Williams, B.-Making Sense of Humanity

Philosophical Books 39:91-104 (1998)

Garrett Cullity
Australian National University
This critical notice discusses five main themes of Williams's collection: (1) The “morality system” and blame: our ethical thought both misconceives and overemphasizes the practice of blaming. (2) The theorist’s predicament: how can a theorist of human practice coherently relate her theory to her own practice? (3) Psychological realism: a central constraint on a defensible ethical outlook is that it takes account of us as we are. (4) Culture and explanation: there is no culturally neutral form of social explanation. (5) Objectivity and realism: ethical objectivity should be interpreted in a practical vein, dissociating it from realism.
Keywords Bernard Williams  moral theory  blame  realism  explanation
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