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Essays and Reviews:
1959-2002
Bernard Williams
Foreword by Michael Wood

Book Description | Table of Contents
Foreword [PDF only]

ADDITIONAL REVIEWS:

"[A]n excellent new collection. . . . The essays can be savored piecemeal but are more powerful in number. To flip through them is to flip through the past forty years of our intellectual history by way of its seminal texts."--Walker Mimms, New Criterion

"The work of forty-three busy years, the essays in this volume attest to both what analytic philosophy has to gain from the humanities, and what the humanities have to gain from philosophy. Entirely free of kitsch or easy comfort, they leave us with the cumulative impression of a lifetime of truthfulness prosecuted with wit, subtlety, and stylishness."--Nakul Krishna, Cambridge Humanities Review

"For anybody wishing to undertake philosophy as a humanistic discipline, this collection of essays is an excellent place to start. But it will take many years to get up to speed, and the task will never be finished. Not for the first time, I am left wishing that Williams, who died in 2003, could have had another decade to show what a lifetime of learning can achieve."--Paul Sagar, Oxonian Review

"Posthumously published essays and reviews often feel like stale leftovers, but Bernard Williams was such a good philosopher and writer that his remain fresh and delicious. This collection gives not only a marvelous record of intellectual milestones across 43 years, but also a sense of immediacy."--Jane O'Grady, Times Higher Education

ADDITIONAL ENDORSEMENTS:

"This collection is the work of an exceptional thinker--an insightful philosopher who was also an acute observer of the world. Williams has a virtually unerring eye for the specious, for the concealed premise, and for overblown rhetoric, which he brings to light with a mordant wit, tinged at times with a wry sympathy for his target."--Charles Taylor, McGill University

"Bernard Williams lit up philosophy; teaching us what it is, what it has been, and what it might become. In these essays, he takes a stand on the major intellectual currents of his time. With his characteristic clarity, insight, and humor, Williams is here the philosopher-witness, offering us a penetrating view of an age."--Jonathan Lear, University of Chicago

"'How clean a smell he has managed to leave behind!' George Orwell wrote of Gandhi. The same could be said of Bernard Williams, and with the same touch of wonder. Great minds--and Williams stood at the pinnacle of intellectual distinction--often veer into positions that come to seem, with the passage of time, extravagant, self-indulgent, or cruel. But Williams's acute intelligence--high-spirited, supple, and wide-ranging--was unfailingly in the service of decency, clarity, and an ethical life rooted not in abstract principles but in the tangled circumstances of the everyday. These elegant, witty essays and reviews, still astonishingly alive, are at once deeply pleasurable and deeply important."--Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve

"One of the foremost twentieth-century philosophers, Bernard Williams was also an acute critic of contemporary thought and letters. This well-chosen collection of essays and reviews is packed with arguments and insights, ranging across topics as diverse as the logic of abortion and whether the idea of God has any meaning. Richly enjoyable as well as consistently illuminating, this will be a feast of ideas for all who care about the intellectual condition of the culture."--John Gray, professor emeritus, London School of Economics

"These essays represent philosophical, intellectual, and social commentary at its very best. But what will be most valued by many different kinds of reader is the perfectly clear, agreeable, plain-speaking tone of the writing, and the unpretentious wisdom with which Bernard Williams addresses such a variety of subjects."--Barry Stroud, University of California, Berkeley

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File created: 7/17/2014

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