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Book Title: Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy|
The author of the book: Bernard Williams
ISBN 13: 9780674268586
Edition: Harvard University Press
Date of issue: March 15th 1986
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.24 MB
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Reader ratings: 3.2
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ok, i didn't read it in one weekend-- in fact, i took two, and all of the days in the middle, and just a little of this morning. whew. here's what i've got to say:
bernard williams wrote beautiful beautiful books of philosophy. human books. books of ecumenical sweep. he addressed himself to the central questions in analytic ethics, but avoided falling victim to the myopia endemic to the analytic project. and he managed, in addition, this most extraordinary thing (really, i've found nothing to match it or even come close in all of the philosophy i've yet read): he writes to account for the common sense while being neither conservative nor patronizing-- without seeming, that is, to be motivated (unbeknownst to him) by fear of radical conclusions and/or naive self-satisfaction. he never seems to lose his sense of the real weight of things. for these reasons i forgive him for always taking so long to get to the point, and for the point never being quite as clear as one might like.
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Read information about the authorSir Bernard Arthur Owen Williams FBA has been described as the most important British moral philosopher of his time.
Williams spent the bulk of his career at four academic institutions: Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, and the University of California, Berkeley. Early in his career at Cambridge, Williams became known internationally for his attempt to reorient the study of moral philosophy to history and culture, politics and psychology, and, in particular, to the Greeks. Described as an "analytic philosopher with the soul of a humanist," he saw himself as a synthesist, drawing together ideas from fields that seemed increasingly unable to communicate with one another. He rejected scientific and evolutionary reductionism. For Williams, complexity was beautiful, meaningful, and irreducible.
Williams was renowned for being sharp in discussion, with Oxford philosopher Gilbert Ryle once saying of him that he "understands what you're going to say better than you understand it yourself, and sees all the possible objections to it, all the possible answers to all the possible objections, before you've got to the end of your sentence." He also became known as a supporter of women in academia, seeing in women the possibility of that synthesis of reason and emotion that he felt eluded analytic philosophy. The American philosopher Martha Nussbaum said he was "as close to being a feminist as a powerful man of his generation could be."
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