Chapter

Williams on <i>Ought</i>

John Broome

in Luck, Value, and Commitment

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599325
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741500 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599325.003.0010
Williams on Ought

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This chapter interprets and assesses Williams's ‘“Ought” and moral obligation’, together with a later unpublished lecture of his on ‘ought’. It describes a notion of ownership for oughts. For instance, in 'Alison ought to get a sun hat' the ought is intuitively owned by Alison, whereas in 'Alex ought to get a severe punishment' the ought is intuitively not owned by Alex. It argues that Williams in ‘“Ought” and moral obligation’ meant to deny that any oughts are owned. It also argues, however, that actually some oughts are owned.

Keywords: Bernard Williams; Gilbert Harman; ought; obligation; normativity; agent-relativity; ownership of ought; personal obligation

Chapter.  7475 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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