Philosophers' Imprint 18:1-20 (2018)

Authors
Matthieu Queloz
Oxford University
Abstract
In Truth and Truthfulness, Bernard Williams sought to defend the value of truth by giving a vindicatory genealogy revealing its instrumental value. But what separates Williams’s instrumental vindication from the indirect utilitarianism of which he was a critic? And how can genealogy vindicate anything, let alone something which, as Williams says of the concept of truth, does not have a history? In this paper, I propose to resolve these puzzles by reading Williams as a type of pragmatist and his genealogy as a pragmatic genealogy. On this basis, I show just in what sense Williams’s genealogy can by itself yield reasons to cultivate a sense of the value of truth. Using various criticisms of Williams’s genealogical method as a foil, I then develop an understanding of pragmatic genealogy which reveals it to be uniquely suited to dealing with practices exhibiting what I call self-effacing functionality—practices that are functional only insofar as and because we do not engage in them for their functionality. I conclude with an assessment of the wider significance of Williams’s genealogy for his own oeuvre and for further genealogical inquiry.
Keywords Bernard Williams  Genealogy  Pragmatism  Functions  Utilitarianism  Value Theory
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2018
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
Utilitarianism: For and Against.J. J. C. Smart & Bernard Williams - 1973 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Principia Ethica.G. E. Moore - 1903 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 13 (3):7-9.
Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity.Richard Rorty - 1989 - The Personalist Forum 5 (2):149-152.

View all 46 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Self-Effacing Functionality of Blame.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1361-1379.
The Points of Concepts: Their Types, Tensions, and Connections.Matthieu Queloz - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (8):1122-1145.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Bernard Williams on Truth and Genealogy.Martin Hartmann & Martin Saar - 2004 - European Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):386-398.
2. Genealogy.Bernard Williams - 2010 - In Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy. Princeton University Press. pp. 20-40.
Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy.C. G. Prado - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):523 – 525.
The Genealogy of Epistemic Virtue Concepts.Alan Thomas - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (3):345-369.
Williams on Truthfulness.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):343-352.
Genealogy, Phenomenology, Critical Theory.David Couzens Hoy - 2008 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (3):276-294.
10. Making Sense.Bernard Williams - 2010 - In Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy. Princeton University Press. pp. 233-278.
Notes.Bernard Williams - 2010 - In Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy. Princeton University Press. pp. 279-308.
1. The Problem.Bernard Williams - 2010 - In Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy. Princeton University Press. pp. 1-19.
Bibliography.Bernard Williams - 2010 - In Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy. Princeton University Press. pp. 309-320.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-01-10

Total views
1,158 ( #5,050 of 2,507,867 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
129 ( #5,180 of 2,507,867 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes