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Title of PhD

What Should We Do about Williams?

Briefly describe your area of research

My thesis examines, critiques and develops the sceptical moral views of the influential philosopher Bernard Williams.

Williams is commonly charged with extravagant evasiveness, deep pessimism and holding a pervasively contingent conception of ethical life.

I meet the challenge of defending Williams' ethical view by proposing that, implicit in his critique of the morality system, there is a positive notion of agency. I defend what I call the practical agency thesis and argue that it resonates with many of Williams' dearest concerns.

Why did you select Reading?

The department has a very good reputation in moral philosophy. It is a small, supportive and dynamic department.

My supervisor Brad Hooker is a recognised authority on my subject, the moral philosophy of Bernard Williams.

What do you enjoy about studying at Reading?

The philosophy department fosters a particularly supportive collegiate environment without sacrificing hard honest academic criticism.

I have found the university staff overall extremely helpful, from library staff to the Doctoral and Researcher College department. I have also appreciated the encouragement and the opportunities to teach.

What has been your biggest challenge since starting your research?

The biggest challenge for me was to appreciate the depth of knowledge one needs to have on one's subject in order to even begin to have anything valuable to add to the philosophical discourse.

What advice would you give a new postgraduate researcher?

Be prepared to work harder than you can imagine, to be confronted with your limits and, most importantly, to find a way of exceeding your perceived limits.

Where do you want to be in five years' time?

I would like to continue teaching philosophy and to further my research in ethics, aesthetics and political philosophy.