A familiarity with the life work of Bernard Williams impresses on us his arguments in moral theory and systematization. In Williams̕ view, the agent’s identity and integrity is based on (impartial) reason, emotions, projects and many other things which the agent finds to be important for him. In this sense, the ability to cope with a life full of irresoluble conflicts and stress, a life which we never have in our command and yet which we responsibly fulfill, is the central value. This modest notion of a human being’s life, denying (a longing for) sovereignty, represents Williams̕ realism. He treats policy as a struggle among the powerful, the less powerful and the powerless to be the essence of all life morality included. Because of this fact, Williams resists founding policy upon any moral system, and insists on dealing with political platitudes ( just as his favorite ancient Greek tragedy used to do) in which everything essential is comprised: how to justify constraint where it is already forbidden to constrain agents to do some things etc. In short, Williams is interested in universal evil and tragic principles and the possibilities of reducing them in actual, historical, circumstances. He has doubts about theories dealing with unreal matters (utopia) or less essential things (for example it is good to study theories of liberalism but only in historical circumstances).
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.