Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973-1980

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 3, 1981 - Philosophy - 173 pages
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A new volume of philosophical essays by Bernard Williams. The book is a successor to Problems of the Self, but whereas that volume dealt mainly with questions of personal identity, Moral Luck centres on questions of moral philosophy and the theory of rational action. That whole area has of course been strikingly reinvigorated over the last deacde, and philosophers have both broadened and deepened their concerns in a way that now makes much earlier moral and political philosophy look sterile and trivial. Moral Luck contains a number of essays that have contributed influentially to this development. Among the recurring themes are the moral and philosophical limitations of utilitarianism, the notion of integrity, relativism, and problems of moral conflict and rational choice. The work presented here is marked by a high degree of imagination and acuity, and also conveys a strong sense of psychological reality. The volume will be a stimulating source of ideas and arguments for all philosophers and a wide range of other readers.
  

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Contents

Persons character and morality
1
Moral luck
20
Utilitarianism and moral selfindulgence
40
Politics and moral character
54
Conflicts of values
71
Justice as a virtue
83
Rawls and Pascals wager
94
Internal and external reasons
101
Ought and moral obligation
114
Practical necessity
124
The truth in relativism
132
Wittgenstein and idealism
144
Another time another place another person
164
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About the author (1981)

Bernard Williams (1929-2003) was White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford University, and Monroe Deutsch Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. His previous books include "Descartes: The Project of Pure Inquiry (1979), "Moral Luck (1981), and "Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (1985).

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