Inspirational Bernard Williams Quotes

Bernard Williams (21 September 1929 – 10 June 2003) was an English moral philosopher. This post features some Inspirational Bernard Williams Quotes.

Williams became known for his efforts to reorient the study of moral philosophy to psychology, history, and in particular to the Greeks. Described by Colin McGinn as an “analytical philosopher with the soul of a general humanist,” he was sceptical about attempts to create a foundation for moral philosophy. Martha Nussbaum wrote that he demanded of philosophy that it “come to terms with, and contain, the difficulty and complexity of human life.”

His publications include Problems of the Self (1973), Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy (1985), Shame and Necessity (1993), and Truth and Truthfulness (2002). He was knighted in 1999.

Bernard Williams Quotes
Bernard Williams Quotes

Bernard Williams Quotes

“Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire.”
― Bernard Williams

“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.”
― Bernard Williams

“Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.”
― Bernard Williams

“If a June night could talk, it would probably boast it invented romance.”
― Bernard Williams

“Books had instant replay long before televised sports.”
― Bernard Williams

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.”
― Bernard Williams

“What a strange world this would be if we all had the same sense of humor.”
― Bernard Williams

“We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.”
Bernard Williams

“People who say, ‘Let the chips fall where they may,’ usually figure they will not be hit by a chip.”
― Bernard Williams

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.”
― Bernard Williams

“People who say, ‘Let the chips fall where they may,’ usually figure they will not be hit by a chip.”
― Bernard Williams

“Utilitarians are often immensely conscientious people, who work for humanity and give up meat for the sake of the animals. They think this is what they morally ought to do and feel guilty if they do not live up to their own standard. They do not, and perhaps could not, ask: How useful is it that I think and feel like this?”
Bernard Williams quotes

“Positivism … implies the double falsehood that no interpretation is needed, and that it is not needed because the story which the positivist writer tells, such as it is, is obvious. The story he or she tells is usually a bad one, and its being obvious only means that it is familiar.”
― Bernard Williams quotes

“Two currents of ideas are very prominent in modern thought and culture. On the one hand, there is an intense commitment to truthfulness–or, at any rate, a pervasive suspiciousness, a readiness against being fooled, an eagerness to see through appearances to the real structures and motives that lie behind them. Always familiar in politics, it stretches to historical understanding, to the social sciences, and even to interpretations of discoveries and research in the natural sciences.”
― Bernard Williams

“What will the professor’s justification do, when they break down the door, smash his spectacles, take him away?”
― Bernard Williams

“A further turn is to be found in some “unmasking” accounts of natural science, which aim to show that its pretensions to deliver the truth are unfounded, because of social forces that control its activities.”
― Bernard Williams

“That an action would be cowardly is not often found by an agent to be a consideration in its favor, but it could be, and in a counterethical way, ministering to a masochism of shame.”
― Bernard Williams

“If the passion for truthfulness is merely controlled and stilled without being satisfied, it will kill the activities it is supposed to support. This may be one of the reasons why, at the present time, the study of the humanities runs a risk of sliding from professional seriousness, through professionalization, to a finally disenchanted careerism.”
― Bernard Williams

“Those who say that all historical accounts are ideological constructs (which is one version of the idea that there is really no historical truth) rely on some story which must itself claim historical truth.”
― Bernard Williams

Leave a Reply