Sense of the Past Essays in the History of Philosophy

ISBN-10: 0691134081

ISBN-13: 9780691134086

Edition: 2008

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Before his death in 2003, Bernard Williams planned to publish a collection of historical essays, focusing primarily on the ancient world. This posthumous volume brings together a much wider selection, written over some forty years. His legacy lives on in this masterful work, the first collection ever published of Williams's essays on the history of philosophy. The subjects range from the sixth century B.C. to the twentieth A.D., from Homer to Wittgenstein by way of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Sidgwick, Collingwood, and Nietzsche. Often one would be hard put to say which part is history, which philosophy. Both are involved throughout, because this is the history of philosophy written philosophically. Historical exposition goes hand in hand with philosophical scrutiny. Insights into the past counteract blind acceptance of present assumptions. In his touching and illuminating introduction, Myles Burnyeat writes of these essays: "They show a depth of commitment to the history of philosophy seldom to be found nowadays in a thinker so prominent on the contemporary philosophical scene." The result celebrates the interest and importance to philosophy today of its near and distant past. The Sense of the Pastis one of three collections of essays by Bernard Williams published by Princeton University Press since his death.In the Beginning Was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Argument, selected, edited, and with an introduction by Geoffrey Hawthorn, andPhilosophy as a Humanistic Discipline, selected, edited, and with an introduction by A. W. Moore, make up the trio.
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Book details

List price: $37.50
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 12/23/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 416
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Sartre is the dominant figure in post-war French intellectual life. A graduate of the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure with an agregation in philosophy, Sartre has been a major figure on the literary and philosophical scenes since the late 1930s. Widely known as an atheistic proponent of existentialism, he emphasized the priority of existence over preconceived essences and the importance of human freedom. In his first and best novel, Nausea (1938), Sartre contrasted the fluidity of human consciousness with the apparent solidity of external reality and satirized the hypocrisies and pretensions of bourgeois idealism. Sartre's theater is also highly ideological, emphasizing the importance of personal freedom and the commitment of the individual to social and political goals. His first play, The Flies (1943), was produced during the German occupation, despite its underlying message of defiance. One of his most popular plays is the one-act No Exit (1944), in which the traditional theological concept of hell is redefined in existentialist terms. In Red Gloves (Les Mains Sales) (1948), Sartre examines the pragmatic implications of the individual involved in political action through the mechanism of the Communist party and a changing historical situation. His highly readable autobiography, The Words (1964), tells of his childhood in an idealistic bourgeois Protestant family and of his subsequent rejection of his upbringing. Sartre has also made significant contributions to literary criticism in his 10-volume Situations (1947--72) and in works on Baudelaire, Genet, and Flaubert. In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and refused it, saying that he always declined official honors.At the time of his death in 2003, Bernard Williams was hailed by the Times as 'the outstanding moral philosopher of his age.' Bernard Williams taught at the Universities of Cambridge, Berkeley and Oxford. He is the author of Morality; Utlitarianism: For and Against; Descartes: The Project of Pure Enquiry and Truth and Truthfulness, and Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. In 2006 three volumes of his collected papers were published by Princeton University Press.

Preface
Introduction
Greek: General
The Legacy of Greek Philosophy
The Women of Trachis: Fictions, Pessimism, Ethics
Understanding Homer: Literature, History and Ideal Anthropology
Socrates and Plato
Pagan Justice and Christian Love
Introduction to Plato's Theaetetus
Plato against the Immoralist
The Analogy of City and Soul in Plato's Republic
Plato's Construction of Intrinsic Goodness
Cratylus' Theory of Names and Its Refutation
Plato: The Invention of Philosophy
Aristotle
Acting as the Virtuous Person Acts
Aristotle on the Good: A Formal Sketch
Justice as a Virtue
Hylomorphism
Descartes
Descartes' Use of Scepticism
Introductory Essay on Descartes' Meditations
Descartes and the Historiography of Philosophy
Hume
Hume on Religion
Sidgwick
The Point of View of the Universe: Sidgwick and the Ambitions of Ethics
Nietzsche
Nietzsche's Minimalist Moral Psychology
Introduction to The Gay Science
"There are many kinds of eyes"
Unbearable Suffering
R. G. Collingwood
An Essay on Collingwood
Wittgenstein
Wittgenstein and Idealism
Bernard Williams: Complete Philosophical Publications
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