By Alan Thomas
This quantity presents a scientific evaluation and entire evaluation of Bernard Williams's contribution to ethical philosophy, a box within which Williams used to be probably the most influential of up to date philosophers. The seven essays, that have been in particular commissioned for this quantity, learn his paintings on ethical objectivity, the character of functional cause, ethical emotion, the critique of the "morality system," Williams's evaluation of the moral considered the traditional global, and his later adoption of Nietzsche's approach to "genealogy."
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Extra info for Bernard Williams (Contemporary Philosophy in Focus)
65 The early signs, represented by the quality of work produced by the contributors to this volume, are certainly promising. 66 London, 2006 References Adkins, Arthur (1960). Merit and Responsibility. A Study in Greek Values (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Altham, J. E. J. and Harrison, T. R. ), (1995). World, Mind and Ethics: Essays on the Ethical Philosophy of Bernard Williams (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). McDowell, John (2001). Mind, Value and Reality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).
55 The problem does not stop there: do we take the inventory of the natural properties from natural and social science as they are now? Even a modest fallibilism makes that look hubristic. Adverting to an ideally completed scientiﬁc world picture, however, seems to lose the constraint that naturalism was supposed to place on actual explanations in the here and now. Williams suggested that at least in the case of the ethical one could come up with a plausible account of ethical naturalism that avoided this general dilemma.
Conceding that the question has no general answer, Craig notes that Williams attaches importance to a particular kind of case in which a functional phenomenon actually ceases being functional – paradoxically – in order to perform its function. The virtue of truthfulness is, for Williams, an example of this general pattern. It is generally beneﬁcial, in functional terms, if the distribution of reliably accurate information is widespread (and Craig’s own work identiﬁed knowledge as a means of ﬂagging reliability in informants) but this signally fails to translate into a motivation for everyone to tell the truth.