“If there’s one theme in all my work it’s about authenticity and self-expression,” Williams said in 2002. “It’s the idea that some things are in some real sense really you, or express what you and others aren’t … The whole thing has been about spelling out the notion of inner necessity.” He moved moral philosophy away from the Kantian question, “What is my duty?” and back to the issue that mattered to the Greeks: “How should we live?”
How should we live. I think in a different environment, he would have made a fantastic motivational speaker. I enjoy listening to him.
What he says about the Ideal Observer and asks “What would it be like to take upon ourselves all the suffering of all the world for even a few seconds? It would be the ultimate nightmare”
I love the clarity he speaks with.
Views of humanity seem to have run the gamut from “We are of supreme importance to the Universe, to we are wretched creatures of the Universe. But there is a third view:
That the significance of human beings to the Cosmos is Vanishingly Small”.
This implies, while our significance to the Cosmos is vanishingly small, *it’s still significant* in some fashion – ie – NOT 0.
and that’s something to get excited about. Amazing as I’ve carried that viewpoint with me for a long time, and never heard it articulated so clearly.