Sunday, November 11, 2007

And now for something completely different

This term I'm TAing for intro to ethics. For the last part of the course we are reading chunks of Bernard Williams's little book Morality. I was just reading through the preface, which, because unassigned, will likely go unread, and came across this hilarious quote: "This sad truth [that writers on moral philosophy either are hard to take seriously or refuse to write about anything important] is often brought forward as a particular charge against contemporary moral philosophy of the 'analytical' or 'linguistic' style: that it is peculiarly empty and boring. In one way, as a particular charge, that is unfair: most moral philosophy at most times has been empty and boring… Contemporary moral philosophy has found an original way of being boring, which is by not discussing moral issues at all."
Granted, the particular sort of moral philosophy he is talking about has come and gone. However, it is still about as amusing as Anscombe's long list of ad hominems in her essay "Modern Moral Philosophy".

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