Foreword to The Routledge Classics Edition Preface 1. Socrates' Question 2.The Archimedian Point 3. Foundations: Well-Being 4. Foundations: Practical Reason 5. Styles of Ethical Theory 6. Theory and Prejudice 7. The Linguistic Turn 8. Knowledge, Science, Convergence 9. Relativism and Reflection 10. Morality. The Peculiar Institution Postcript Commentary on the Text by A. W. Moore Notes Index
At the time of his death in 2003, Bernard Williams was hailed by the Times as 'the outstanding moral philosopher of his age.' He taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Berkeley and Oxford and is the author of many influential books, including Morality; Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry (available from Routledge) and Truth and Truthfulness.
'Williams's discussions are much to be valued: his explicitness and argumentative ingenuity focus the issues more sharply, and at greater depth, than any comparable work I know...One of the most interesting contributions of recent years, not only to ethics but to philosophy.' - John McDowell, Mind 'This is a superior book, glittering with intelligence and style.' - Thomas Nagel, Journal of Philosophy 'Bernard Williams has a greater force of thought, deployed over a wider horizon, than anyone else I have ever listened to.' John Dunn - The Times Higher Education Supplement 'Who has not asked--if only when depressed--"How should I live, and how can I find out?" To read this book is to be taken through one of the most sophisticated discussions available of such questions by an engaging, sceptical often wryly witty and extraordinary subtle professional.' - Ronald de Sousa, New York Times Book Review 'Bernard Williams's book is better read not as an introduction to ethics, but as an attempt to take stock of the present state of the subject. As such, it is a splendid piece of work. It illuminatingly maps the various tendencies and difficulties which they encounter!Such stocktaking is much needed. Bernard Williams is probably the philosopher best placed to undertake it, and he has done it admirably.' - Richard Norman, Times Higher Education Supplement 'Remarkably lively and enjoyable!It is a very rich book, containing excellent descriptions of a variety of moral theories, and innumerable and often witty observations on topics encountered on the way.' - Philippa Foot, Times Literary Supplement 'Williams's discussions are much to be valued: his explicitness and argumentative ingenuity focus the issues more sharply, and at greater depth, than any comparable work I know...One of the most interesting contributions of recent years, not only to ethics but to philosophy.' - John McDowell, Mind