Ideas from 'Shame and Necessity' by Bernard Williams [1993], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Shame and Necessity' by Williams,Bernard [California 1994,0-520-08830-1]].

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16. Persons / F. Free Will / 5. Against Free Will
There is only a problem of free will if you think the notion of 'voluntary' can be metaphysically deepened
                        Full Idea: There is a problem of free will only for those who think that the notion of voluntary can be metaphysically deepened.
                        From: Bernard Williams (Shame and Necessity [1993], III - p.68)
It is an absurd Kantian idea that at the limit rationality and freedom coincide
                        Full Idea: There is a deluded Kantian idea that at the limit rationality and freedom will totally coincide.
                        From: Bernard Williams (Shame and Necessity [1993], VI - p.158)
20. Action / B. Preliminaries of Action / 2. Willed Action / d. Weakness of will
We judge weakness of will by an assessment after the event is concluded
                        Full Idea: Williams has shown that whether an action was weakness of will depends on an evaluation after the event, as in the question of whether Gauguin was right to abandon his family to pursue his art.
                        From: report of Bernard Williams (Shame and Necessity [1993]) by John Cottingham - Reason, Emotions and Good Life p.1
                        A reaction: The 'Gauguin Problem' is that Gauguin's actions only become weakness of will if the pictures are no good, and he can't know that till he's painted them. Good point.
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 4. Responsibility for Actions
Responsibility involves cause, intention, state of mind, and response after the event
                        Full Idea: The four elements of any conception of responsibility are cause, intention, state of mind, and response after the event.
                        From: Bernard Williams (Shame and Necessity [1993], III - p.53)
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 1. Nature of Ethics / g. Moral responsibility
In bad actions, guilt points towards victims, and shame to the agent
                        Full Idea: In what I have done, the guilt points in one direction towards what has happened to others, and the shame in another direction to what I am.
                        From: Bernard Williams (Shame and Necessity [1993], IV - p.92)
                        A reaction: Not convinced. I think shame has the fear of being observed as an inescapable component. Even when alone shame involves imagining what others might think.
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / a. Nature of virtue
Greek moral progress came when 'virtue' was freed from social status
                        Full Idea: There was moral progress in the ancient Greek world, notably to the extent that the idea of areté, human excellence, was freed to some extent from determination by social position.
                        From: Bernard Williams (Shame and Necessity [1993], I - p.7)
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 2. Duty
The modern idea of duty is unknown in archaic Greece
                        Full Idea: Duty in some abstract modern sense is largely unknown to the Greeks, in particular to archaic Greeks.
                        From: Bernard Williams (Shame and Necessity [1993], II - p.41)
23. Ethics / D. Deontological Ethics / 6. Motivation for Duty
If the moral self is seen as characterless, then other people have a very limited role in our moral lives
                        Full Idea: The conception of the moral self as characterless leaves only a limited positive role to other people in one's moral life.
                        From: Bernard Williams (Shame and Necessity [1993], IV - p.95)
If reason cannot lead people to good, we must hope they have an internal voice
                        Full Idea: If we think the power of reason is not enough by itself to distinguish good and bad, then we would hope that people have limited autonomy, that there is an internalised other in them that carries some social weight.
                        From: Bernard Williams (Shame and Necessity [1993], IV - p.100)
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 3. Problem of Evil / a. Problem of Evil
There is a problem of evil only if you expect the world to be good
                        Full Idea: There is a "problem of evil" only for those who expect the world to be good.
                        From: Bernard Williams (Shame and Necessity [1993], III - p.68)