Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams

30th June to 2nd July 2009

Conference at the Centre for Ethics and Metaethics (CEM), Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds

The conference

The aim of the conference is to reflect upon the legacy of one of the most significant moral philosophers from the second half of the twentieth century. Bernard Williams (1929-2003) published prolifically in normative ethics, metaethics and political philosophy.

Williams drew upon many philosophical and historical sources to discuss these issues, without ever emerging as a disciple or apologist for any particular position or thinker. It was this refusal to be attached to a single system or position, together with exceptional critical skills and a powerful philosophical imagination, which explains the richness and fecundity of Williams’s philosophical output. There are many areas in ethics and metaethics where we have yet to work out a satisfactory response to the challenges that Williams raised.

The conference will be the official launching event of the Centre for Ethics and Metaethics at the philosophy department at Leeds.

The conference is sponsored by the British Academy, the Analysis Trust and the Society for Applied Philosophy.

The Annual Conference of the Society for Applied Philosophy is going to take place in Leeds too from 26-28 June. Check it out!


Dr Ulrike Heuer,

Dr Gerald Lang,

Dr Jon Robson,