Williams, Bernard Arthur Owen (1929–2003)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD090-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved January 26, 2021, from

List of works

  • Williams, B.A.O. (1972) Morality, Harmondsworth: Penguin; repr. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976.

    (Simple, introductory account, with useful treatments of subjectivism and amoralism.)

  • Smart, J.J.C. and Williams, B.A.O. (1973a) Utilitarianism: For and Against, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Smart proposes and then Williams disposes of utilitarianism; fairly easily accessible; discussed in §4.)

  • Williams, B.A.O. (1973b) Problems of the Self, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (A selection of early papers, up to 1972; which contains the two papers discussed in §1 and the two discussed in §5.)

  • Williams, B.A.O.(1978) Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry, Harmondsworth: Penguin.

    (Critical study of Descartes; moderately hard in places; the ‘absolute conception’ discussed in §5 appears on page 245 and elsewhere.)

  • Williams, B.A.O. (1981a) Obscenity and Film Censorship, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Abridgement of the report mentioned in §1.)

  • Williams, B.A.O. (1981b) Moral Luck, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Papers of 1973–80; collecting the most important of Williams’ papers on ethics, including the papers‘Moral Luck’ and ‘Internal and External Reasons’ discussed in §§2 and 3.)

  • Williams, B.A.O. (1985) Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy, London: Fontana.

    (Fairly accessible central account of ethical position, including contrast between ethics and science discussed in §5.)

  • Williams, B.A.O. (1993) Shame and Necessity, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

    (Sather Classical lectures; on early Greek ethical thought and its modern resonances; fairly accessible; and says more on shame and on the voluntary.)

  • Williams, B.A.O. (1995) Making Sense of Humanity and Other Philosophical Papers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Papers from 1982–93; contains the discussion of Sidgwick mentioned in §3.)

References and further reading

  • Altham, J.E.J. and Harrison, R. (1995) World, Mind, and Ethics: Essays on the Ethical Philosophy of Bernard Williams, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Critical essays of varying difficulty.)

Citing this article:
Harrison, Ross and Edward Craig. Bibliography. Williams, Bernard Arthur Owen (1929–2003), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD090-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.

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