Problems of the Self

Philosophical Papers 1956–1972

Problems of the Self

This is a volume of philosophical studies, centred on problems of personal identity and extending to related topics in the philosophy of mind and moral philosophy.


'This welcome volume contains fifteen papers by Bernard Williams, an especially stimulating and insightful philosopher … His papers usually are admirably clear, and always reward careful and sustained study.' Journal of Philosophy

'To read only a few pages of [this excellent book] is to get a fine impression of the character, or flavour, of contemporary philosophy. A powerful feel for analogy allows various phenomena in turn (belief, desire, consistency) to be illuminated by considering both their resemblances to, and their differences from contiguous phenomena. There is an impatience with the trivial. And there is a constant sense, as in a Dutch landscape, of how the roads lead beyond the visible horizon. Added to this Williams exhibits on every page a mind of exceptional acuity. I doubt if anyone could read the reflections on immortality entitled 'The Makropulos Case' without a consciousness that his deepest beliefs and feelings were being engaged: engaged and adjusted under the influence of reason. In these pages an ancient promise of philosophy has been kept.' Richard Wollheim, The Listener