
Table of Contents
Introduction Sophie Grace Chappell and Marcel van Ackeren 1. Summary of Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy Adrian Moore 2. Lonely in Littlemore: confidence in Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy Simon Blackburn 3. Hume’s optimism and Williams’ pessimism Paul Russell 4. Williams (on) doing history of philosophy Marcel van Ackeren 5. The good life and the unity of the virtues: some reflections upon Williams on Aristotle Anthony Price 6. Humanism and cruelty in Williams Lorenzo Greco 7. Beauty, duty, and booty Sophie Grace Chappell 8. Gauguin’s lucky escape Gerald Lang 9. The irrelativism of distance Geraldine Ng 10. Epoch relativism and our moral hopelessness Regina Rini 11. The inevitability of inauthenticity Nicholas Smyth 12. How should one live? Williams on practical deliberation and reasons for acting Roger Teichmann 13. Practical deliberation and the first person David Cockburn 14. Moral authority and the limits of philosophy Catherine Wilson. Index
Sophie Grace Chappell is Professor of Philosophy at the Open University, UK.
Marcel van Ackeren is Henkel Fellow and Associate Fellow of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, UK.