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  1. Nietzsche's Conceptual Ethics.Matthieu Queloz - manuscript
    If ethical reflection on which concepts to use has an avatar, it must be Nietzsche, who took more seriously than most the question of what concepts one should live by, and regarded many of our inherited concepts as deeply problematic. Moreover, his eschewal of traditional attempts to derive the one right set of concepts from timeless rational foundations renders his conceptual ethics strikingly modern, raising the prospect of a Nietzschean alternative to Wittgensteinian non-foundationalism. Yet Nietzsche appears to engage in two (...)
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  2. How One Becomes What One Is: The Case for a Nietzschean Conception of Character Development.Mark Alfano - forthcoming - In Iskra Fileva (ed.), Perspectives on Character. Oxford University Press.
    Gone are the heady days when Bernard Williams (1993) could get away with saying that “Nietzsche is not a source of philosophical theories” (p. 4). The last two decades have witnessed a flowering of research that aims to interpret, elucidate, and defend Nietzsche’s theories about science, the mind, and morality. This paper is one more blossom in that efflorescence. What I want to argue is that Nietzsche theorized three important and surprising moral psychological insights that have been born out by (...)
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  3. The EU's Democratic Deficit in a Realist Key: Multilateral Governance, Popular Sovereignty, and Critical Responsiveness.Jan Pieter Beetz & Enzo Rossi - forthcoming - Transnational Legal Theory.
    This paper provides a realist analysis of the EU's legitimacy. We propose a modification of Bernard Williams' theory of legitimacy, which we term critical responsiveness. For Williams, 'Basic Legitimation Demand + Modernity = Liberalism'. Drawing on that model, we make three claims. (i) The right side of the equation is insufficiently sensitive to popular sovereignty; (ii) The left side of the equation is best thought of as a 'legitimation story': a non-moralised normative account of how to shore up belief in (...)
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  4. Theorizing the Normative Significance of Critical Histories for International Law.Damian Cueni & Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Journal of the History of International Law.
    Though recent years have seen a proliferation of critical histories of international law, their normative significance remains under-theorized, especially from the perspective of general readers rather than writers of such histories. How do critical histories of international law acquire their normative significance? And how should one react to them? We distinguish three ways in which critical histories can be normatively significant: (i) by undermining the overt or covert conceptions of history embedded within present practices in support of their authority; (ii) (...)
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  5. The Real Value of Equality.Robert Jubb - forthcoming - Journal of Politics.
    This paper investigates how political theorists and philosophers should understand egalitarian political demands in light of the increasingly important realist critique of much of contemporary political theory and philosophy. It suggests, first, that what Martin O'Neill has called non-intrinsic egalitarianism is, in one form at least, a potentially realistic egalitarian political project and second, that realists may be compelled to impose an egalitarian threshold on state claims to legitimacy under certain circumstances. Non-intrinsic egalitarianism can meet realism’s methodological requirements because it (...)
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  6. The Shaken Realist: Bernard Williams, the War, and Philosophy as Cultural Critique.Nikhil Krishnan & Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    Bernard Williams thought that philosophy should address real human concerns felt beyond academic philosophy. But what wider concerns are addressed by Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy, a book he introduces as being ‘principally about how things are in moral philosophy’? In this article, we argue that Williams responded to the concerns of his day indirectly, refraining from explicitly claiming wider cultural relevance, but hinting at it in the pair of epigraphs that opens the main text. This was Williams’s solution (...)
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  7. A Shelter From Luck: The Morality System Reconstructed.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - In András Szigeti & Matthew Talbert (eds.), Morality and Agency: Themes from Bernard Williams. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 182-209.
    Far from being indiscriminately critical of the ideas he associated with the morality system, Bernard Williams offered vindicatory explanations of its crucial building blocks, such as the moral/non-moral distinction, the idea of obligation, the voluntary/involuntary distinction, and the practice of blame. The rationale for these concessive moves, I argue, is that understanding what these ideas do for us when they are not in the service of the system is just as important to leading us out of the system as the (...)
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  8. Ethics Beyond the Limits: New Essays on Bernard Williams’ Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. [REVIEW]Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Mind:fzaa077.
    Bernard Williams’ books demand an unusual amount of work from readers. This is particularly true of his 1985 magnum opus, Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy—a work so charged with ideas that there seems to be nothing more to say, and yet at the same time so pared-down and tersely argued that there seems to be nothing left to take away. Reflecting on the book five years after its publication, Williams writes that it is centrally concerned with a Nietzschean question: (...)
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  9. Genealogy, Evaluation, and Engineering.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - The Monist.
    Against those who identify genealogy with reductive genealogical debunking or deny it any evaluative and action-guiding significance, I argue for the following three claims: that although genealogies, true to their Enlightenment origins, tend to trace the higher to the lower, they need not reduce the higher to the lower, but can elucidate the relation between them and put us in a position to think more realistically about both relata; that if we think of genealogy’s normative significance in terms of a (...)
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  10. Free Will and the Tragic Predicament: Making Sense of Williams.Paul Russell - forthcoming - In Morality and Agency: Themes from Bernard Williams. New York, NY, USA: pp. 163-183.
    Free Will & The Tragic Predicament : Making Sense of Williams -/- The discussion in this paper aims to make better sense of free will and moral responsibility by way of making sense of Bernard Williams’ significant and substantial contribution to this subject. Williams’ fundamental objective is to vindicate moral responsibility by way of freeing it from the distortions and misrepresentations imposed on it by “the morality system”. What Williams rejects, in particular, are the efforts of “morality” to further “deepen” (...)
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  11. Moral Responsibility and Existential Attitudes.Paul Russell - 2022 - In Dana K. Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility. New York City, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 519-543.
    We might describe the philosophical issue of human freedom and moral responsibility as an existential metaphysical problem. Problems of this kind are not just a matter of theoretical interest and curiosity: They address issues that we care about and that affect us. They are, more specifically, relevant to the significance and value that we attach to our lives and the way that we lead them. According to the orthodox view, there is a tidy connection between skepticism and pessimism. Skepticism threatens (...)
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  12. Genealogical Solutions to the Problem of Critical Distance: Political Theory, Contextualism and the Case of Punishment in Transitional Scenarios.Francesco Testini - 2022 - Res Publica 28 (2):271-301.
    In this paper, I argue that one approach to normative political theory, namely contextualism, can benefit from a specific kind of historical inquiry, namely genealogy, because the latter provides a solution to a deep-seated problem for the former. This problem consists in a lack of critical distance and originates from the justificatory role that contextualist approaches attribute to contextual facts. I compare two approaches to genealogical reconstruction, namely the historiographical method pioneered by Foucault and the hybrid method of pragmatic genealogy (...)
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  13. The Purity of Agent-Regret.Jake Wojtowicz - 2022 - Philosophy 97 (1):71-90.
    I argue for a novel understanding of the nature of agent-regret. On the standard picture, agent-regret involves regretting the result of one’s action and thus regretting one’s action. I argue that the standard picture is a flawed analysis of agent-regret. I offer several cases of agent-regret where the agent feels agent-regret but does not regret the result itself. I appeal to other cases where an agent’s attitude towards something depends upon whether or not they are involved in that thing. I (...)
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  14. Whence the Demand for Ethical Theory?Damian Cueni & Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - American Philosophical Quarterly 58 (2):135–46.
    Where does the impetus towards ethical theory come from? What drives humans to make values explicit, consistent, and discursively justifiable? This paper situates the demand for ethical theory in human life by identifying the practical needs that give rise to it. Such a practical derivation puts the demand in its place: while finding a home for it in the public decision-making of modern societies, it also imposes limitations on the demand by presenting it as scalable and context-sensitive. This differentiates strong (...)
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  15. The Practical Origins of Ideas: Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering (Open Access).Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Why did such highly abstract ideas as truth, knowledge, or justice become so important to us? What was the point of coming to think in these terms? This book presents a philosophical method designed to answer such questions: the method of pragmatic genealogy. Pragmatic genealogies are partly fictional, partly historical narratives exploring what might have driven us to develop certain ideas in order to discover what these do for us. The book uncovers an under-appreciated tradition of pragmatic genealogy which cuts (...)
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  16. Choosing Values? Williams Contra Nietzsche.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (2):286-307.
    Amplifying Bernard Williams’ critique of the Nietzschean project of a revaluation of values, this paper mounts a critique of the idea that whether values will help us to live can serve as a criterion for choosing which values to live by. I explore why it might not serve as a criterion and highlight a number of further difficulties faced by the Nietzschean project. I then come to Nietzsche's defence, arguing that if we distinguish valuations from values, there is at least (...)
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  17. The Self-Effacing Functionality of Blame.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1361-1379.
    This paper puts forward an account of blame combining two ideas that are usually set up against each other: that blame performs an important function, and that blame is justified by the moral reasons making people blameworthy rather than by its functionality. The paper argues that blame could not have developed in a purely instrumental form, and that its functionality itself demands that its functionality be effaced in favour of non-instrumental reasons for blame—its functionality is self-effacing. This notion is sharpened (...)
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  18. Nietzsche’s English Genealogy of Truthfulness.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 103 (2):341-363.
    This paper aims to increase our understanding of the genealogical method by taking a developmental approach to Nietzsche’s genealogical methodology and reconstructing an early instance of it: Nietzsche’s genealogy of truthfulness in On Truth and Lie. Placing this essay against complementary remarks from his notebooks, I show that Nietzsche’s early use of the genealogical method concerns imagined situations before documented history, aims to reveal practical necessity before contingency, and focuses on vindication before it turns to subversion or problematization. I argue (...)
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  19. Tracing Concepts to Needs.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - The Philosopher 109 (3):34–39.
    Why is the concept of truth so important to us? After all, it is not at all obvious why human intelligence would have evolved to do anything other than to dissimulate, deceive, cheat, and trick. Pragmatic genealogies like the genealogies of the value of truth told by Nietzsche and Williams can help us grasp why we think as we do. But instead of explaining concepts by tracing them to antecedent objects in reality, they trace them to practical needs and reverse-engineer (...)
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  20. Ideas That Work.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Aeon:1–8.
    Truth, knowledge, justice – to understand how our loftiest abstractions earn their keep, trace them to their practical origins.
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  21. Left Wittgensteinianism.Matthieu Queloz & Damian Cueni - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):758-777.
    Social and political concepts are indispensable yet historically and culturally variable in a way that poses a challenge: how can we reconcile confident commitment to them with awareness of their contingency? In this article, we argue that available responses to this problem—Foundationalism, Ironism, and Right Wittgensteinianism—are unsatisfactory. Instead, we draw on the work of Bernard Williams to tease out and develop a Left Wittgensteinian response. In present-day pluralistic and historically self-conscious societies, mere confidence in our concepts is not enough. For (...)
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  22. Philosophy as Synchronic History.Daniel Stoljar - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (2):155-172.
    Bernard Williams argues that philosophy is in some deep way akin to history. This article is a novel exploration and defense of the Williams thesis —though in a way anathema to Williams himself. The key idea is to apply a central moral from what is sometimes called the analytic philosophy of history of the 1960s to the philosophy of philosophy of today, namely, the separation of explanation and laws. I suggest that an account of causal explanation offered by David Lewis (...)
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  23. Truthfulness Without Truth.Allan Hazlett - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Research 45:115-131.
    It is natural to think that the badness of false belief explains the badness of lying. In this paper, I argue against this: I argue that the badness of false belief does not explain the badness of lying and that, given a popular account of the badness of lying, the badness of false belief is orthogonal to the badness of lying.
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  24. The (Un)Desirability of Immortality.Felipe Pereira & Travis Timmerman - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (2).
    While most people believe the best possible life they could lead would be an immortal one, so‐called “immortality curmudgeons” disagree. Following Bernard Williams, they argue that, at best, we have no prudential reason to live an immortal life, and at worst, an immortal life would necessarily be bad for creatures like us. In this article, we examine Bernard Williams' seminal argument against the desirability of immortality and the subsequent literature it spawned. We first reconstruct and motivate Williams' somewhat cryptic argument (...)
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  25. How Genealogies Can Affect the Space of Reasons.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2005-2027.
    Can genealogical explanations affect the space of reasons? Those who think so commonly face two objections. The first objection maintains that attempts to derive reasons from claims about the genesis of something commit the genetic fallacy—they conflate genesis and justification. One way for genealogies to side-step this objection is to focus on the functional origins of practices—to show that, given certain facts about us and our environment, certain conceptual practices are rational because apt responses. But this invites a second objection, (...)
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  26. From Paradigm-Based Explanation to Pragmatic Genealogy.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):683-714.
    Why would philosophers interested in the points or functions of our conceptual practices bother with genealogical explanations if they can focus directly on paradigmatic examples of the practices we now have?? To answer this question, I compare the method of pragmatic genealogy advocated by Edward Craig, Bernard Williams, and Miranda Fricker—a method whose singular combination of fictionalising and historicising has met with suspicion—with the simpler method of paradigm-based explanation. Fricker herself has recently moved towards paradigm-based explanation, arguing that it is (...)
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  27. Revealing Social Functions Through Pragmatic Genealogies.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - In Rebekka Hufendiek, Daniel James & Raphael Van Riel (eds.), Social Functions in Philosophy: Metaphysical, Normative, and Methodological Perspectives. London: Routledge. pp. 200-218.
    There is an under-appreciated tradition of genealogical explanation that is centrally concerned with social functions. I shall refer to it as the tradition of pragmatic genealogy. It runs from David Hume (T, 3.2.2) and the early Friedrich Nietzsche (TL) through E. J. Craig (1990, 1993) to Bernard Williams (2002) and Miranda Fricker (2007). These pragmatic genealogists start out with a description of an avowedly fictional “state of nature” and end up ascribing social functions to particular building blocks of our practices (...)
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  28. Profilo: Bernard Williams.Francesco Testini - 2020 - Aphex 22:1-33.
    In questo saggio traccio un profilo del pensiero di Bernard Williams, concentrandomi su temi relativi alla filosofia morale e, più nello specifico, ricostruendo la sua disamina dell’idea di oggettività in questa disciplina. Dopo aver esaminato le sue critiche all’idea di teoria etica normativa, offro un inquadramento metaetico della sua posizione e concludo mostrando le sue affinità con la riflessione etica degli antichi Greci e, in particolar modo, di Aristotele.
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  29. Wittgenstein, Guilt And Western Buddhism.Robert Vinten - 2020 - Contemporary Buddhism 21 (2):284-303.
    Whereas Christians often give guilt a prominent role, Buddhists are encouraged not to dwell on feelings of guilt. Leading members of the Triratna organisation – Sangharakshita, Subhuti and Subhadramati – characterise guilt as a negative emotion that hinders spiritual growth. However, if we carefully examine the concept of guilt in the manner of Wittgenstein we find that the accounts of guilt given by leading members of Triratna mischaracterise it and so ignore its positive aspects. They should acknowledge the valuable role (...)
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  30. Guilt Without Perceived Wrongdoing.Michael Zhao - 2020 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 48 (3):285-314.
    According to the received account of guilt in the philosophical literature, one cannot feel guilt unless one takes oneself to have done something morally wrong. But ordinary people feel guilt in many cases in which they do not take themselves to have done anything morally wrong. In this paper, I focus on one kind of guilt without perceived wrongdoing, guilt about being merely causally responsible for a bad state-of-affairs. I go on to present a novel account of guilt that explains (...)
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  31. Internal Reasons and the Boy Who Cried Wolf.Samuel Asarnow - 2019 - Ethics 130 (1):32-58.
    Reasons internalists claim that facts about normative reasons for action are facts about which actions would promote an agent’s goals and values. Reasons internalism is popular, even though paradigmatic versions have moral consequences many find unwelcome. This article reconstructs an influential but understudied argument for reasons internalism, the “if I were you” argument, which is due to Bernard Williams and Kate Manne. I raise an objection to the argument and argue that replying to it requires reasons internalists to accept controversial (...)
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  32. Tim Henning, From a Rational Point of View: How We Represent Subjective Perspectives in Practical Discourse. [REVIEW]Samuel Asarnow - 2019 - Ethics 130 (1):113-118.
    Reasons internalists claim that facts about normative reasons for action are facts about which actions would promote an agent’s goals and values. Reasons internalism is popular, even though paradigmatic versions have moral consequences many find unwelcome. This article reconstructs an influential but understudied argument for reasons internalism, the “if I were you” argument, which is due to Bernard Williams and Kate Manne. I raise an objection to the argument and argue that replying to it requires reasons internalists to accept controversial (...)
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  33. Taking Politics Seriously - but Not Too Seriously.Charles Blattberg - 2019 - Philosophy 94 (2):271-94.
    John Rawls’ gamification of justice leads him – along with many other monist political philosophers, not least Ronald Dworkin – to fail to take politics seriously enough. I begin with why we consider games frivolous and then show how Rawls’ theory of justice is not merely analogous to a game, as he himself seems to claim, but is in fact a kind of game. As such, it is harmful to political practice in two ways: one as regards the citizens who (...)
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  34. Matilal's Metaethics.Nicolas Bommarito & Alex King - 2019 - In Colin Marshall (ed.), Comparative Metaethics: Neglected Perspectives on the Foundations of Morality. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 139-156.
    Bimal Krishna Matilal (1935-1991) was a Harvard-educated Indian philosopher best known for his contributions to logic, but who also wrote on wide variety of topics, including metaethics. Unfortunately, the latter contributions have been overlooked. Engaging with Anglo-American figures such as Gilbert Harman and Bernard Williams, Matilal defends a view he dubs ‘pluralism.’ In defending this view he draws on a wide range of classical Indian sources: the Bhagavad-Gītā, Buddhist thinkers like Nāgārjuna, and classical Jaina concepts. This pluralist position is somewhere (...)
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  35. Accepting Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - In Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck. New York: Routledge.
    I argue that certain kinds of luck can partially determine an agent’s praiseworthiness and blameworthiness. To make this view clearer, consider some examples. Two identical agents drive recklessly around a curb, and one but not the other kills a pedestrian. Two identical corrupt judges would freely take a bribe if one were offered. Only one judge is offered a bribe, and so only one judge takes a bribe. Put in terms of these examples, I argue that the killer driver and (...)
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  36. No Luck for Moral Luck.Markus Kneer & Edouard Machery - 2019 - Cognition 182:331-348.
    Moral philosophers and psychologists often assume that people judge morally lucky and morally unlucky agents differently, an assumption that stands at the heart of the Puzzle of Moral Luck. We examine whether the asymmetry is found for reflective intuitions regarding wrongness, blame, permissibility, and punishment judg- ments, whether people’s concrete, case-based judgments align with their explicit, abstract principles regarding moral luck, and what psychological mechanisms might drive the effect. Our experiments produce three findings: First, in within-subjects experiments favorable to reflective (...)
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  37. Genealogy and Knowledge-First Epistemology: A Mismatch?Matthieu Queloz - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):100-120.
    This paper examines three reasons to think that Craig's genealogy of the concept of knowledge is incompatible with knowledge-first epistemology and finds that far from being incompatible with it, the genealogy lends succour to it. This reconciliation turns on two ideas. First, the genealogy is not history, but a dynamic model of needs. Secondly, by recognizing the continuity of Craig's genealogy with Williams's genealogy of truthfulness, we can see that while both genealogies start out from specific needs explaining what drives (...)
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  38. Nietzsche as a Critic of Genealogical Debunking: Making Room for Naturalism Without Subversion.Matthieu Queloz & Damian Cueni - 2019 - The Monist 102 (3):277-297.
    This paper argues that Nietzsche is a critic of just the kind of genealogical debunking he is popularly associated with. We begin by showing that interpretations of Nietzsche which see him as engaging in genealogical debunking turn him into an advocate of nihilism, for on his own premises, any truthful genealogical inquiry into our values is going to uncover what most of his contemporaries deem objectionable origins and thus license global genealogical debunking. To escape nihilism and make room for naturalism (...)
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  39. Racje wewnętrzne i zewnętrzne.Bernard Williams & Tomasz Żuradzki - 2019 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 67 (1):231-246.
    Artykuł, opublikowany po raz pierwszy w 1979 r., jest jednym z najczęściej cytowanych tekstów filozoficznych z drugiej połowy XX wieku. Tekst Bernarda Williamsa zainicjował kilka ważnych debat, toczących się do dziś w etyce i filozofii działania. Zaproponowana przez niego interpretacja pojęcia racji działania jest, z jednej strony, niezwykle wpływowa, ale z drugiej bardzo niejednoznaczna i często krytykowana. Williams broni stanowiska, które z czasem zaczęto określać jako internalizm racji: pewne względy są racjami działania dla danego podmiotu tylko wtedy, gdy mają ścisły (...)
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  40. Agent-Regret in Our Lives.Jake Wojtowicz - 2019 - Dissertation, King's College London
    This dissertation is a defence of agent-regret and an exploration of its role in our lives. I argue that agent-regret shows that an agent takes seriously her status as an agent who impacts the world, but who only has fallible control over it. To accept responsibility for any outcomes, she must accept responsibility for unintended outcomes, too: agent-regret is part of being a human agent. In doing this, I try to defend and develop Williams’s own conception of agent-regret. -/- In (...)
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  41. Agent-Regret and Sporting Glory.Jake Wojtowicz - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 46 (2):162-176.
    When sporting agents fail through wrongful or faulty behaviour, they should feel guilty; when they fail because of a deficiency in their abilities, they should feel shame. But sometimes we fail without being deficient and without being at fault. I illustrate this with two examples of players, Moacir Barbosa and Roberto Baggio, who failed in World Cup finals and cost their teams the greatest prize in sport. Although both players failed, I suggest that neither was at fault and neither was (...)
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  42. Ética y eudaimonía: la crítica de Bernard Williams a la naturaleza humana en Aristóteles.Camilo Andrés Ardila Arévalo - 2018 - Cuestiones de Filosofía 22 (4):71-89.
    Tradicionalmente, se ha argumentado que el concepto de eudaimonía en Aristóteles se encuentra anclado en el contexto de una comprensión teleológica del universo, por cuanto dicha noción parece radicar en una definición funcionalista de la naturaleza humana. Teniendo esto en mente, Bernard Williams ha desarrollado una crítica en contra de la propuesta ética de Aristóteles, acusándola de una cierta ambición científica en el campo del razonamiento práctico que resulta insostenible actualmente. Este ensayo busca discutir si, en efecto, estos señalamientos tienen (...)
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  43. Modus Vivendi Beyond the Social Contract: Peace, Justice, and Survival in Realist Political Theory.Thomas Fossen - 2018 - In John Horton, Manon Westphal & Ulrich Willems (eds.), The Political Theory of Modus Vivendi. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag. pp. 111-127.
    This essay examines the promise of the notion of modus vivendi for realist political theory. I interpret recent theories of modus vivendi as affirming the priority of peace over justice, and explore several ways of making sense of this idea. I proceed to identify two key problems for modus vivendi theory, so conceived. Normatively speaking, it remains unclear how this approach can sustain a realist critique of Rawlsian theorizing about justice while avoiding a Hobbesian endorsement of absolutism. And conceptually, the (...)
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  44. Scientific Styles, Plain Truth, and Truthfulness.Robert Kowalenko - 2018 - South African Journal of Philosophy 37 (3):361-378.
    Ian Hacking defines a “style of scientific thinking” loosely as a “way to find things out about the world” characterised by five hallmark features of a number of scientific template styles. Most prominently, these are autonomy and “self-authentication”: a scientific style of thinking, according to Hacking, is not good because it helps us find out the truth in some domain, it itself defines the criteria for truth-telling in its domain. I argue that Renaissance medicine, Mediaeval “demonology”, and magical thinking pass (...)
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  45. Bernard Williams: Ethics From a Human Point of View.Paul Russell - 2018 - Times Literary Supplement.
    When Bernard Williams died in June 2003, the obituary in The Times said that “he will be remembered as the most brilliant and most important British moral philosopher of his time”. It goes on to make clear that Williams was far from the dry, awkward, detached academic philosopher of caricature. -/- Born in Essex in 1929, Williams had an extraordinary and, in some respects, glamorous life. He not only enjoyed a stellar academic career – holding a series of distinguished posts (...)
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  46. Hume’s Optimism and Williams’s Pessimism From ‘Science of Man’ to Genealogical Critique.Paul Russell - 2018 - In Sophie Grace Chappell & Marcel van Ackeren (eds.), Ethics Beyond the Limits: New Essays on Bernard Williams' Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 37-52.
    Bernard Williams is widely recognized as belonging among the greatest and most influential moral philosophers of the twentieth-century – and arguably the greatest British moral philosopher of the late twentieth-century. His various contributions over a period of nearly half a century changed the course of the subject and challenged many of its deepest assumptions and prejudices. There are, nevertheless, a number of respects in which the interpretation of his work is neither easy nor straightforward. One reason for this is that (...)
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  47. Integration and Authority: Rescuing the ‘One Thought Too Many’ Problem.Nicholas Smyth - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (6):812-830.
    Four decades ago, Bernard Williams accused Kantian moral theory of providing agents with ‘one thought too many’. The general consensus among contemporary Kantians is that this objection has been decisively answered. In this paper, I reconstruct the problem, showing that Williams was not principally concerned with how agents are to think in emergency situations, but rather with how moral theories are to be integrated into recognizably human lives. I show that various Kantian responses to Williams provide inadequate materials for solving (...)
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  48. Bernard Williams on Regarding One's Own Action Purely Externally.Jake Wojtowicz - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):49-66.
    I explore what BernardWilliams means by regarding one’s action ‘purely externally, as one might regard anyone else’s action’, and how it links to regret and agent-regret. I suggest some ways that we might understand the external view: as a failure to recognize what one has done, in terms of Williams’s distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic luck, and as akin to Thomas Nagel’s distinction between an internal and external view. I argue that none of these captures what Williams was getting at (...)
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  49. God and Eternal Boredom.Vuko Andrić & Attila Tanyi - 2017 - Religious Studies 53 (1):51-70.
    God is thought to be eternal. Does this mean that he is timeless? Or is he, rather, omnitemporal? In this paper we want to show that God cannot be omnitemporal. Our starting point, which we take from Bernard Williams’ article on the Makropulos Case, is the intuition that it is inappropriate for persons not to become bored after a sufficiently long sequence of time has passed. If God were omnitemporal, he would suffer from boredom. But God is the greatest possible (...)
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  50. Should I Choose to Never Die? Williams, Boredom, and the Significance of Mortality.David Beglin - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (8):2009-2028.
    Bernard Williams’ discussion of immortality in “The Makropulos Case: Reflections on the Tedium of Immortality” has spawned an entire philosophical literature. This literature tends to focus on one of Williams’ central claims: if we were to relinquish our mortality, we would necessarily become alienated from our existence and environment—“bored,” in his terms. Many theorists have defended this claim; many others have challenged it. Even if this claim is false, though, it still isn’t obvious that we should choose to relinquish our (...)
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