1st Edition

Reading Bernard Williams

Edited By Daniel Callcut Copyright 2009
    312 Pages
    by Routledge

    304 Pages
    by Routledge

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    When Bernard Williams died in 2003, the Times newspaper hailed him ‘as the greatest moral philosopher of his generation’. This outstanding collection of specially commissioned new essays on Williams's work is essential reading for anyone interested in Williams, ethics and moral philosophy and philosophy in general.
    Reading Bernard Williams examines the astonishing scope of his philosophy from metaphysics and philosophy of mind to ethics, political philosophy and the history of philosophy. An international line up of outstanding contributors discuss, amongst others, the following central aspects of Williams's work:

    • Williams's challenge to contemporary moral philosophy and his criticisms of 'absolute' theories of morality
    • reason and rationality
    • the good 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


    1. Simon Blackburn, Professor of Philosophy, Cambridge University


     The Absolute Conception: Putnam vs Williams


    2. John Cottingham, Professor of Philosophy, Reading University


    Title: The Good Life and the “Radical Contingency of the Ethical”


    4. Frances Ferguson, Mary Elizabeth Garrett Professor in Arts and Sciences and Professor of English, Johns Hopkins University


    Title: Bernard Williams and the Importance of Being Literarily Earnest


    5. Joshua Gert, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University


    Title: Williams on reasons and rationality


    6. Peter Goldie, The Samuel Hall Chair in Philosophy, and Head of Philosophy, University of Manchester


    Thick concepts and emotion


    7. Charles Guignon, Professor of Philosophy, University of South Florida


    Williams and the Phenomenological Tradition


    8. Sharon Krause, Associate Professor of Political Science, Brown University


    Title: Political Agency and the Actual


    9. Christopher Kutz, Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program, University of California at Berkeley


    Title: Against Political luck


    10. Daniel Markovits, Associate Professor of Law, Yale Law School


    Title: The Architecture of Integrity


    11. Elijah Millgram, E.E. Ericksen Professor of Philosophy, University of Utah


    Title: D'où Venons Nous…Que Sommes Nous… Où Allons Nous?


    12. Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics,  University of Chicago


    Title: Bernard Williams: Tragedies, Hope, Justice


    13. Carol Rovane, Professor of Philosophy and Director of Graduate Studies, Columbia University


    Ethical relativism




    Daniel Callcut

    'This fine volume of essays should be read by anyone with an interest in how ethics relates to metaphysics, rationality, narrative, and politics. It should also, of course, be read by anyone with an interest in Bernard Williams.' – A. W. Moore, ETHICS

    'Reading Bernard Williams collects the work of many fine philosophers who have read Bernard Williams with great profit and provides an ideal point of entry for those who have not yet had that pleasure. Since Williams' work is often more difficult than it appears, it is extremely helpful to have a book that offers so many clear-eyed critical explications of his ideas.'Kwame Anthony Appiah, Princeton University, USA