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By Mark P. Jenkins

From his earliest paintings on own id to his final at the price of truthfulness, the information and arguments of Bernard Williams - within the metaphysics of personhood, within the heritage of philosophy, yet in particular in ethics and ethical psychology - have proved occasionally debatable, frequently influential, and regularly worthy learning. This publication presents a finished account of Williams's many major contributions to modern philosophy. subject matters comprise own identification, a number of opinions of ethical idea, functional reasoning and ethical motivation, fact and objectivity, and the relevance of historical Greece to fashionable existence. It not just positions Williams between those very important philosophical themes, but additionally in regards to the perspectives of alternative philosophers, together with trendy forerunners reminiscent of Hume and Nietzsche and modern thinkers similar to, Nagel, McDowell, MacIntyre and Taylor. The fragmentary nature of Williams's paintings is addressed and ordinary issues and connections inside of his paintings are dropped at gentle.

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Is not in itself a motivating thought, and those words do not express any distinctive motivation. It is not merely that they do not on all occasions express some one motivation. Rather, they do not, in themselves, express any motivation at all: if one is motivated not to do it oneself, then there is some (other) motive one has for not doing it. ” In other words, although “not through Jim” initially appears tantamount to an appeal to integrity as a motivation, on closer inspection the motivation, and ultimately any display of integrity, relies on invoking something like the ignominy of murder and, however tacitly, Jim’s disposition to abhor and refrain from ignominious acts.

Williams 1972: 83–5) Only the first of these features, utilitarianism’s mundaneness, completely escapes Williams’s critique. The second and fourth, happiness as both common end and common currency, come under sustained attack. : 81). As mentioned, Williams distinguishes between act- and rule-, or direct and indirect, utilitarianism: “The term direct I use . . to mean that the consequential value which is the concern of morality is 28 Critique of utilitarianism attached directly to particular actions, rather than to rules or practices under which decisions are taken without further reference to consequences; the latter sort of view is indirect consequentialism” (Williams 1973a: 81).

Moral thought becomes empirical. . Fourth, utilitarianism provides a common currency of moral thought: the different concerns of different parties, and the different sorts of claims acting on one party, can all be cashed (in principle) in terms of happiness. (Williams 1972: 83–5) Only the first of these features, utilitarianism’s mundaneness, completely escapes Williams’s critique. The second and fourth, happiness as both common end and common currency, come under sustained attack. : 81). As mentioned, Williams distinguishes between act- and rule-, or direct and indirect, utilitarianism: “The term direct I use .

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