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Luck, Value, and CommitmentThemes From the Ethics of Bernard Williams$
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Ulrike Heuer and Gerald Lang

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599325

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599325.001.0001

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Williams on Ought

Williams on Ought

(p.247) 9 Williams on Ought
Luck, Value, and Commitment

John Broome

Oxford University Press

This chapter interprets and assesses Williams's ‘“Ought” and moral obligation’, together with a later unpublished lecture of his on ‘ought’.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

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